Spring World 2015

Conference & Exhibit

Attend The #1 BC/DR Event!

Fall Journal

Volume 27, Issue 4

Full Contents Now Available!

DRJ Blogs

DRJ Community Blogs
Category >> DRJ Blogs
Nov 09
2012

Taking Care of Your People in Disaster Response

Posted by Dr Tom Phelan in Untagged 

Dr Tom Phelan

It's about time. Someone has admitted that DR/BCP writers have ignored the personal issues of employees following a disaster when creating business continuity plans, reviewing them, or just writing about them. Eric Krell wrote in Business Finance on November 6, 2012, an article entitled "Sandy Exposes the Human Side of Continuity." I was alerted to the article by Phil Rothstein. Perhaps for Mr. Krell, Sandy was HIS first exposure to the human side of continuity. I've been teaching a unit called "Take Care of Your People" with my colleague Deidrich Towne, Jr. at DRJ conferences since 1999. We have presented lessons learned from our real experience of "people" issues associated with disaster response.

People, including employees, have routines that must be followed daily. Examples are taking care of children, pets, elderly parents, and farm animals. If you were to review Maslow's hierarchy, you wouldn't find work or career in the list of critical, life-sustaining functions. Let me give you an example. When putting together a strike plan, management employees were assigned duties requiring they work 6 days, 12-hour shifts. I got a call from a woman who said she couldn't work that many hours in a week. I told her it was a "condition of employment" for management personnel. She responded, "Dr. Phelan, three months ago my husband and I adopted a child on the condition I would not work outside the home more than 35 hours per week. If I accept the strike assignment, I will lose my child." I called her boss and set up a job-sharing arrangement to cover the duty.

Nov 08
2012

Cloud Based Data Helps Disaster Recovery from Hurricane Sandy

Posted by Adnan Raja in Disaster Recovery Hosting

Adnan Raja

In the months following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, businesses in southern Louisiana tried to get back to business as usual, but some of these businesses were gone for good.  Financial records, customer information, investor reports, and other electronic data was completely lost if it was stored locally on hard drives or external flash drives.  An important and very costly lesson was learned that year regarding the importance of data backup in the cloud

Fortunately, this time around many companies did rely on the cloud as a data backup/disaster recovery solution.  And, because of this, they were able to continue working off of Smartphones and laptops without a break in operations when Hurricane Sandy hit their offices.  With time, companies in the Northeast that were affected by Hurricane Sandy will start to pick up the pieces and get back on their feet.

Nov 08
2012

Learning the Hard Way

Posted by Vicki Thomas in hurricane sandy

Vicki Thomas

Despair. Anger. Frustration. Hopelessness. Sadness. Disappointment.

This is just a brief list of the emotions that folks impacted by Hurricane Sandy are feeling. It is impossible to understand what the citizens of the hard-hit areas are feeling. Many have lost everything - homes, belongings, businesses, and likely along with this - optimism.

Nov 05
2012

The Benefits of Conferences

Posted by Vicki Thomas in DRJ Spring World

Vicki Thomas

As you likely know, the team at Disaster Recovery Journal holds two conferences each year: DRJ Fall World and DRJ Spring World. DRJ is not alone in hosting, organizing, and managing these learning and networking opportunities. A quick search of the Internet reveals a range of conferences, workshops, and seminars focused on the issues of business continuity and disaster recovery.

 

Nov 04
2012

A Little Help from My Friends - Gasoline Supply Chain in Northeast

Posted by Dr Tom Phelan in Emeregency Management

Dr Tom Phelan

We have all heard the news that gasoline is in short supply along the east coast, especially in New York City, New Jersey and the shore of Connecticut. But why is gasoline selling at 19 cents lower per gallon in Upstate New York?

Refineries and distributors of petroleum products have a supply chain that demands they "move" product and accept new deliveries. With fewer sales along the east coast due to power outages, the supply on hand must go somewhere else. No one can purchase normal amounts of gasoline in the nation's most demanding market.

Nov 01
2012

Hurricane Sandy Update

Posted by Vicki Thomas in hurricane sandy

Vicki Thomas

Well, in theory the worst of Hurricane Sandy is now over. But for hundreds of thousands of people, the destruction left behind is a large barrier to getting over the storm's destruction. With some people trying to get back to normal - battling traffic to get into Manhattan there are many many other people who are facing lost homes, missing belongings, the loss of businesses and many unanswered questions.

The East Coast is in the early days of realizing how much Sandy has really impacted folks. While some will be wringing their hands suggesting that people, government, and business should have been better prepared - there really are no clear cut answers. In coming days we will learn of communities, businesses, people and institutions that were prepared for such a disaster and we'll hear and read stories of those that weren't. Now is not a time for placing blame and pointing fingers - but rather a time to come together and support those that we can.

Oct 31
2012

What Can Hurricane Sandy Teach Us About Disaster Recovery?

Posted by Adnan Raja in data center

Adnan Raja

As Hurricane Sandy headed towards Manhattan earlier this week, data centers across New York tested their emergency systems and prepared for the hit.  However, for one ISP, this was simply not enough to prevent this freak storm from affecting their data center in lower Manhattan. 

Hurricane Sandy flooded the entire basement of Datagram’s data center on Monday, requiring it to be shut down to avoid infrastructure damage.  Luckily, many of Datagram’s clients already had backup and disaster recovery services with the company’s secondary location in Connecticut and were able to remain up during the storm because of the failover protection provided to them.  That's the good thing about cloud hosting - your data is never in just one location. One data center could undergo failure and your company data will remain completely safe. 

Oct 31
2012

Trunk or Treat - a story of Resilience

Posted by Dr Tom Phelan in Emeregency Management

Dr Tom Phelan

In Schoharie, New York, where over 200 homes were damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011, the community is demonstrating resiliency today, Halloween, in the throes of Hurricane Sandy. With so many homes, streets, sidewalks, and other potential hazards due to flooding, the community celebrated Halloween with "Trunk or Treat." Several community residents bring their vehicles to a central parking lot, decorate their trunks, tailgates or hatch backs, and invite children to "Trunk or Treat" by stopping at each vehicle. Many homes were uninhabitable in 2011, and many still are. Without safe passage along debris-laden streets in the village, the idea provides a safe and enjoyable way for children to have fun on Halloween.

This is one terrific example of resiliency. Others observed this year are the e-mails sent by insurance companies and banks to customers who may have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy. My insurance agency sent me an e-mail with instructions on how to contact them and how to file a claim if damages occurred due to Hurricane Sandy. Banks have sent messages to customers indicating relaxation of due dates on credit cards if the customer loses access to either electronic or postal payments.

Oct 30
2012

Staying Up-To-Date with Hurricane Sandy

Posted by Vicki Thomas in hurricane sandy

Vicki Thomas

Oct 26
2012

Using Toolkits to Make Business Continuity Easier

Posted by Courtney Bowers in Business Continuity , Avalution Blogs

Courtney Bowers

By Greg Marbais, Avalution Consulting
Article originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Blog

Many business continuity professionals face shrinking budgets and, because of an expanding business continuity program scope and aggressive recovery objectives, lack the time necessary to “touch” all areas of the organization and optimally prepare for disruptive events. As a result, practitioners need a way to create repeatable processes to execute recurring planning activities in a decentralized manner while making efficient use of the organization’s personnel to comply with management’s expectations. One approach we often find useful in rolling out a standardized, thorough, efficient and repeatable process for business continuity activities is the creation of a business continuity program toolkit. A business continuity toolkit typically contains a set of instructional narratives, as well as templates, tools and examples to help dispersed personnel appropriately execute business continuity planning activities consistent with organizational standards.