Earthquakes, hurricanes & floods... Oh, my!
The east coast has had its share of business interruptions during the past two weeks. Hurricanes and flooding? Pretty typical in this part of the woods. But earthquakes? Who knew? Most of us in the DC area were thinking terrorist attack, not earthquake. Yet Virginia earthquakes, while quite rare, are not unexpected, we're told. While out-of-pocket expenses for the Virginia shaker that was felt all along the East Coast were estimated to be less than $100 million, Irene's price tag was already expected to reach into the billions. Time to ramp up your business continuity plan to include earthquakes and major hurricanes/flooding? This week's articles can help.
Maybe it will be decades until the next earthquake, but who knows? Be prepared… Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 tell you how.
Irene's floods should have all of us running back to our BC plans to ensure we included flooding as a risk – and planned for it. Check out items 5 and 6 for some help in this regard.
As always, we look forward to hearing your comments & insights regarding business continuity.
If you have a topic you'd like us to cover, email me at
Bob Mellinger, President
1. Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety
Reducing and/or eliminating hazards throughout your home, neighborhood, workplace and school can greatly reduce your risk of injury or death following the next earthquake or other disaster.
2. Earthquake Safety Checklist
Earthquakes strike suddenly, without warning, and they can occur at any time of the year, day or night. Forty-five states and territories in the United States are at moderate to very high risk of earthquakes, and they are located in every region of the country.
3. Earthquake Safety
The probability for an earthquake of magnitude 6.0 or greater in the central U.S. is fairly significant in the near future, with a 25-40% chance of occurring in any 50 year time period. A quake with a magnitude equal to that of the 1811- 1812 quakes could result in great loss of life and property damage in the billions of dollars.
4. Earthquake Preparedness Planning
Experience has shown that even moderate earthquakes can have a major impact on a business' operations and cause severe hardship. There may be loss of electricity, gas and telephone services and a shortage of supplies when a damaging earthquake strikes. In California it is recommended that individuals and businesses plan to be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours after a major earthquake. In other areas, that period may be even longer due to the lack of preparedness in both the public and private sectors.
5. Plan and Respond to the Flood Threat
One of the most frequent and costly disasters in the U.S., flooding occurs in every state. The average flood damage caused in the U.S. from 2000-2008 was approximately $16.5 billion a year. Protecting your property, personal health and safety is just as important after a flood occurs as it is to do during the incident. In winter and early spring, it is especially important to understand the health threats associated with exposure to cold weather and cold water.
6. Of droughts, and flooding rains, of businesses and broken business continuity plans.
The point of this blog entry (and there is one!) is that we precisely do not know what will ever happen to our homes or places of business. Some of us thought we were really very safe at the time. That idea's comforting, but not always true (I can see a mountain full of trees from my back deck - so one day bushfires are on the cards).
Quote of the Week:
"We learn geology the morning after the earthquake."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson