No matter how solid your disaster recovery plan, the consequences of true disaster languish for years. For the individuals and institutions involved, a catastrophe changes assumptions, priorities, behaviors, and expectations.
That was the case for New Orleans-based Delgado Community College, which was put out of business temporarily during its first week of classes in August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina flattened New Orleans and levee breaches flooded the city. In the process of becoming operational again, Delgado improved its IT processes and infrastructure in meaningful ways.
Pre-hurricane, the school had 17,400 students, 1,300 faculty and staff, and three main campuses in New Orleans, as well as several satellite learning centers. Immediately afterward, when the city was under feet of water, downed power lines blocked roads, and the telecommunications infrastructure, which was mostly underground, was either destroyed or dramatically damaged, Delgado cancelled that semester’s classes. The main campus at City Park, which sat under as much as eight feet of water, suffered major storm damage and the school’s Slidell Learning Center on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain was declared a total loss.
The Comprehensive Crisis and Continuity (COOP) Template for Colleges and Universities is a powerful yet easy-to-use tool on CD.