Monday, 29 October 2012

The wrath of Hurricane Sandy continues - latest update

Ralph Petti MBCI, CPCP
New York, NY – Monday, October 29, 2012 – 16:00 ET
Now that we have spent a tense day of evacuations, road closures, political assurances and several casualties, we await the evening.  The wrath of Hurricane Sandy has intensified
and some business colleagues as far west as 100 miles away in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have lost power.

For us, our lights have flickered as we have had a constant barrage of rain and wind all day long.  With steady winds at 20 MPH and gusts at about double that, we are expecting sustained winds of 50 MPH tonight (why does this always happen in the dark?) and gusts to 85 MPH.   

With 85 MPH gusts, that will be the level of Hurricane-force winds right here in New York City.  Wow!

If there were businesses that were prepared to respond to such an event, they would have no doubt asked their constituents to ‘shelter-in-place’ or move to an area within the facility to better ensure the safety of all.  Traditional disaster recovery planning should be based on “All-Hazards Planning” so that in the event of any disaster, companies can respond in some regard to the nature of the calamity. 

More and more roads are closed, including the two major (perhaps only) thoroughfares along the East Side and West Side of Manhattan.  Speaking of which, after being purchased from Native American tribes for just $24 in trinkets and silver in 1626, the island of Manhattan is still “an island” surrounded by about 5 bridges and four tunnels – most of which have been closed today due to the storm. 

Within the midtown area, at 1430 ET this afternoon, we had the news that a crane had toppled off of a 90-story building and was dangling some 1100 feet off the ground.  They evacuated the area, but were concerned that the strongest winds (triple the current impact) were still to come (in the dark!) 

Whenever a company takes the time to plan for a disaster event, they need to invite the participation of all key business departments.  Human Resources, Personnel, Public Relations, and others typically not in the BC/DR planning mode (Information Technology, Operations, Finance are examples of most of the typically involved groups) need to all work together.
 
Ralph Petti, MBCI, CBCP is the President of Continuity Dynamics, Inc., an international firm focused on the areas of risk management, business continuity and disaster recovery planning. As a Member of The Business Continuity Institute, he is now sequestered in an apartment Manhattan’s Upper East Side with water and a myriad of supplies and is waiting for the storm to strike the NYC area tonight.  Mr. Petti has already been a guest subject matter expert on The Fox Business News Channel and is now sending frequent updates to The BCI. Reach him at Ralph.Petti@ContinuityDynamics.com or at 908.310.6381.

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