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Winter Journal

Volume 28, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

WHEELING, Ill. – Response Team 1, a leading national property restoration, catastrophic loss recovery, and multifamily renovation company, has been named to the Inc. Magazine 500 list as one of the fastest growing companies in America in 2014. The company captured the 422nd slot in the ranking, making the Top 500 in its first year of eligibility.

The list is determined by the percentage revenue growth when comparing 2010 to 2013. To qualify, participants had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent companies – not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies – that were founded and generated revenue by March 31, 2010. Response Team 1 achieved a 1,124 percent growth in three years.

“This prestigious honor is a result of the growing number of clients who select Response Team 1 as their property restoration partner and our dedicated and hardworking employees,” said John Goense, chairman of the board.

The Inc. 500 | 5000 list represents an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, and includes a comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy – America’s independent entrepreneurs.

Complete results, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, is available at www.inc.com/inc5000.

If the value that data analytics has brought to businesses can be measured in the extent to which it enables those businesses to retain their customers, it makes sense to drill down on exactly what that enabler is. Most observers would argue that the enabler is Big Data. But the real enabler just might be small data.

That was my key takeaway from a recent conversation with John Rode, senior director of demand generation at Preact, a provider of cloud-based data analytics services in San Francisco that’s focused on reducing customer churn. According to Rode, “small data” is typically CRM data, which he said is the starting point for almost every decision about customers, whether it’s targeting prospects, conversion, up-sell or retention. Rode explained the significance of that this way:

While this data is most definitely “small,” it tells a lot about the customer—how much they pay, for which product, how many employees they have, which industry they are in, their decision-making authority, and so on. Once you begin to analyze customer behavior [associated with] your product, you are essentially operating a dial that takes you from small data to Big Data, depending on the sophistication of your analysis. You can analyze the behavior of each individual separately … and apply algorithms that analyze how their behavior is trending, and thus determine whether they are a churn risk. While this is a lot of data, most folks would still characterize this as small data.



By John Zeppos, FBCI

Business continuity management in large organizations with many different departments and diverse personalities can be a challenge at times.

When you’re trying to implement good business continuity management in a company that spans countries and time zones it gets even more complicated. Throw in cultural differences between the various regional offices on top of the business-cultural differences within each office, and it can seem like a hard road to nowhere.

As a top-level manager in a multi-national company, you will understand the challenges in getting your own staff to understand the concept of business continuity, let alone the difficulties involved in communicating these plans to managers in overseas branches: understanding business continuity jargon is hard enough in one language, but communicate you must because resilience to business disruption affects not only their own staff, but the stability of the business as a whole.



Excellent exercises take time and resources to prepare and run; but they are an essential component of a business continuity programme to prove capability and to train people. It is important to get the best out of them and make sure they deliver against the business recovery objectives.

What makes a good exercise?

With this question in mind, Corpress has created an Exercise Checklist as an aide-memoire to help business continuity, crisis management and emergency professionals develop, run and observe exercises. The document shares Corpress partners’ combined experience gained over 20 plus years delivering global programmes for testing and training.

The Exercise Checklist includes a number of new ideas and approaches to exercises and simulations, which are designed to engage senior executives, reduce development time and maximise engagement across the business.

Get the best from your exercise programme in the year ahead by downloading the Checklist after free registration using the form below:



Friday, 27 February 2015 00:00

WHO warns on influenza pandemic signals

The current global influenza situation is characterized by a number of trends that must be closely monitored, says the World Health Organization (WHO) in a recent briefing document.

According to WHO these trends include:

  • An increase in the variety of animal influenza viruses co-circulating and exchanging genetic material, giving rise to novel strains;
  • Continuing cases of human H7N9 infections in China; and
  • A recent spurt of human H5N1 cases in Egypt.
  • Changes in the H3N2 seasonal influenza viruses, which have affected the protection conferred by the current vaccine, are also of particular concern.

The highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus, which has been causing poultry outbreaks in Asia almost continuously since 2003 and is now endemic in several countries, remains the animal influenza virus of greatest concern for human health. However, over the past two years, H5N1 has been joined by newly detected H5N2, H5N3, H5N6, and H5N8 strains, all of which are currently circulating in different parts of the world. In China, H5N1, H5N2, H5N6, and H5N8 are currently co-circulating in birds together with H7N9 and H9N2.

“The diversity and geographical distribution of influenza viruses currently circulating in wild and domestic birds are unprecedented since the advent of modern tools for virus detection and characterization. The world needs to be concerned,” states WHO.

Virologists interpret the recent proliferation of emerging viruses as a sign that co-circulating influenza viruses are rapidly exchanging genetic material to form novel strains.
The emergence of so many novel viruses has created a diverse virus gene pool made especially volatile by the propensity of H5 and H9N2 viruses to exchange genes with other viruses. The consequences for animal and human health are “unpredictable yet potentially ominous” says WHO.

On many levels, the world is better prepared for an influenza pandemic than ever before, according to WHO. However, the level of alert is high and although the world is better prepared for the next pandemic than ever before, it remains highly vulnerable, especially to a pandemic that causes severe disease. Nothing about influenza is predictable, including where the next pandemic might emerge and which virus might be responsible. The world was fortunate that the 2009 pandemic was relatively mild, but such good fortune is no precedent, says WHO.

Read the WHO document.

The Business Continuity Institute’s North America awards will take place on 24th March 2015 during the DRJ Spring World in Orlando. The awards recognise the achievements of business continuity professionals and organizations based in the USA and Canada.

The BCI has now issued the shortlist for the awards which is as follows:

Continuity and Resilience Consultant

  • Robbie Atabaigi, KPMG
  • Jeff Blackmon FBCI, Strategic Continuity Solutions
  • Christopher Duffy, Strategic BCP
  • Paul Kirvan FBCI
  • Debjyoti Mukherjee, KPMG

Continuity and Resilience Newcomer

  • Garrett Hatfield, MetLife, Inc.
  • William Kearney, Cameron
  • Tamika McLester, Crawford & Company

Continuity and Resilience Team

  • Business Resiliency Office (BRO), Automatic Data Processing (ADP)
  • ETS Enterprise Resiliency Department, Educational Testing Service
  • TMG Health Team, TMG Health

Continuity and Resilience Provider (Service/Product)

  • Axcient
  • ClearView Continuity
  • Everbridge
  • Fusion Risk Management, Inc.
  • MissionMode
  • Strategic BCP
  • Virtual Corporation
  • xMatters, Inc.

Continuity and Resilience Innovation

  • 9yahds, Inc.
  • Strategic BCP
  • Send Word Now
  • Quorum Technologies

Industry Personality

  • Suzanne Bernier MBCI
  • Christopher Duffy
  • Frank Leonetti FBCI

More details.

by Ben J. Carnevale

Business Continuity, Resiliency and Emergency Management Planning teams are often looking for additional ideas, programs and campaigns to help those teams be more prepared and ready to mitigate losses from potential disasters affecting the organization where they work, and the community where they work and live with their families.

Our staff believes that the America’s PrepareAthon™ campaign qualifies as one of the best resources for those teams to look for ideas and assistance for taking action to increase emergency preparedness and resilience.

America’s PrepareAthon! is a grassroots campaign for action within the United States to increase community emergency preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions, and exercises. Throughout the year, America’s PrepareAthon! ™ helps communities and individuals across the country to practice preparedness actions before a disaster or emergency strikes.

Will 2015 be the year the cloud gets past the hype? While cloud-based file sharing and other cloud services are being adopted by almost all businesses, the cloud is still in the early stages of its technological revolution. Whether it is personal computers, the internet, or 3D printing, every new technology goes through a period of hype and disillusionment before the really productive innovation takes place.

Gartner calls this the Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies. According to Gartner, cloud computing has already passed the inflated expectations people had about it and everyone is beginning to become disillusioned by it. But that’s not a bad thing! Once the hype ends, real enlightenment can begin, and that’s where really useful and significant things get created.

So now that the hype over the cloud is over, is 2015 the year of enlightenment?



(TNS) — The tornado that struck Joplin, Mo., nearly four years ago left 161 people dead and much of the city devastated.

But the storm taught forecasters lessons that may have saved lives during subsequent disasters, including the May 2013 tornadoes in the Oklahoma City area, a National Weather Service official said Wednesday.

During a keynote address Wednesday at the National Tornado Summit in Oklahoma City, National Weather Service Deputy Director Laura Furgione discussed lessons the agency learned from a series of deadly tornadoes in the spring of 2011.



Friday, 27 February 2015 00:00

Moving 911 Out of the Landline Era

Among the many services state and local governments provide, few are as popular, as trusted or as essential as 911. Americans place roughly 240 million 911 calls each year, says the National Emergency Number Association, and access to 911 is nearly universal. Nevertheless, the system so many Americans rely on today to report emergencies and other problems stands on the brink of obsolescence.

While Americans are now accustomed to using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social-media platforms for the rapid-fire sharing of news and information, most 911 systems can't handle the texts, videos, data and images that we increasingly use to communicate.

That's because in many parts of the country 911 is still rooted in the landline-telephone-based infrastructure that gave the system its start in 1968. As of November 2014, just 152 counties in 18 states even had the capability for citizens to text to 911. And only a handful of states -- such as Iowa and Vermont -- have taken the leap to Internet-enabled 911, known as "next-generation 911."



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