Sunday, January 29, 2012


Value of sharing


I've been in this business for a tad more than 15 years.

I'm pretty good at what I do and I think, when I consider threats to an organization, I identify most most of them.

But sometimes things either get "missed" or given less attention than they deserve.

For example, one of my acquaintances opened a discussion regarding what is needed "post-event." I think his focus is on the financial aspects.

Normally I recommend that organizations have business interruption insurance. At the same time, I tell people that it is critical that careful records are maintained so the insurer will pay a fair amount.

I also recommend that an organization have either a good size contingency fund available or a line of credit at several financial institutions - lenders do fail so organizations need to "double up" - or, better, have a contingency fund AND lines of credit.

I read all too often on AdvisenFPN - an insurance industry publication - that this or that organization is having to sue an insurer to collect on a policy. Even if the insured wins, the time between disaster event and payment can extend for more than a year. Lack of funds can put an organiztion out of business before the isurer pays up.

Beyond insurance, contingency fund, and lines of credit, what are things to consider "post event"?

A few include:

  • Personnel - Are personnel available to (a) maintain the operation and (b) restore the organization to "business as usual"?

  • Policies & Procedures - Overtime, travel, expenses, R&R, maximum time on job, more . . .

  • Property - Is there an alternate site (if needed) and are staff willing to travel to it? Who can evaluate the property for damage, estimate repair or replacement costs, deal with the property insurance company; what about parameter security?

  • Purchases - (Something I learned from my acquaintance's thread) Are there special, event-related account numbers to track related (insured?, tax deductable?) expenses?

My mantra has for years been "You can't create a viable plan in a vacuum."

Being able to share thoughts with other practitioners - both tyros and "old hands" - is one way to avoid a vacuum

There is one caveat, however. Professional exchanges must be EXCHANGES; they cannot be one sided where I give and you take without any input. Everyone - without exception - has something to contribute.

No one practitioner can think of everything in every instance, but we can protect our clients, be they internal or external, by networking.

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