The events that unfolded recently in Mumbai, India were tragic. My prayers go out to those who have suffered as a result of this horrific event.
The unfortunate aspect of an event like Mumbai is that is illustrates how vulnerable we all are to terrorist acts and cataclysmic events. Most of the people reading this article work in what would be considered, in military terms, a “soft target.” (An unarmored or undefended target) Mumbai, Oklahoma City, 9/11, Katrina, and the Northridge earthquake share a common thread. The event itself and/or the magnitude of the event were unforeseen.
Following each event there were businesses left with questions. What now? What do we tell our employees? How do we contact our employees? Where and how are we going to conduct business? How do we address employee concerns about safety? Did we have adequate backup procedures in place? How will we pay our employees? What do we provide employees to assist them in overcoming trauma and grief issues? How do we provide adequate assurance to customers and vendors that our business continues to be viable? How will we address media inquiries?
These are not easy questions to answer. Disaster preparedness in the 21st century entails more than buying a First Aid kit at the local Costco. While I certainly hope that your organization never has to answer these questions, it is imperative to address these questions now. In an information age and a global economy, the companies that survive a disaster are those that planned ahead. The time to implement disaster preparedness protocols is now and not in the midst of crisis. HR professionals, this is your wake up call.
Nothing in this Blog should be considered legal advice or to form an attorney client relationship. Individuals with legal concerns should seek the advice of an attorney that can provide advice design to address their unique circumstance.