JWA Blog

Are You Ready?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

When disaster strikes, recovering from the impact will take time. The tough question you need to answer is DO YOU HAVE THE TIME? Studies by FEMA show that 40% of businesses do not survive a major disaster and the principal reason is these businesses were not prepared. They did not have the resilience to bounce back from the impacts of the disaster.

The key to disaster resilience and the survival of your business is preparation through planning. Any planning effort needs to begin with what could potentially happen in the future and using a worst-case scenario is always the prudent place to start. Consider the worst disaster that WILL happen to our community and your business – a Cascadia earthquake. According to the Oregon Resilience Plan this event:

  • Impacts 35 million people from northern California to Vancouver B.C. and from the coast to the Cascade mountains. Where do you think the Rogue Valley will sit on the priority list for response by our State and Federal governments?
  • Geologists estimate our valley will experience an earthquake that is among the largest earthquakes ever recorded and our coastal communities to experience the largest earthquake ever recorded. Will your facilities survive and again, where will the Rogue Valley fit in on the response list given the greater devastation on the coast?
  • Collapses an estimated 40% of government buildings and severely damage or destroy 25% of all residences. How robust to you think the local government’s response can be and what will happen to your employees?
  • Will result in the following recovery timeline for our community (What will be the impact on your business?):


Disaster Preparedness means PLANNING - this is nothing more than a form of insurance and providing your business with a buffer against the inevitable. Your plans must be robust, complete and executable under the worst conditions imaginable. However, creating such a plan is not rocket science and does not have consume your precious time to the detriment of running your business. A good plan to prepare a plan can lead to a great plan with minimal impact on your important day-to-day operations.

A Disaster Preparedness Plan needs to start with preparing your employees for disaster. This is not only a moral imperative it is also key to the survival of your business. How will you respond and recover from a disaster such as a Cascadia event if your employees don’t show up? Other important questions you need to ask are:

How Important to Your Business is:

  • Location or Facility
  • Retaining Current Employees
  • Available Inventory or Product
  • A Safe Business or Workplace
  • Mainframe or Desktop Computers
  • An External Supplier or Provider


JWA Public Affairs offers disaster preparedness services for businesses and organizations of all sizes.


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