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Business continuity planning requires more than luck

It's important for companies in all industries to create a comprehensive business continuity plan, and not just rely on luck for when disaster strikes.
It's important for companies in all industries to create a comprehensive business continuity plan, and not just rely on luck for when disaster strikes.

The effects of Hurricane Sandy are still being felt all along the Eastern Seaboard. Companies across multiple industries are trying to find ways to bounce back from the superstorm, but a lack of electricity and serious flooding damage remain serious hindrances to a quick business resumption.

While this blog has recently discussed the importance of a comprehensive risk management assessment to ensure that a business continuity plan can be created that caters to individual organizational needs, some companies were just plain lucky when it came to Hurricane Sandy.

In a contribution piece for The New York Times, Paul Downs, founder of Paul Downs Cabinetmakers, wrote about his experience with "Frankenstorm," and how he was able to resume normal operations just one day after the clouds parted.

According to Downs, he wasn't concerned about flooding when they closed up shop on the Friday before the storm. Being on the fourth floor, with a power infrastructure not dependent on poles, he was also fairly confident the electrical systems would remain intact – which they did. He added that the only specific preparation he did was withdraw a couple of thousand dollars in small bills, in case the ATMs were not working.

"Have I learned anything from my experience? Not really, other than that it’s good to be lucky," Downs wrote. "There just hasn’t been much intersection between the type of damage that Sandy did and the list of things that we do. Clearly, however, this isn’t true for many, many businesses."

It's important for companies of all sizes and in every industry, to ensure that they have a comprehensive business continuity plan in place, and do not hope for the same outcome that Downs experienced. That way, when luck is not a factor, business resumption is still a viable option.