Reactive Response IS NOT Preparedness

Here we are in Florida, awaiting the first hurricane to directly impact the State. Dorian is predicted to hit the East coast sometime Monday, impacting a large portion of Florida. Weather reports have presented this in many lights, including that the Tampa area may not be impacted at all. It is still too early to tell.

This morning I stopped into a local gas station, to find a line of folks filling gas cans just in case. The news showed how many of the wholesale outlets were being drained of their bottled water inventories, and hardware outlets were selling plywood, generators, gas put-out-firecans, and batteries at a rapid rate. All in the name of preparedness. This caused me to stop and think, is this really preparedness or is is reactive response to the news and weather reports? Most of are like firefighters waiting for it to happen then reacting to put it out.

In my mind – with gas as the exception – most of this should have been done long before now, stocking bottled water, canned goods, fitting plywood to the windows, and all the rest, should have been done months ago as part of a preparedness plan rather than running around now hoping things would still be available.

This is also the case with many businesses, especially those in the small and mid-sized sector. Disaster preparedness is not front of mind and what happens is reactive response when some potential catastrophe is looming. Now they are asking, what do we do if we are flooded? Can we mover the servers? What about our paper information? How do we protect that? If power is out for any length of time, how do we continue to operate? And of course, when it is all over, how do we get back to a normal level of operations and in what timeframe?

In my view, every business – and every household for that matter – should have a disaster preparedness plan in place that details who does what, when they do it, and how it gets done. Additionally, there should be a detailed plan for how the business recovers and reestablishes normal operating levels. Are you really prepared or are you one who takes action as a result of reactive response?

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