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Volume 27, Issue 4

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When is a Disaster NOT a Disaster?

Written by  Patrick Ridder, MBCP, MBCI, CHCP Friday, 25 April 2014 18:35

When was the last time someone experienced a “good disaster?” By definition, the two terms seem mutually exclusive. Many popular thesauri list synonyms that include calamity, catastrophe, defeat, failure, and fiasco among many others. Conversely, the antonyms, or opposites, include positive words such as achievement, benefit, happiness, miracle, and victory. The term disaster conjures an image of utter and complete destruction. This destruction would be so profound as to fully incapacitate, leaving no avenue for response, utterly and completely without options. Because of the negative connotations, we should resist the immediate urge to proclaim an event a disaster. The event in and of itself is NOT the disaster. A tornado ripping through an empty field is not a disaster. The disaster is measured by the impact the event has had on our personal or professional interests such as family, home, workplace, etc. In the professional environment, the event may have impacted service