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Summer Journal

Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

What goes on inside your enterprise is of prime importance for your business continuity management. However, so are the actions and attitudes of vendors on which you rely to run your business.  In the same way that you regularly check on BC processes and awareness inside, you should also conduct periodic investigations of key business partners. The first thing to know which vendors should be on the critical list. Essentially, a critical vendor is one on which you are heavily dependent and which cannot easily be replaced in-house or by another vendor. Such a vendor may also have access to confidential information in order to make the relationship work. Let’s suppose you’ve identified such partners. What are your next steps?



In the U.S., small to midsized businesses are feeling more confident in their futures than they have been in several years, says the Sage Business Index for 2013. Sage Group conducted the survey of 11,000 SMBs from around the world from July through August and found that global confidence is up, but it is much higher in the U.S.

After several years of global economic issues, these findings show that the economy may be finally beginning to mend. Connie Certusi, executive vice president of Sage Small Business Accounting said in a statement:

‘Small businesses continue to be the driver of the U.S. economy and it is inspiring that business owners are confident in their prospects. With that said, many business owners have legitimate concerns about the variables that can impact their bottom line, namely the rising cost of energy, raw goods and inflation. Small business owners are always more vulnerable to these concerns so it is wise to be mindful of the challenges that these businesses will continue to face in 2014.’



WILLISTON, Vt. – A team of young Americans who have volunteered to serve their country during disasters is in Vermont learning more about the science of disaster response and recovery from observing Vermont’s recovery from flooding earlier this year as well as Tropical Storm Irene.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency welcomed a team of FEMA Corps members to the Joint Field Office in Williston for a two-week stint of education, which will be highlighted by actual site visits, as part of their nine-month assignment to FEMA’s Region I office in Boston.

“These young people embody the true spirit of FEMA,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mark Landry, the head of FEMA’s operations in Vermont. “They have volunteered to help their country, and through their service our nation will be better prepared for disasters in the future.”

The seven FEMA Corps members – who range in age from 18 to 24 and hail from seven different states – have met with and gained valuable insights from state and local officials as well as veteran FEMA personnel.

FEMA and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCC) launched FEMA Corps in 2012 to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from disasters while expanding career opportunities for young people.

FEMA Corps is a new unit of AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) whose members will be devoted solely to FEMA disaster response and recovery efforts. The five-year agreement provides for a full service corps of 1,600 members annually who will be an additional workforce in support of FEMA’s current disaster reservist workforce.

Once trained by FEMA and CNCS, members will provide support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors to supporting disaster recovering centers to sharing valuable disaster preparedness and mitigation information with the public.

FEMA Corps members will serve for a 10 month term with an option to extend for a second year. The program will prepare thousands of young people for careers in emergency management and related fields. During their service, they will gain significant training and experience in disaster services and will provide important support to disaster survivors.


The following is an excerpt from the RIMS executive report “Terrorism Risk Insurance Act: The Commercial Consumer’s Perspective.” The report is available for download here.

For any insurer to operate successfully and avoid going out of business, it must be able to accurately estimate the probability of its losses, the severity of those losses, and then determine the amount of premium that must be charged to cover those losses should they occur. Historical data from past events is used to predict the losses from future events and pric­ing is set accordingly. Even extraordinary events like Hurricane Sandy or the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma, while harder to accurately estimate, can be predicted to a certain degree based on historical data and experi­ence. Terrorism risk, however, differs substantially from these other risks in several different ways.



Drug-resistant germs called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, are on the rise and have become more resistant to last-resort antibiotics during the past decade, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report.  These bacteria are causing more hospitalized patients to get infections that, in some cases, are impossible to treat. 

CRE are lethal bacteria that pose a triple threat:

  • Resistance: CRE are resistant to all, or nearly all, the antibiotics we have - even our most powerful drugs of last-resort.
  • Death: CRE have high mortality rates – CRE germs kill 1 in 2 patients who get bloodstream infections from them.
  • Spread of disease:  CRE easily transfer their antibiotic resistance to other bacteria.  For example, carbapenem-resistant klebsiella can spread its drug-destroying weapons to a normal E. coli bacteria, which makes the E.coli resistant to antibiotics also. That could create a nightmare scenario since E. coli is the most common cause of urinary tract infections in healthy people.

Currently, almost all CRE infections occur in people receiving significant medical care.  CRE are usually transmitted from person-to-person, often on the hands of health care workers.  In 2012, CDC released a concise, practical CRE prevention toolkit with in-depth recommendations to control CRE transmission in hospitals, long-term acute care facilities, and nursing homes.  Recommendations for health departments are also included.  CRE can be carried by patients from one health care setting to another.  Therefore, facilities are encouraged to work together, using a regional “Detect and Protect” approach, to implement CRE prevention programs.

In addition to detailed data about the rise of CRE, the Vital Signs report details steps health care providers, CEOs and chief medical officers, state health departments and patients can take now to slow, and even stop, CRE before it becomes widespread throughout the country.



State-of-the-art 210,000 Sq. Ft. Facility to be Located in Denver Tech Center 


Denver, CO – October 24, 2013 – ViaWest, the leading colocation services provider in North America, announces its newest greenfield data center build, Compark, to be located in southeast Denver. The company will pursue Uptime Institute Tier IV design certification for the Compark data center, signifying its redundancy and fault-tolerant design. The 210,000-square-foot facility is ViaWest’s fifth data center in the Denver market. It is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2014 and further exemplifies ViaWest’s leadership in the data center solutions sector.

Recognized as a hotbed for innovation and entrepreneurial activity, Colorado is a growing hub for enterprise and technology companies. It is also a key state for firms seeking data center infrastructure in a low-risk geography to support production and disaster recovery environments. The Compark facility will meet both the in- and out-of-market demand ViaWest is seeing from existing and new clients that require high-end facilities for their IT infrastructures.

“As a Denver-based company for more than fourteen years, we are proud to expand our presence in this region to further serve our existing customers and meet the strong demand we’re seeing nationwide,” states Nancy Phillips , President and CEO for ViaWest. “Our dedication to delivering high-touch customer service and a growth path of IT capabilities continues to uniquely position us in the market. We are eager to grow our footprint with the addition of another industry-leading data center facility.”

“ViaWest is a key part of the Colorado technology ecosystem,” states Kristin Russell, CIO for the State of Colorado. "We are so pleased to see ViaWest continue to grow and strengthen its much-appreciated commitment to the IT community in Colorado. Their continued expansion is a strong indicator of the growth within Colorado’s technology sector."

Compark’s convenient location in southeast Denver will encompass 140,000 square feet of raised floor space, with the total facility to be built to 210,000 square feet. The facility will also be marked by an anticipated 1.2 Power Use Effectiveness (PUE) rating, one of the lowest in the industry. PUE ratings demonstrate highly efficient operations across power, cooling and other data center systems.

ViaWest Compark will offer data center infrastructure services and hybrid environments consisting of cloud computing, wholesale and retail colocation, managed services and compliance solutions. As experts in right-sizing IT architecture, ViaWest helps companies of all sizes by tailoring solutions that address their current requirements and that help them plan for future growth and the changing compliance landscape.

The company recently announced plans for another data center in Minneapolis, Minn., which will also be completed in the first quarter of 2014.  In addition, ViaWest opened its Lone Mountain Las Vegas data center in early 2013, the first Tier IV design-certified multi-tenant data center in North America. As the market leader in high-quality, efficient and fault-tolerant data center services, ViaWest will continue duplicating this successful strategy in key markets throughout the U.S. where it identifies a need for its local approach to meeting customer needs.

For more information about ViaWest, visit www.viawest.com.


About ViaWest

ViaWest is the leading colocation provider in North America. We enable businesses to leverage both their existing IT infrastructure and emerging cloud resources to deliver the right balance of cost, scalability and security. Our data center services include a comprehensive suite of fully compliant environments, premium wholesale and retail colocation, private and public clouds and managed services. For additional information on ViaWest, please visit www.viawest.com or call 1-877-448-9378. Follow ViaWest on  LinkedInTwitter or visit their YouTube channel.

October 23, 2013

Supply chain resilience

Lyndon Bird
Business Continuity Institute

In 2009 The Business Continuity Institute decided that more research was needed into the level of business disruption being caused by supply chain problems. The challenge we set ourselves was to provide data to help organizations develop and enhance resiliency within their supply chains. This work was done with the strong support of Zurich Insurance Services and in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.

Since then, this has become a regular annual survey and its findings have become increasingly influential to the business continuity, purchasing and supply and insurance communities. At BCM World 2013, the findings from the most recent survey will be announced and I will be leading a discussion on these alongside Nick Wildgoose of Zurich Insurance Services.

This is the first release of data from 2013 survey and those attending the session will be given a printed copy of the full report. Although the methodology used in 2013 was consistent with previous years, some additional questions were added.



Keeping your doors open for business is a concept that the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) has promoted for many years with its long standing popular business continuity planning toolkit.  Many of our website readers are familiar with this disaster preparedness planning tool.

As the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, our staff research team found that IBHS has just recently launched a free, online version of their business continuity planning toolkit —-entitled OFB-EZ™ (Open for Business-EZ).  This online version is a somewhat streamlined version which guides users through an easy process to create a recovery plan that will help even the smallest businesses recover after a disaster.

CIO — Social media can be a powerful marketing tool. But used the wrong way, social media sites can have a negative impact on your business -- costing you goodwill and prospective customers. So how can you create a positive impression of your business and/or your products on popular social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ -- and avoid potentially costly social media blunders? CIO.com asked dozens of social media experts and managers to find out. Here are their top 15 picks for the most common social media mistakes businesses make and how to avoid them.



Hurricane Raymond is a category 3 hurricane, heading toward the Mexican states of Guerrero and Michoacán. Mexico’s Civil Protection agency has declared a red alert in three municipalities: one in Guerrero and two in Michoacán. Some preventative evacuations of at-risk communities have also been undertaken and school classes have been suspended. The Mexican Red Cross has put all of its delegations on alert and is in permanent contact with Mexico’s Civil Protection agency to continue monitoring the event. Some 15,000 food parcels, 3,000 hygiene kits, 1,000 kitchen kits and 500 home-cleaning kits have been pre-positioned close to the area.

There are currently 50 damage evaluation personnel in Acapulco, Mexico and 250 volunteers in the area. Along with rescue units, Mexican Red Cross staff and volunteers are supporting evacuations, as well as assisting at the shelters equipped for food delivery. Since Monday evening, rains have continued along the Pacific coast, causing water levels of some rivers to increase—but have not yet resulted in flooding.