Tuesday, December 29, 2009

ERM-BC-COOP: Need to know documents


Lately there has been some discussion on DRJ's LinkedIn site [**] titled "How many employees should understand your organization’s emergency or crisis management plan?"

Fortunately, it has generated a number of responses.

Most responders think that the only answer is "All."

However, a few responders are concerned with sharing too much information, especially sensitive information and especially with some personnel lacking a "need to know."

That is understandable.

The solution is relatively simple and follows the scheme for most useful ERM-BC-COOP documentation: Create a complete document and distribute parts of the document on a "need to know" basis. The document also can be developed so that it can be distributed to "the world" with critical information easily removed prior to publication.

Basically, The Plan - be it business continuity or emergency/crisis management or any other - starts off with a high level overview.

  • What is the plan's purpose
  • What the plan includes
  • When the plan was created/revised
  • Who sponsored the plan; who authored the plan

All the above is "public" information.

In the case of an emergency/ crisis management plan, there might be a listing of several generic scenarios (e.g., building unavailable [for any reason], loss of communication, facility inaccessible [different from unavailable since people may be trapped in the facility]).

The scenarios would be in the "public information" category and distributed to all hands and can even be shared with "the world" much like a sanitized business continuity plan.

Everything else falls into restricted information.

Some of the restricted information can be shared with all hands. Included in this could be:

  • Emergency notification process and relevant numbers to call (e.g., in case of fire, dial 0 and tell the Operator the location of the fire)
  • Action to take in the event of various events (e.g., fire, smoke, electrical failure)
  • Telephone numbers personnel can call to check on operational status (e.g., if the facility is unavailable, when/where to report, what time code to use)
  • Policies and procedures relating to emergency/crisis situations

Finally, there is the restricted information sub-section, the "need to know" portion of the plan.

There an be two valid reasons for "need to know" restrictions.

First, and certainly "politically correct," is that there is no reason to burden all hands with information specific to a few people. The Crisis Management Team is a good example. These people are responsible for assessing (or having assessed) damages and making decisions regarding immediate personnel activities. Since "shelter-in-place" is included in an emergency/crisis management plan, there is more to consider than just "return to the facility."

Second, there may be truly sensitive information that must be restricted to a minimum number of personnel. HR-related information falls into this category; likewise InfoTech user information.

The mechanics of plan creation are documented at http://www.drj.com/articles/fall05/1804-04.html but basically require

  • Thoughtful document design (organization)
  • A word processor's "hidden text" capability
  • An editor/proofreader to assure all "sensitive" information can be hidden
  • A PDF generator (software)

In this case, both those who think everyone needs to know about an organization's emergency/crisis management plan and those who would restrict information are satisfied.

One caveat: As with all ERM-BC-COOP documents, this one must be exercised and maintained (kept up to date).

** http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestions=&gid=117659&forumID=3&sik=1262100736213


John Glenn, MBCI
Enterprise Risk Management practitioner (& sometime tech writer)
Looking for a new job

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Paying price for lack of vigilance


First case of highly drug-resistant TB found in US

LANTANA, Fla. [AP] – It started with a cough, an autumn hack that refused to go away.

Then came the fevers. They bathed and chilled the skinny frame of Oswaldo Juarez, a 19-year-old Peruvian visiting to study English. His lungs clattered, his chest tightened and he ached with every gasp. During a wheezing fit at 4 a.m., Juarez felt a warm knot rise from his throat. He ran to the bathroom sink and spewed a mouthful of blood.

I'm dying, he told himself, "because when you cough blood, it's something really bad."

It was really bad, and not just for him.

Doctors say Juarez's incessant hack was a sign of what they have both dreaded and expected for years — this country's first case of a contagious, aggressive, especially drug-resistant form of tuberculosis. The Associated Press learned of his case, which until now has not been made public, as part of a six-month look at the soaring global challenge of drug resistance.

Juarez's strain — so-called extremely drug-resistant (XXDR) TB — has never before been seen in the U.S., according to Dr. David Ashkin, one of the nation's leading experts on tuberculosis. XXDR tuberculosis is so rare that only a handful of other people in the world are thought to have had it.

"He is really the future," Ashkin said. "This is the new class that people are not really talking too much about. These are the ones we really fear because I'm not sure how we treat them."

Forty years ago, the world thought it had conquered TB and any number of other diseases through the new wonder drugs: Antibiotics. Then US Surgeon General William H. Stewart announced it was "time to close the book on infectious diseases and declare the war against pestilence won."

Read entire article at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091227/ap_on_he_me/as_med_when_drugs_stop_working_killer_tb


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ERM-BC-COOP: Trapped in trains and planes



Once again* our friends in the UK have proven that they still live in a "disaster recovery" mode. This time they partnered with their neighbors in France.

I realize it's not fair to paint all UK business continuity practitioners with the same brush; I personally know several who understand, and promote, complete risk management, including threat avoidance and mitigation. But I also recall that British Standard 25999 - at least in draft form - lacked any mention of "mitigation."

Recent articles, including "Chunnel train service suspended indefinitely" from the Dallas (TX) Morning News (http://www.dallasnews.com/) report that "passengers stayed underground for more than 15 hours without food or water, or any clear idea of what was going on.

"Services have been suspended since late Friday (18 December 2009), when a series of glitches stranded five trains inside the Channel Tunnel and trapped more than 2,000 passengers for hours in stuffy and claustrophobic conditions. More than 55,000 passengers have been affected" the article continued."

A New York Times article headlined "Eurostar Chief Vows to Resume Partial Service" (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/22/world/europe/22chunnel.html) quoted Aude Criqui, a spokeswoman for Eurostar (the company that runs the Chunnel train), as saying the company was working from the assumption that the sharp temperature difference between the cold outside and the relatively warm air inside the tunnel under the English Channel caused extreme condensation in critical electrical parts on the trains, resulting in electrical failure. All Eurostar trains are electric.


Once again, airline passengers in the US were trapped inside metal tubes - airplanes - for as much as 6 hours as weather delayed flights several times in 2009, most recently in late December.

Despite knowing the public relations fall out, airlines elected to keep passengers trapped on the tarmac for hours rather than return to the terminal or to move into a parking area where passengers could be off-loaded to ground transportation and returned to the terminal's warmth, food purveyors, and rest rooms.

As in the UK, some folks in the US fail to understand that while there is not much we can do about the weather, we can mitigate its impact on business. Do practitioners fail to recognize the possibilities, fear to raise the issue with management, or is it that management simply doesn't care (see comment by Air Transport Association President and CEO James May later in this exercise).

Unlike Europe and Japan, the US lacks a reliable and rapid rail system; airline execs are confident that no matter how badly passengers are treated they will continue to buy tickets.

A US federal law to take effect 1Q2010 mandates air carriers to allow passengers to escape confinement if a plane is between gate and wheels up for more than 3 hours. After two hours, the airlines will be required to provide food and water for passengers and to maintain operable lavatories. They must also provide passengers with medical attention when necessary, according to "Gov't imposes 3-hour limit on tarmac strandings," a Yahoo/Associated Press article (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091221/ap_on_bi_ge/us_tarmac_strandings).

Even now airlines face some consequences. According to the AP article, in November 2009, "the department fined Continental Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines and Mesaba Airlines $175,000 for their roles in a nearly six-hour tarmac delay in Rochester, Minn. In August, Continental Express Flight 2816 en route to Minneapolis was diverted to Rochester due to thunderstorms. Forty-seven passengers were kept overnight in a cramped plane because Mesaba employees refused to open a gate so that they could enter the closed airport terminal."

The AP story also noted that "The airline industry said it will comply with the regulations , but predicted the result will be more canceled flights, more inconvenience for passengers.

"The requirement of having planes return to the gates within a three-hour window or face significant fines is inconsistent with our goal of completing as many flights as possible. Lengthy tarmac delays benefit no one," said Air Transport Association President and CEO James May.

I'm not an airport planner, although I do have some flight line experience. I understand how some weather can cause a short tarmac delay and I understand that unless an airport is closed down - no arriving flights - gates must be available to load and discharge passengers. Can empty aircraft be parked away from the gates, freeing space to off-load passengers stuck on the tarmac? Can't passengers be bused from tarmac (or parking area) to and from the terminal as they are at Washington National?

Extended delays should not be tolerated. From an economic standpoint, keeping engines turning to provide power for lights and heat or air conditioning is an expense. Beyond that, air crews have maximum in-plane times before they are required to take time off. Finally, while passengers still may be obliged to fly from Point A to Point B, most can take their business to another airline, one with a better on-time image.

On a personal note, I was stranded on the ground at CVG for too many hours while DL tried to get a flight-worthy aircraft to the gate. DL "saved face" when around midnight, with the airport effectively shuttered, a couple of DL staff brought out carts loaded with junk food and drinks. That simple courtesy probably kept most of us booking with DL. On the other hand, a now defunct airline kept me on the tarmac for 3-plus hours and then, when finally airborne, lacked the special meal I ordered - and had confirmed at both ticket counter and with a flight attendant (stewardess).

* Reuters, 11 Aug. 2005: British Airways cancels 77 Heathrow flights; Carrier cites dispute between workers, management at catering firm ( http://johnglennmbci.com/BA_meals.html and http://johnglennmbci.com/caterer.html)

John Glenn, MBCI
Enterprise Risk Management practitioner
Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale Florida
JohnGlennMBCI at gmail dot com
Seeking staff or staff consulting work in, or from, southeast Florida


Monday, December 21, 2009

ERM-BC-COOP: Short sightedness


Too many "business continuity" practitioners seem to have a very narrow, "headline" focus.

A decade ago, these people focused on three characters: Y 2 K .

Y2K - Year 2000 - was when the DOS world was slated to unravel because software for DOS-based machines was unable to roll over to the (take your choice) the last year of the 20th century or the first year of the 21st century.

Y2K was all about microprocessors and software. There was a "business" connection outside of the data center since many non-computer devices had microchips embedded in them - everything from time clocks to coffee pots, elevators to electronic room keys.

On January 2, 2000, the world breathed a sigh of relief that nothing disruptive occurred. Few cared to admit what COULD have happened if not-ready processors and programs had not been ferreted out and made ready or replaced.

(Don't get too relaxed; we're going to do it again in 2011(?) for Unix-based systems.)

I live in Florida. In a lot of ways, it's not what it used to be, but in some ways the newcomers have "blended in" and adopted the Cracker mentality. One of those ways is that on December 1, the only hurricanes any one cares about are the ones from Suntan U - University of Miami (to which I add: Go 'Noles1, but that's another story).

Here as elsewhere along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, people put hurricanes out of their mind as soon as the season ends and refuse to consider it until - no, not the beginning of the next season the following June - a storm threatens. (To their credit, some south Florida counties - and maybe others elsewhere - have toughened wind mitigation laws and, since Andrew's massive destruction, gotten serious about building code enforcement.)

Today's "Y2K" is "The Flu." Take your pick: pig flu or bird flu. (Anyone who ignores "regular" flu is foolish, but despite it being flu season, only the exotic influenzas make headlines; a pity.)

Many, far too many, practitioners - once I was included in the pack - think that the flu threat translates into an empty office. That, they - we - thought, was pretty easy to mitigate: send everyone home and let them work from a virtual office.

That's fine except that not everyone CAN work from a home office or WiFi hot spot.

Most manufacturing operations require a production line of some sort. Most office and manufacturing operations depend on vendors and those vendors either require a production line or produce a service that cannot be provided from the vendor's home.

I once had a Fortune 50 client that truly was "strictly office." Even then, all of my clients personnel were equipped to work "on the road."

While my client's operation was perfect for its staff, that staff depended on manufacturing operations, print-and-mail services, and call centers, all of which had to have in-plant staffing. If any of the facilities closed, my client had a problem.

In the process of creating a plan for this client we decided to see if the vendors had real business continuity plans so my client would know if the vendor could meet its Service Level Agreements (SLAs) "no matter what" or if my client needed to find another/supplemental vendor or help the current vendor become less likely to miss its SLAs.

Since this plan was put to bed in December of 2000, I always consider ways to assure non-office operations are protected, even if I'm working for a "strictly office" organization.

There are many vendors we rarely consider. If the Toshiba notebook on my desk fails, I need to contact Toshiba and arrange for an advance replacement. If my DSL goes away, I'll need to contact the provider. If the router or modem fails, I'll need to hike over to the local modem-and-router purveyor to buy replacement machines.

Then there is ink for the printer, and paper and envelopes to feed it.

And electricity to power all that (but not the phone; I have a POTS unit on my desk that does not require AC input - in storm country, everyone needs one).

Even in my own little office, shared with Spouse and Franklyn, the Rotten Rabbit, I have many external dependencies.

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) practitioners need to think beyond the confines of an office building; an "empty office" event can mean much more than just an empty office.

1. "Noles" are Seminoles; the reference is to Florida States University, nee' Florida State College for Women (until after WW II). Unlike some colleges, universities, and professional sports teams, FSU has the support of the real Seminoles who, by the way, still have not signed a peace treaty with the US government.


John Glenn, MBCI
Enterprise Risk Management practitioner
Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale Florida
Currently seeking staff or staff consulting opportunities
JohnGlennMBCI at gmail dot com

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Looking for a new job


I received word the other day that I was left off the 2010 budget.

Translation: I am looking for a new "home." Preferably - and that is the "operative word" - working in a staff or staff consulting job preferably - that word again - in, or from, southeast Florida; however, all opportunities will be considered.

In as few words as possible:

Enterprise Risk Management - Business Continuity defined

Enterprise Risk Management, a/k/a Business Continuity, identifies profit centers, and all related internal and external, processes. It is similar to Business Analysis. Enterprise Risk Management looks at all potential threats to a process from inception (e.g., proposal) to completion (e.g., payment received), identifies means to avoid or mitigate the threats, and prioritizes preventive actions. Additionally, Enterprise Risk Management develops plans to respond to threats if they occur, creates a process to maintain the plan, and creates response exercises to assure efficient, expeditious, and economical recovery if a disaster event occurs. Enterprise Risk Management is, in 3 words, a business survival program.
In brief

Experience More than 13 years creating programs and complete plans for Defense, Energy Exploration, Financial, Fortune 100, Government, Insurance, International, and Transportation organizations
Certification Member, Business Continuity Institute since 2004
Initially certified by The Harris Institute in 1999
Plan types Enterprise, Key Business Unit, IT-specific
Management Diplomatic manager and mentor to personnel at all levels
Managed 47 sites in 17 states from virtual office in Florida
As many as 20 direct reports; unknown number of indirect reports
Presentation Present Enterprise Risk Management/Business Continuity to personnel of all levels, individually and in groups
Related skills Emergency Management
Crisis Management
Documentation: all program and project documents from proposal to final deliverable; marketing materials, proposals, policies & procedures, public relations; technical documentation, user guides, and journalism
Publications Published twice-a-year in the leading quarterly professional journal, frequently published by other professional publications; occasionally published in trade and general media
Other Disaster Recovery Journal (DRJ) Editorial Review Board
Active member, DRJ Forums and Blogs
Maintain professional Web presence and professional blog
Citizenship United States, evidenced by active U.S. passport
Travel Extensive job-related domestic and international travel welcome
Availability January 11, 2010
Resume A detailed resume and list of references is available upon request
JohnGlennMBCI @ gmail.com or 1.727.542.7843


Thursday, December 10, 2009

ERM-BC-COOP: It's how you say it


The other day Google reported that someone had looked for articles on "language."

An article I cobbled together a few days more than 4 years ago became a search engine "hit."

What I wrote then in the piece called "Heard, but not understood" (http://johnglennmbci.com/language.html) was valid then and it remains valid today - on several levels.

The first level is the fact that practitioners need to help clients - be they internal or external - understand the need to select the best people for the jobs at hand.

In this case, the "job at hand" is notification, telling staff and others what's going on and what to do - or not to do.

The concern highlighted in the article is the audience's ability to understand what is being communicated.

The article focused most on accents, pronunciation. We've all struggled with off-shore "Help" staff. We had a hard time understanding their English and they probably had an equally hard time understanding our English. Very often before the problem was resolved, there was frustration and anger on both sides of the connection.

But there is more than simply how a word is spoken.

It also is the choice of words.

Some of us have a limited vocabulary and almost all of us lack familiarity with all the acronyms and buzz words floating around. We need to keep that in mind when talking to others, especially those not "in the know" about an incident at work, or even at home.

The goal is comprehension, understanding. Lacking that means the communication effort failed.

When I was a young reporter I was impressed with the fact that I had to "write to the audience." When I wore a Sports Reporter hat I wrote one way; when I wrote Society news I wore a different chapeau. As an Enterprise Risk Management practitioner, I write certain sections of the overall document to one audience (executive management) and other sections for a different audience (responders).

That does not mean "talking down" either to the executives or the responders; it only means communicating at the reader's comprehension level. Education, by the way, has little or nothing to do with comprehension. (Maybe I should put a "bang" at the end of the previous sentence. You do know what I mean by "bang*," correct?)

On a second level, I was reminded that, as Solomon allegedly claimed, there is nothing new under the sun - even if we practitioners conveniently let something slip our minds.

That was brought to my attention by a IAEM** post that starts off:

    S.F. State students seize business building


    (12-09) 17:47 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- A few dozen students at San Francisco State University seized the business school building early Wednesday, the latest in a rash of student takeovers to protest soaring tuition and diminished course offerings at California's public universities.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/12/10/BA2N1B1P5L.DTL#ixzz0ZIT5PQ9S

    The occupation follows building takeovers at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz last month, and a round-the-clock student campout in an auditorium on the Berkeley campus that began Monday and is expected to last through Friday.

Back in the 60s the San Francisco area was famous for anti-war demonstrations. Other cities also had "events," but the Bay area, especially UC Berkeley, were famous - or infamous - for demonstrations.

The folks at San Francisco State should have been prepared for the takeover of a building. The campus police, city, and state police also should have had a joint plan; maybe they do. Most assuredly, the university and the local Emergency management folks should have worked together long before the takeover for just such an event.

As one correspondent pointed out, planning for a takeover ever is difficult at best since, unlike a hurricane, the threat follows the response. What the writer way presenting is that had there been a plan and had the plan been advertized, the people who took over the building would have been able to counter the school's response.

Assuming they had copies of the plan and assuming the people responding lacked the ability to think dynamically, to change the plan as necessary.

Enterprise Risk Management is not a process that is documented to become shelfware - a binder or several sitting unused and gathering dust on a book shelf.

The core answer to both issues is selecting the right people for the job.

Normally, practitioners have little say in selection of responders, but they should try to recommend requirements for the people who will fill the various roles. That's not always easy, especially when the CEO wants to be the spokesperson yet he, or she, freezes before the cameras.

In regard to identifying threats that are less than obvious - after all, there were no sit-ins since the 60s, almost half a century ago - practitioners need people who think not only "outside the box" but sometimes "off the wall" as well.

Solomon was right.

* Bang is a Unix term for exclamation point.

** The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting the goals of saving lives and protecting property during emergencies and disasters. (http://www.iaem.com/)

John Glenn, MBCI
Enterprise Risk Management practitioner
Looking for work in - or from - southeast Florida


Sunday, December 6, 2009

ERM-BC-COOP: Generalize the specific

One of the lists on which I participate recently had the following appeal:


Our University will be gaining ownership of all of our natural gas lines and will need to develop an Emergency Response Plan for gas leaks, terrorism, or other disasters that may involve our natural gas lines.

If you could share any of your emergency response plans regarding natural gas lines or a location or contact to get samples, I would really appreciate it. Thank you in advance!


I provided a very expansive recommendation that could be "generalized" to cover more situations that Jeff's gas line. I submit it below for consideration as how it might apply to a situation in your organization.

Strongly encourage you talk to the experts - the people from whom you are acquiring the pipes.

Failing that, talk to the people who supply the gas that will flow through the pipes.

Either/both (if different) should be able to tell you about the inherent risks and the localized (environment, etc.) risks.

Also talk with local constabulary, fire department, and EMTs (if not part of fire brigade) - all need to know where the pipes are located.

Finally, make certain the pipes are mapped with the local "Before You Dig" operation (that is both good - helps prevent "accidental" breaks by a backhoe or trencher - and bad - makes the location available to a miscreant claiming to be a contractor).

Remember, the best way to handle an emergency is to avoid (or mitigate) it in the first place. The folks I recommended can help you on both counts - protecting the resource and restoring to business as usual if something nasty insists on happening.

I would _not_ recommend a "cut-n-paste" from someone else's plan (although the core information can be used to give direction to _your_ plan) since your university (environment) is unique.


John Glenn, MBCI
Enterprise Risk Management practitioner
Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale Florida
Seeking opportunities that will - preferably - let me work in, or from, southeast Florida.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

ERM-BC-COOP: December events


December has at least a couple of "moments to remember" for risk management practitioners.

Two "big" dates that quickly come to mind are December 3 and December 7.

On December 3, 1984, a methyl isocyanate gas leak from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, spread over a populated area, resulting ultimately in 15,000 to 20,000 deaths and leaving some half million survivors with chronic medical ailments (Encyclopedia Britannica).

On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the Pearl Harbor Hawaii Navy installation and nearby U.S. air bases Hickam Field, Wheeler Field, Bellows Field, and Ford Island. According to Wikipedia, when the Japanese retired, 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. (By comparison, 2,976 civilian personnel were murdered by Islamic terrorists on September 11, 2001.)

A visit to http://www.hisdates.com/ list, day-by-day, some events that should deserve our attention but usually don't get it.

Bhopal probably is forgotten except those who live in Bhopal, Charleston WV, or similar chemical valley locations.

Ask an American born during or after the Korean "policing action" (from June 15, 1950) about December 7th and the all-too-frequent response is "huh?"

An enterprising Enterprise Risk Management practitioner (group) could easily put together an ERM calendar identifying Great Events in ERM for (almost) every one of the 365 days of the year - and yes, even a Leap Year's extra day.

The problem with The World is that it - we - have short memories. We fail to take Dwayne F. Schneider's (Pat Harrington Jr.), frequent admonishment on the sitcom "One Day at a Time" to "always remember and never forget." Put at a higher literary level, Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás wrote in Reason in Common Sense, volume 1 of The Life of Reason that "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Just poking around the HISDATES.COM (ibid.) for December 1 turns up a number of notable entries. Some might seem unlikely for an ERM calendar of nasty happenings, but consider:

  • 2006 - Typhoon Durian kills at least 388 people in Albay province on the island of Luzon in the Philippines
  • 1996 - In a move that led to a public-relations disaster, America Online shifted to a flat $19.95-per-month fee for unlimited access (Everyone forgot about "New Coke"?)
  • 1995 - Michael Monus, the former president of the Phar-Mor drug store chain, was found guilty of embezzling roughly $1 billion from the company (Need for succession planning, image management, and alternate responders)
  • 1988 - 596 dead after cyclone hits Bangladesh, half a million homeless
  • 1983 - Rita Lavelle, former head of EPA, convicted of perjury (See 1995)
  • 1981 - 180 die as Yugoslav DC-9 jetliner slams into a mountain (Need policy preventing "key personnel" from traveling on same conveyance)
  • 1969 - US government holds its first draft lottery since WW II (Loss of personnel whose jobs are guaranteed by law; staffing difficulties)
  • 1967 - Wilt Chamberlain set NBA record of 22 free throws misses (thereby proving the need to continually practice (exercise) the plan)
  • 1958 - Our Lady of Angels School burns, killing 92 students and 3 nuns (Personnel unable to come to work; parents must attend to dead or injured children)
  • 1955 - Rosa Parks arrested for refusing to move to back of the bus (Civil unrest)
  • 1951 - Golden Gate Bridge closes due to high winds (Personnel unable to come to work; clients unable to visit sales area; vendors unable to deliver goods)
  • 1938 - School bus and train collide in Salt Lake City Utah (Personnel unable to come to work; parents must attend to dead or injured children; railroad service delayed)
  • 1913 - Continuous moving assembly line introduced by Ford (Competition changes processes to gain major advantage)
  • 1887 - Sino-Portuguese treaty recognizes Portugal's control of Macao (Government fiats impact regulations, business practices, import/export processes)
  • 1864 - Fire in Brisbane destroys city area bounded by Queen, George, Elizabeth and Albert streets
  • 1640 - Jews are expelled from Great Russia by Empress Elisabeth (massive loss of personnel, clients, income, possible shut-down of critical vendors all due to loss of personnel)

More about






Pearl Harbor



John Glenn, MBCI
Enterprise Risk Management practitioner
Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale Florida
Looking for staff or staff consulting opportunities working in, or from, southeast Florida

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ERM-BC-COOP: Pedal to the metal


Toyota is in the process of modifying a number of its models because of run-away engines.

At first the problem was blamed on a floor mat; then something else.

The problem was discussed by talking heads and reported on paper.

But, to the best of my knowledge, no one made any suggestion about what to do it the car continued to accelerate.

Which, being a former reporter, I think is derelict.

What to do is - should be - a "no brainer."

Shift the car into Neutral (do NOT shut off the engine).

Look for a safe place to stop.

When the vehicle's stopped safely off the road, THEN shut off the engine.

If the engine is shut down - or shuts down - before the vehicle is safely off the roadway, the car's power steering and power breaks suddenly become worse-than-manual/pre-power versions and that can lead to an accident.

The problem, and my complaint with both the media and the manufacturer, is that no one talks about "What to do if" situations. (My Hyundai Elantra Owner's Manual fails to mention the possibility.)

As a person who has been in some strange situations, I know the value of considering all the "what if"s and training - again and again and again - to respond when the "what if" happens.

When I was confirming that putting the vehicle in Neutral would not cause any damage, a couple of the respondents (see http://action.publicbroadcasting.net/cartalk/posts/list/2132859.page) noted that, in my synopsis, lack of training prevents the driver from making the correct decision and taking the correct action.

Since my business is risk management, and since risk management includes responding if the risk insists occurring , and since responding requires training exercises, I find the lack of information in my Owner's Manual and in the media a sad state of affairs. How can people practice an emergency action if they don't know (a) that the risk is there and (b) there is an action to take.

All of the above, of course, goes to prove that risk management is a process that belongs not only in the office or factory but in the home and car as well.

John Glenn, MBCI
Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale FL
Looking for staff or staff consulting work preferably in or from southeast Florida