Welcome to my new blog.

This is my first blog.  It’s my hope that through this medium, I can share with you relevant and useful information (and opinions) concerning the topics of emergency management, business continuity, and leadership.  While there are many topics in these three areas from which to choose, I sincerely hope that readers will become engaged in the discussion by way of reader comments, including suggestions for future topics or the site itself.  I plan to post a new article once a month on the first of the month, so watch for my next posting on January 1, 2011.  I can’t believe the New Year is only a coule of weeks away.  What happened to 2010?

Oh well, let’s get started blogging ….

When I came into the business continuity field over eighteen years ago, it was more commonly referred to as “disaster recovery”.   Coming from a job in a Sales environment, I knew knowing about disasters let alone how to recover from one.  But I quickly was initiated by responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew and then the Midwest floods.

It was in my early “learning” years that I began to see what a significant impact technology was having on the business where I worked.  Like everywhere else, technology organizations were moving up from being a back office support function (remember the “data processing” organizations?) to becoming a much more strategic (leading) component of the business model.  In this new age, business continuity would not only need to address the recovery of critical operations but also the technologies need to support those functions.  And, to truly be effective we would need to draw on the synergies found in emergency management (coming from the old Civil Defense days).  Bottom line, we needed to embrace both philosophies, business continuity AND emergency management.

With that in mind I began learning in earnest what these two fields were about and how they could be leveraged together, both at work and in the community.  As we began improving business continuity plans, we incorporated significant effort in teaching others how to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies and disasters.  What they learned at work not only helped the business but also helped the community at large.

In the mid-90’s I became very involved in a program FEMA created called “Project Impact”.  It was a program that encouraged communities to collaborate with key stakeholder groups in the community (especially the private sector) to look for opportunities to improve the disaster resiliency within the community.   Unfortunately, most communities didn’t fully appreciate the seed money that FEMA provided and as such did not build sustainment capabilities into their projects.  Hence, when the federal funding went away, so did most of the Project Impact initiatives.  To this day, I think “Project Impact” was one of the best programs put into action by FEMA.

More recently, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT; http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert) program is another example of a terrific program developed by FEMA that has so many connection points including business, schools, and faith-based.  I’ve witnessed successful implementations of CERT within businesses, churches, and schools.  We must continue to look for opportunities to prepare ourselves and families, our employees, and others in the community.  From a business standpoint, if our employees aren’t prepared at home, how can we ever expect our essential employees to come to work to help with the recovery there?  If you haven’t taken a CERT class yet, I strongly encourage you to look around in your community (contact your local police, fire department, or emergency management agency) for a CERT class and enroll.  The majority are free, and it will be well worth the time you invest.

There’s a lot more that could be said, but I’ll hold these thoughts for future blogs.  In the mean time, please feel free to drop me a comment or suggestion.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.

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2 Responses to Welcome to my new blog.

  1. Mr WordPress says:

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Carrie V says:

    I love this idea and look forward to reading the next article. I am blogging on emergency preparedness at http://www.everydayprovidence.com.

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