« Business Continuity

Families of Pittsburgh flooding victims file lawsuits against city

Comprehensive business continuity planning can be extremely beneficial in ensuring that individuals are educated on best practices during an emergency.
Comprehensive business continuity planning can be extremely beneficial in ensuring that individuals are educated on best practices during an emergency.

Training and preparation are important aspects to any evacuation plan. Whether it is emergency response teams or workers within a business, without a comprehensive risk analysis and subsequent idea of how to react in an emergency, the costs could be great.

Tabletop exercises, for example, are one way to ensure the safety of individuals. When companies include these in a business continuity plan, it will help all employees understand what needs to be done to keep themselves and others safe in an emergency.

The city of Pittsburgh is working hard to prevent another incident like the flash floods from 2011. The families of four victims have sued several government and private entities, claiming that more could have been done to stop the deaths.

Specifically, the lawsuit targets the city, its water and sewer authority, Allegheny County and its sewage authority, Chester Engineering Inc., according to The Associated Press.

Prosecuting attorneys Alan Perer and Paul Manion told the AP that they’ve determined that at least 30 flash floods have stranded vehicles in the same spot since 1 person was killed and 12 injured in a flood on June 9, 1951.

“City, state and county officials have since studied the site and PennDOT has spent $450,000 to install automatic gates that close portions of the road and automatically alert emergency responders if a certain amount of water is detected,” the article said. “The city has also trained about 1,700 public safety employees in swift-water rescue tactics since the flooding, which witnesses described as chaotic.”

While lawsuits cannot always be predicted or stopped, organizations can ensure that they are as prepared as possible for natural disasters and other emergency situations. With thorough business continuity planning, all staff can be fully educated, which can greatly assist in disaster planning and prevention.