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The Dallas hospital treating the Ebola patient has just announced that the patient died.

The Liberian public health and airport security personnel in Liberia did their jobs, and checked outgoing passengers at three distinct checkpoints.  But airport personnel can do little when patients lie or the patient didn't know that what was thought to be malaria was actually Ebola.

We've patted ourselves on the back in this country for the sophistication of our medical capabilities, yet as I listened to the story today of the patient being sent away from the hospital in Dallas when his isolation and treatment might have meant that he would have lived, I thought once again of Dr. Atul Gawande's book, The Checklist Manifesto
This type of error is called one of ineptitude, as opposed to one of ignorance, presumably.  We don't know if this was an Ebola-specific checklist; one prepared by the hospital itself; or one from the Center for Disease Controls.  A quick read of Gawande's book might be very helpful, especially if the checklist has more than 5-7 items on it, without what Gawande calls "pause points."  His book is full of stories of how pilots, builders of skyscrapers and surgical teams perform extremely complicated feats, and how using checklists that involve every member of the team makes a difference.  His work in this respect for the World Health Organization has made a large impact:  deaths after surgeries have been reduced significantly by the implementation of several simple procedures that are part of the checklist.
I would also recommend the book to the new acting director of the Secret Service and to the panel that is currently being constituted to review the disturbing procedural/process failures over the last several years for the organization charged with guarding the president.  It may be that those procedures or processes have become shopworn.  Certainly it must be the case that, unless on a form of high alert (the United Nations responsibility, for example) agents' situational awareness is at an all time low.  Whether this is a factor related to the move from Treasury to the Department of Homeland Security or not is difficult to estimate, but will undoubtedly be reviewed by the panel.
The tipping point I mentioned last week seems more vivid as weeks go by.  Yet there was one piece of good news this morning:  that it appears Nigeria, the most populous and also most well-off African country in terms of infrastructure and medical personnel, has contained Ebola.  We just can't move quickly enough to get more personnel, hospitals, emergency operations centers and supplies deployed in the remaining countries. 

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This week Charlie discusses how the Ebola crisis is creeping up on all of us. 
The situation in West Africa, with the ongoing spread of Ebola, bears all the classic symptoms of a ‘creeping’ or ‘rising tide’ crisis.

In Tolly’s Handbook of Disaster and Emergency Management Principles and Practice (edited by Lakha & Moore, 2004) a rising tide crisis is described as a: “Problem which creeps up gradually, such as occurs in the case of organised crime, corruption, a developing infectious disease epidemic or a steady stream of refugees into a country. There is no clear starting point for the crisis and the point at which it becomes a crisis may only be clear in retrospect.”

At present the disease is out of control in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The latest news from the BBC says that in Sierra Leone there are five new cases of Ebola every hour and that a total of 765 new cases were reported in the West African state in the last week alone.

The problem is compounded by the fact that there are only 327 hospital beds in the country. The disease has killed 3,338 people so far. The situation is made even worse by the fact that 10% of Ebola deaths have been health professionals. Those trying to prevent the spread of the disease are being killed by it.

Tagged in: Business Continuity

This week Charlie discusses the Scottish referendum results.


I have written about Scottish independence before, but thought I would revisit the topic now that the referendum has been and gone.


Food is a universal language. So is man’s need to survive. Whether in the business world or the kitchen we need a simple recipe for business continuity success.  In this four part series I’ll introduce you to the four basic courses necessary when cooking up an appetizing and rewarding business continuity program. This week the focus is on doing what’s good for us…exercising and eating our veggies!

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DRJ Fall World is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to turn our attention to the companies who help us ensure we can provide you with a top-notch learning and networking experience.

Gold Sponsor: Send Word Now: Headquartered in New York City, and founded as a direct result of personal experiences during 9/11, Send Word Now is the leading worldwide provider of on-demand alerting for crisis communication. The company’s easy-to-use, web-based emergency notification solutions and mobile applications are today utilized by businesses, government agencies, universities and non-profit organizations to ensure fast, effective and two-way communication when it is needed the most. Send Word Now's enterprise-class and award-winning notification service is capable of transmitting tens of thousands of voice and text messages in minutes, while ensuring a full audit trail for after-action reporting and follow-up. Its conferencing and workflow solutions keep everyone informed and connected to the people and information necessary for safety and resilience. At Send Word Now, a Silver Sponsor of DRJ Spring World 2014 and Gold Sponsor of DRJ Fall World 2014, every message counts.

Silver Sponsors:

Tagged in: DRJ Fall World

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As a reader of the DRJ blog, you know that we're busy getting ready for DRJ Fall World. Our 51st conference is happening very soon so we thought it would be useful to remind you of the information you need to have a successful conference experience.

When: September 7 -10, 2014

Where: Hilton San Diego Bayfront (1 Park Boulevard)

Tagged in: DRJ Fall World

Corporate executives largely understand the importance of backups. Even though businesses recognize why they need data protection only a few have implemented a seamless backup, archive and disaster recovery system. Why? The lack of time, resources and energy appear on the surface to be the problem. Too many other IT and datacenter issues get in the way. At the source, however, the problem may simply be repeating pitfalls that foil successful implementations.

Here are three of the ultimately game-ending pitfalls that companies have experienced when implementing data backup and restoration incorrectly. These problems take the wind out of the sails for an IT datacenter.

Pitfall #1 : Not selecting the right backup method


Food is a universal language. So is man’s need to survive. Whether in the business world or the kitchen we need a simple recipe for business continuity success. The second “course” of this four part series takes a look at how picking the right strategy for your business continuity plan is key for its success. Also, to help deliver the “main course” I’ve invited a special guest chef -  IBM’s own, Chef Watson. 

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Don't know if you've heard the news but DRJ Fall World is just around the corner - September 7 - 10 in San Diego. We've fine-tuned our agenda, have a got a great line-up of industry experts to lead the numerous sessions, and we're rolling out the red carpet during our hospitality events. 

And to top things off, we've extended the $100 registration savings discount to August 14. This means you have two more days to take advantage of the discounted registration fee. 

As you know we want you to get the most value possible at our conferences. This is why we want you to take advantage of the DRJ Fall World pre- and post-conference courses. These courses allow you to extend your learning and to make the most of your travel and education budget.

Tagged in: DRJ Fall World

Originally posted on Rentsys Recovery Services’ blog.

In today’s world, many, if not most, companies are either part of a regulated industry or have been identified as a critical vendor in a customer’s supply chain. These organizations are audited by regulatory bodies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of Civil Rights or by another third-party auditor.

If your company falls into one of these two categories, you’re likely aware that most auditors look to see if your organization has implemented sound risk management and mitigation controls for safeguarding mission-critical data and business processes.

Tagged in: Cloud Computing

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Just like the kids who are anxiously looking at the calendar and counting down the number of summer vacation days left - we're also counting. The only difference is that we're excitedly counting the days left until DRJ Fall World 2014

Our 51st conference is being held in San Diego, CA from Sept. 7  - 10. Yes, very very soon. This means that we want you to be ready and prepared for our industry-leading conference. Make sure you've sent in your registration from and have reserved your hotel room at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Along with the many learning opportunities available to you at DRJ Fall World, don't forget about the networking you'll be able to do. Thanks to the hospitality events, the welcome reception, the exhibit hall and our networking breakfasts/lunches - you'll leave the conference with an updated contact list of peers and experts who can help you out at anytime.

Tagged in: DRJ Fall World

By Jacque Rupert, Avalution Consulting
Originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Business Continuity Blog

Nearly all business continuity professionals understand the importance of the business impact analysis (BIA) as the primary means for laying the foundation of a business continuity program. However, many professionals struggle to receive executive buy-in, as well as the necessary resources and support for the process. This article dispels common myths in attempt to help remove barriers to obtaining support and contributes to the creation of the business case for performing the BIA in any organization.

If you would like to learn more about the purpose and expected outcomes of the BIA, please check out: The Relationship Between the Business Impact Analysis and Risk Assessment.


Food is a universal language. So is man’s need to survive. Whether in the business world or the kitchen we need a simple recipe for business continuity success.  In this four part series I’ll introduce you to the four basic courses necessary when cooking up an appetizing and rewarding business continuity program.   Let's get started... Remember the "devil(ed egg) is in the detail".


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It's not just that airplanes have been disappearing, or shot down, or that the infectious disease Ebola is out of control in parts of Africa, or that Tel Aviv travel was suspended by major airlines when shelling came too close to the airport . Travel risk has always been an issue for corporations whose employees are spread round the globe.  In this morning's New York Times article, Joe Sharkey goes inside a gathering of corporate travel managers to better understand their concerns, including legal and ethical risks, given the last week or so of travel events.


If you're traveling on your own and don't have a corporate travel office to rely upon to filter out threats and make best recommendations, then your best bet is to go to the Department of State's website and read through the threat analysis they perform on countries you might visit. 


Some conferences are known for the learning component. Others have a reputation as being great for networking. What sets DRJ Fall World (and Spring World) apart from these conferences, is that our conferences are widely recognized for both the learning and networking aspects.

We've designed our conference schedule to ensure that you can maximize your learning opportunities with sessions run by leaders in the industry who are recognized for their knowledge and their ability to teach and share information. To extend this learning and to foster strong networking we've arranged for ample opportunities for you to meet with industry experts, your peers and industry service providers to discuss issues/trends/themes within business continuity and disaster recovery. 

So when you're looking at the Fall World conference agenda, remember that your learning opportunities extend beyond the conference room to casual meet-ups, the hospitality events, the exhibit hall and other networking opportunities. 

Tagged in: Fall World

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We don't really want to keep pointing out the date... but, July is almost over and August will be here very soon. To be more specific, August 7 will be here soon and if you want to save $100 on your DRJ Fall World registration, you need to register before August 7.

For those of you who have already registered and those of you who do register before August 7, your names will be entered in a draw to win a Kindle Fire HD. That's right, not only do you save on your conference registration and first choice at the sessions, but you also get the chance to win a prize! 

Along withe registration discount for our 51st conference, we've also arranged for special savings on your hotel room at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront and discounts on car rentals and airfare. 

Tagged in: DRJ Fall World

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It might only be July, but you know how the summer is - the days seem to pass by very quickly and before you know it - it's September. This is why now is the time to download the DRJ Fall World Agenda and to take advantage of our registration savings. 

Our 51st conference will be held from September 7 - 10 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. We received such excellent feedback on this new venue that we've decided to return for a second year. This stunning hotel and conference center has all the amenities you need for a successful learning and networking experience at DRJ Fall World. Along with outstanding rooms, you'll discover the nearby restaurants, the salt water pool, and the perks of being close to the San Diego Embarcadero. We have arranged for a special room rate for conference attendees, so we recommend you book your room sooner than later to take advantage of this special pricing

With a central theme of Building Your Program Using Best Practices, we have put together an agenda that offers you a range of learning opportunities that allow you to gain insight from the industry's top experts. Choose from workshops, general sessions, and break-out tracks that all focus on the latest trends, techniques and views on business continuity and disaster recovery. 

Tagged in: DRJ Fall World

This week Charlie gives you some of the key things to avoid when writing your plans.

Last week I helped plan and deliver a workshop for the Scottish Continuity Group. The theme of the day was to give the delegates ideas of ways to improve their plans. Presentations were given on a number of aspects of planning - including short plans, using business continuity software, the army way of planning and different ways to set out your plans. I gave a talk at the beginning of the workshop to set the scene. It was entitled “The Seven Deadly Sins of Business Continuity Plans” and I thought I would share the main points with you.

Sin 1 – Unnecessary information


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Charlie giving some key hints and tips for ISO22301 certification.


Early this week I was in Fremont, California supporting a company through their ISO22301 audit. We have been working with them for a year to get them ready for the audit. Monday and Tuesday were the days that the auditor was on site. We had already taken half of the company (the part based in Sweden) to ISO22301 certification, so were fairly confident that we would pass the audit. A different auditor is always an unknown entity. This meant that the audit was, as always, approached with a little apprehension.


This post was originally published on the RES-Q™ Services Blog.

A commitment is defined as being responsible for something; to pledge or obligate oneself to something; to entrust; to consign.