DISASTER AND BUSINESS CONTINUITY

 

“it’s never too late to take calculated risk-taking chance of investing time,

efforts and resources not only of and by the government (national, local)

 but also by the private sector to ensure business continuity during

 or immediately after disaster”

(Photo credits to the owner- http://www.thesun.co.uk)

japan

When I was still at the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), I was deployed to participate in a seminar on disaster and business continuity organized and facilitated by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) regional office in Davao City.

In the seminar, we were lectured on first, the fundamentals and basics of earthquake and volcanic eruption, and later on during the day someone from the facilitators gave inputs on disaster risk reduction and management.  Finally, the event was concluded with a workshop on impact and risk assessment in the workplace and we were tasked to propose an emergency plan for a magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

It was unique and insightful experience I had with disaster risk reduction.  It was unique because it is rare and often neglected, yet essential subject in the field of disaster preparedness.   It was insightful because aside from learning terminologies, dynamics and information about earthquake and volcanic eruption, it was timely to bring the essence and significance of business continuity, albeit disaster occurrence.

By the way, of the almost 50 participants in attendance, only about 10 of us were from government offices.  Most of the participating personalities were from the private sector, representing various types and kinds of business and operating in different offices.

Looking at the present, at about 5 minutes ago, I happened to watch a live stream of the possible tsunami resulted from a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake in Japan on Facebook.  While earthquake and tsunami in Japan is not new, equally observing has been the “not new” resilience of the Japanese in bouncing back from these experiences.  While Japan is economically able to do so, equally observing again also is the culture of preparedness developed upon the people and their system which made them famous of surviving and standing back again whenever disasters strike.  However, as of this moment, we will enjoin ourselves to pray for Japan’s safety.

Moving forward, I believe that now is the proper time to tackle the issues and concerns related to disaster and business continuity in our own ground, the Philippines.   While it is true that the two different but closely related subjects are often overlooked, avoided and temporized, it’s never too late to take calculated risk-taking chance of investing time, efforts and resources not only of and by the government (national, local) but also by the private sector to ensure business continuity on or immediately after disaster.

Lip-service is not the right choice for now.  Clear, comprehensive and integrated programs and action are musts in these subjects.

And to put colorful icing to the delicious cakes, it’s an opportunity for government, especially local governments to show and express good governance by exhibiting strong political leadership while at the same time maximizing genuine people’s participation.

Disaster and Business Continuity sound good.  Programs and action for business continuity amidst the threat and impact of disaster tastes even better.

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