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Special Reports
Articles

When an 8.9 magnitude quake struck Japan on March 11, it triggered massive destruction and loss of life. The historic tremor was the strongest quake ever to hit Japan, and the fifth largest to strike any country since 1900. The country’s prime minister has said the crisis is the worst to strike Japan since World War II.

Recovery efforts began immediately to rescue thousands of citizens stranded in debris or swept away in the devastating tsunami that followed the quake.  At last count, the death toll stood at 1800 confirmed deaths with an estimate of more than 9,000 still unaccounted for in the worst hit areas of the country. The tsunami brought waves of more than 23 feet in some regions.

Soon, the recovery efforts will move into the rebuilding stage. In the meantime, it is mind-boggling to watch as the country suffers such a blow. The images that reach us are heartbreaking. We watch as the photos and news coverage show entire towns destroyed, buildings crumbled like matchsticks, and villages washed away as a sea of rage sweeps through them.

The country’s problems are compounded by the damage to two nuclear reactors in Japan.  Both stricken reactors were flooded with sea water as an emergency action to avoid full meltdowns of the nuclear cores. Japanese officials have said the release of radioactivity outside the plants has been modest, but still measures twice the level Japan considers safe. Massive evacuations of the areas surrounding the plants have continued for days since the tremor first struck.

The earthquake is estimated to be the most expensive quake in history. Early numbers say the total destruction is more than $100 billion. This includes more than $20 billion in damage to residences, $40 billion in damage to infrastructure and the rest comes from damage from fires and the tsunami.

The loss of life can never be recovered and many areas of Japan will never be the same. But as business continuity planners, we know there will be rebuilding and it will showcase numerous lessons learned for all of us around the globe.

In this special section, DRJ first wants to acknowledge the horrific loss of life and property that Japan has suffered. Secondarily, we are offering a place for information-sharing and an exploration of how disasters of this magnitude can affect a country on every level:  humanitarian, economically, and environmentally.

Continue to check back over the next few days as business continuity experts from around the globe share their thoughts and ideas about the devastation in Japan. This is sure to be a fascinating look into a historic situation and the recovery process that follows.

January 8, 2013

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During much of the past 25 years, planners and consultants have proven their worth by producing documents – three-ring binders, Word files, Excel spreadsheets – to obtain a glorified checkmark from auditors to satisfy basic regulatory requirements and provide management a comfort level that “we’re covered.” In today’s fast-paced, hyper-competitive, global business environment, executives now ask a few questions: Does BCM make us money? Does BCM save us money? Does BCM benefit our customers? Is BCM only an elaborate satisfier of regulatory compliance? During tough economic times – when tax payers are the virtual owners of General Motors, AIG, Fannie Mae, and companies like Lehman Brothers, Bears Stearns, and Stelco no longer exist – executives are choosing not to fund BCM simply to meet regulatory requirements. They’re not interested in spending precious corporate funds to produce three-ring binders and documents in a SharePoint environment of dubious value. They refuse to spend a dollar more than

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With 23 years of experience in software engineering Greg Povolny has developed technology for the Department of Defense, Pennsylvania's National Guard, and Florida's Department of Children and Families. He has seven patents for inventions with data interoperability. He is the founder of Mindshare Technology and the original architect of the SAMS technology and will use his experience and technology framework to deliver on state-wide solutions for emergency management and disaster preparedness. Phelan: What do you see as the needs of the not-for-profit sector that can be met with IT solutions? Povolny: From an IT perspective, the not-for-profit sector is left to its own devices with regard to emergency planning and disaster management. Often there is limited budget, lack of technology, limited or no standards and where technology solutions

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Jeffrey M. Dato, MBCP Vice President, Risk Management and Corporate Real Estate Pinnacle Airlines Corporation Congratulations! By reading this, you are taking the first step along the journey to better understanding of how an effective business continuity program can affect (directly or indirectly) who you (as a company) are, how and with whom you do business, and which strategic direction to follow in order to minimize downside exposure to operational and reputational risk. The recent SEC ruling requiring companies to document risk management issues with their proxy statement underscores the scrutiny offices and directors are under with regards to managing their business in a prudent manner. That venue is an excellent opportunity to showcase the lengths your organization is going to ensure operational resiliency and how you value all stakeholders when considering strategic decisions. Your resiliency vehicle, business continuity management (BCM), is just one component of managing enterprise risk, typically tied to an enterprise risk management (ERM) program. As with ERM, linking BCM to your corporate mission statement

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DRJ Proudly Presents In lean times, it is important to find low-cost solutions for your tough problems. DRJ has compiled material to assist you in finding information quickly and easily from industry experts. Service providers are an invaluable resource for low-cost solutions. We have assembled suggestions and recommendations from several vendors. These solutions offer an opportunity for you to view what is available and how it might help in your organization. For additional information on anything listed, please contact the vendor through the information provided. In addition, you will find a variety of articles from the DRJ archives. Each includes different tips and recommendations for cost-cutting, budgeting, reducing expenditures and more. "Appeared in DRJ's Winter 2009 Issue"

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As business continuity planners, we know the importance of protecting our organization. But will everyone in the firm agree with that assessment? Will they back a business continuity plan? It is hard to achieve proper levels of protection without having full commitment from all involved.
Beginning with Sept. 11, 2001, the premise that a disaster is “a low probability, high consequence event” has become redefined in reality as “a high probability, very high consequence event.”