You can’t bear to watch the coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. But you can’t turn it off, either.
The first thing we are taught to do is to pull out our disaster recovery plan, notify key people, and set up our command center. We either convene at our corporate headquarters or at a company facility some 150 miles away. In the case of businesses in the Gulf Coast area, the HQ may no longer exist, or you can’t get to it, and you probably can’t get anywhere else, either. But you already would have found out that you can’t call anyone anyway. Even the first response authorities are having trouble communicating.
Some businesses, including a law firm profiled here, are making plans for a long-term relocation to Baton Rouge because of the storm. One law firm was lucky in finding that client records were safe. DuPont is dealing with a chemical plant that suffered a direct hit (and was days earlier found to be the source of a toxic tort claim).
I’m increasing my Monday donation to the American Red Cross, but even that seems a drop in the bucket.
Rather than provide links to “helpful disaster recovery resources,” it seems more appropriate to state the obvious. Few predicted this level of devastation. They knew it was a risk (you live near the ocean in the South, after all), and thought they had safeguards (e.g., the levees and escape routes), but if anyone told people how bad it could really be, few would have believed it.
The paradigm hasn’t shifted, it was washed away.
When there is looting in the streets, what’s a business to do? And whom does the Governor normally call out to restore order? Correct. And where are they? Exactly.