How (and why) Fortune 100 Companies Develop Disaster Plans

Weather extremes are increasing and with it, we are learning that our civilizations are based on energy infrastructures that are no match for Mother Nature.

Hurricane Ian and other natural disasters are highlighting this. The power grid, water treatment facilities, gas stations, and supply chain for food and other goods cannot be designed and built to last against the onslaught of category 5 hurricanes. Those are nature's nuclear weapons.

In some places, high plains, for instance, massive underground bunkers can be and are being built right now, at break-neck speed, to support certain people for a period. This possibility is reserved for the ultra-wealthy, the .1-percenters, and high-level government officials.

If you are reading this, it is highly unlikely you are in that upper echelon.

If you are an SMB (small to medium-sized business) and have not been hit by natural disasters, it is unlikely you have taken the time or spent the money to develop and execute a disaster recovery plan to survive the devastation a Hurricane Ian can bring to your doorstep. However, HROs (High-reliability organizations) and other organizations are critical to the continuance of our civilization the way we know it.

Not all businesses are in high-threat zones. Not all parts of the country have the same probability of threat or the same type of threat. Some counties in the USA are unlikely to experience a threat of any magnitude at all.

That said, in the USA about 70% of all businesses with more than 20 employees are in a zone with a high probability of disaster if not severe disruption. Why? Most businesses are in coastal areas and on other waterways that were naturally attractive for trade routes and are now the most population-dense.

Secure Foods wants to be a part of your disaster recovery plan. We want to help organizations and their workforce survive natural disasters in a way that cares for people first.

As thousands of business owners and millions of employees are now realizing, after a disaster, there are only two choices when met with an event like hurricane Ian. Once destroyed, insurance is collected (if it was secured in the first place) and that money goes to the owners to rebuild or not. If they decide it is worth rebuilding, they are going to need talented and trained people to do it. If they decide to abandon their business, they are going to secure water, food, safety, and community for themselves and “good luck” to their former employees left to fend for their own families.

SMBs can borrow from how Fortune 100 companies think, and what they do toward business continuity.

Let’s borrow this high-level outline displaying IBM’s major goals for developing a disaster recovery plan:

· To minimize interruptions to normal operations.

· To limit the extent of disruption and damage.

· To minimize the economic impact of the interruption.

· To establish alternative means of operation in advance.

· To train personnel with emergency procedures.

· To provide for smooth and rapid restoration of service.

Pull together a team to go through and ask “what, for your specific organization, in your specific area of the country, will provide the best outcomes for each of these points?”

And as far as business continuity is concerned, does it really matter if climate disaster is anthropocentric or not?

It doesn’t look like Mother Nature is going to let up anytime soon.


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