The PEI Journal has long planned to run an article on disaster planning. What steps hould a business take to help weather an
unexpected crisis or catastrophe? A fire. A tornado.
Embezzlement. A flood. A hurricane.
The fact is that disasters happen more often than
you think—and the consequences to lives, property
and profitability can be enormous. Given the very
real risks, it just makes sense to have a strategy for
facing the unthinkable.
We expected to run that
article as soon as we had an
opening in the 2014 editorial
calendar. What we didn’t
expect was that the raw data
for the story would come
from our own experience.
But so it has.
As most PEI members
know by now, on the night
of Feb. 11, 2014, PEI’s
headquarters building in Tulsa was destroyed by
fire. No one was hurt, and we’re grateful for that.
But since that fateful night, we have seen firsthand
the devastating impact a crisis can have on an
organization and its people.
In the last few months, we have learned lots
of things. Candidly, we didn’t do everything
right. There’s been some trial and error. But, the
safeguards we put in place before the fire and
the steps we have taken since substantially
mitigated the consequences of the disaster
and contributed to our recovery.
One of the biggest lessons
we have learned is this:
Developing a “disaster plan”—
a document that is created,
filed away and dusted off if the
need ever arises—isn’t good
enough. Much more important
is “disaster planning”—an ongoing process that continues
during the crisis itself.
This article will share
PEI headquarters, just hours after the
what we learned through our
experience. It’s up to you to determine how the
lessons apply to your business, your people
and your specific situation.
By Rick Long