There is an old adage that says the only constant is change. This is never more true than in the business continuity world. Change is all around us. The risks we face are continually evolving, melding and growing. With these ever-changing risks, a planner should never feel 100 percent comfortable with their plans and tests.
Take for example, the diverse amount of newsworthy events that have occurred early in 2010. When you examine some of the headlines, the wide variety becomes evident.
On Jan. 12, the incredible 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti. The devastation there was astounding and continues today. More than 300,000 were killed and entire villages were destroyed. Total damage estimates range between $8 billion and $14 billion.
Another earthquake struck Chile in late February. This one was an 8.8 on the Richter scale and killed nearly 300 people. Massive damage was done to buildings, roads and bridges in the area. Several Pacific countries were hit by tsunami waves caused by the quake.
In February, massive snowstorms blanked much of the United States. Washington DC was buried under nearly two feet of snow. In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and other states, as much as 36 inches fell in a 24 hour period.
March brought news of even more events that business continuity planners must be aware of and plan for.
Flooding in the upper northeast forced the evacuation of hundreds and flooded hundreds of homes and businesses. In Rhode Island, the worst floods in 100 years destroyed or closed roads, overwhelmed sewage systems and covered Amtrak train tracks. Numerous businesses were flooded, leaving owners wondering if they would be able to re-open since flood insurance was not commonplace in that area. Other areas of New England, including Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire were also hit hard by the heavy rains and flooding.
In other news, terrorist attacks occurred in Russia. On March 29, Chechen rebels set off bombs in subway stations, killing 39 and injuring dozens of other commuters. On March 31, two suicide bombers killed 12 people, including nine police officers in southern Russia. The subway bombings in Moscow were the first terrorist attacks in the city since 2004.
In Michigan, a band of militia members were arrested on a suspected plot to kill police officers and start a streak of violent acts. Eight members were arrested, including the alleged ringleader David Brian Stone. The “Hutaree militia” was preparing an attack in April.
These are some very diverse events that have captured the headlines. Keeping up with these challenges can be difficult.
At our recent conference, Spring World 2010, there were many comments from attendees discussing this exact same thing. Most claimed the best way to keep up is awareness and education.
DRJ always presents a wide variety of topics in our magazine, Web site and at our conferences. We try to cover as much of the vital information as possible. On our site, you can always find the latest news with our Hot Topics section. And, you can read what others are saying about news events in our blogs.
We are currently planning our next conference, Fall World 2010, Sept. 19-22, 2010 in San Diego, Calif. Our Fall World 2010 site was recently launched and our conference agenda will be released soon.
If there is ever a topic you would like to see covered, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear your thoughts on what topics are capturing the attention of business continuity planners.
I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our conference!