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A Post from My Colleague Jim Duggan: Recurring Lessons Learned from Major Disasters #HurricaneSandy #Sandy

by Roberta J. Witty  |  October 31, 2012  |  Comments Off on A Post from My Colleague Jim Duggan: Recurring Lessons Learned from Major Disasters #HurricaneSandy #Sandy

In the wake of Sandy,  the Northeast will experience some of the same issues experienced when disasters have struck other major population centers. Disruptions of the scale of Sandy, Katrina, Andrew, the Christchurch earthquake or of the Asian Tsunami’s have lasted months and years. Lessons drawn from more than a few days of disruption include the following.

  • Until the power is restored, the cell network will continue to deteriorate as backup batteries run down.  Towers often have batteries to run two to three days without power, but power outages at some towers could easily be a week or two.
  • If the recovery sites are also in the disaster area, transportation and accommodations will be a long term issue.  With transportation severely limited, staff will have trouble getting back and forth between home and work.  Planning should include provisions for feeding and housing staff until normal commutes are feasible.  Policies for staffing and working remotely may need to be revised for the emergency.  Remember that transit and traffic won’t return to normal for weeks or months.
  • Staff will deal with their personal disasters first and may not be available or motivated to work to restore the business until their families are secure.   The welfare and security of the families of critical staff needs to be a business concern as well.  Leave policies, shift scheduling, staffing and work at home arrangements may need to be revised.
  • Application development staff and facilities are often left off of plans that assume restoration within a few days.     Less critical facilities like application maintenance and patching will become necessary after a couple of weeks.   The  same questions of access and staffing  that are immediately at issue for operations staff will arise for development and engineering staff as disruptions continue for more than a few weeks.

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Category: advisory  bcm-process  event  technology  

Tags: application-development  business-continuity-management  business-continuity-planning  business-resiliency  coop  disaster-recovery  emergency-management  emergency-notification  emergency-preparedness  hurricane-sandy  it-disaster-recovery  jim-duggan  sandy  telecommunications  

Roberta J. Witty
Research VP
11 years at Gartner
33 years IT industry

Roberta Witty is a research VP in Gartner Research, where she is part of the Compliance, Risk and Leadership group. Her primary area of focus is business continuity management and disaster recovery. Ms. Witty is the role specialty lead for… Read Full Bio

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