Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Friday, June 10, 2011

Emergency Action Procedures-- Do you have them?

   Today in Billings Montana, we had a large natural gas explosion caused by a rock rolling down from the Rimrocks.  One house was completely destroyed, several other houses and buildings were severely damaged.  The incumbent pressure caused a lady at Rocky Mountain College, near the blast site, to be propelled out of her chair.
    The Solomon Bruce Consulting LLC offices are approximately 2.4 miles from the blast site.  We felt the pressure at our office.
     The question becomes-- do you have emergency action procedures for your business if something happens?  In the past 2 weeks, we have had extreme flooding in the Upper Rocky Mountains, with several tornadoes both sited and some set down.  Fortunately, none of the tornadoes caused any damage-- this time.  Last year, Father's day, the roof of the Rimrock Arena in Billings was destroyed by a tornado.  The facility was rendered useless for approximately 10 months, with construction being done in 24 hour shifts to reconstruct the facility.
     A meeting I had with an individual this morning addressed the matter of data security and data recovery.  This individual works for a firm that has a very secure data storage facility.  We discussed how this facility is important for data servers currently located in flood or earthquake prone regions of the world.  Relocating those computers to this facility would prevent flood damage.  The region where this facility is located is not in an earthquake zone.
     Emergency Action Procedures are something that you should have developed now, not after the disaster has struck.  These procedures should be detailed, explicit and exercised at least semi-annually to make sure that if indeed a disaster does occur, your firm has procedures in place to handle any disaster.
     Assumptions should be made regarding loss of power, water, air conditioning, heating, data and telecommunications connectivity.  What are your back up plans for your business?  How will you function until normal and ordinary services are restored to your business?  Do you need back up power generation equipment?  Do you need extra air conditioning or heating equipment?  What about staff needs if the facility is either destroyed or severely damaged?  If the roads to the facility are damaged to the point of being inoperable, how do you get people to the facility?
     The size of the business is not important when working with emergency action procedures.  It makes no difference if you have one or one thousand employees-- a well thought out emergency action plan will insure that you will be able to maintain business continuity in case of a disaster.  Sadly, some businesses have experienced some disaster and failed to develop contingency operations and emergency operations plans.  When a second disaster struck, the need for the contingency and emergency plans were vital, but undeveloped.  Don't be caught in that situation.  Call us if you need help on this matter.  Prior Planning today prevents poor performance later.


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