One key aspect of disaster recovery planning has traditionally been about returning to business as usual after a natural disaster. But what if the effects of natural disasters could be avoided altogether? Is it time for the serious corporate contingency planner to consider proactive planning efforts geared toward mitigating or even preventing natural disasters?
The authors believe it is, and that such a planning effort is the next step in what is arguably the 60-year history of contingency planning. This article describes practical science and technology (S&T) that can make the goal of protecting commercial organizations from natural disasters a reality.
The authors conclude that it is possible to produce up-to-date information on floods, wildfires, tropical storms, earthquakes and volcanoes that is dynamically integrated with a comprehensive set of historical records of other natural hazards and disaster events throughout a region. In this manner it is possible to characterize hazards, as well as truly compute their probability.
In addition, data on people and infrastructure can be overlaid and provides the basis for understanding exposure, vulnerability, and potential impacts from these hazards. This resultant data and diagrams in turn can be used to gauge the vulnerability of anything from a new beachfront hotel complex, to a potential factory location and to communicate them effectively to management.
Leo A. Wrobel has more than 25 years experience with a host of firms engaged in banking, manufacturing, telecommunications services and government. An active author and technical futurist, he has published 12 books and over 500 trade articles on a variety of technical subjects. Wrobel served 10 years as an elected mayor and city councilman and is a sought-after speaker. He has lectured throughout the United States and overseas and has appeared on several television news programs. Wrobel is presently CEO of Dallas-based b4Ci Inc. Portions of this article were adapted from Wrobel’s latest book, “Disaster Recovery for Communications and Critical Infrastructure.”
Sharon M. (Ford) Wrobel conducted extensive publishing and regulatory research for her former employer (a 50-state telephone company), a function she continues today as vice president of Business Development for b4Ci Inc. Wrobel was a major content contributor to Leo Wrobel’s 2009 book “Business Resumption Planning Second Edition” and was co-author of “Disaster Recovery for Communications and Critical Infrastructure.” She has published over a dozen trade articles.