Thursday, December 20, 2012


What can we do?

About Sandy Hook and hurricanes, and ...


In an email from Kathy Gannon Rainey, publisher of the Disaster Resource GUIDE, Ms. Rainey asks everyone on the email list

• What can be done to prevent such an event in the future?

• What can I personally do to make a difference?

She then suggested mentoring.

To my mind, that's an excellent idea.

AARP, a geezer group to which I do not belong (it's a political issue) asked me, also via an email, if I would be willing to mentor people. I agreed, but since AARP had no checkbox for what I do, risk management, I suspect I'll either hear no more from AARP or I will receive a reply that totally ignores my input. That's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for people - and organizations - that live in predefined worlds; if there is no checkbox or radio button, then there can't be any other option(s).

We should make ourselves available for mentoring.

We should make our expertise available to local government.

We should offer our knowledge to BBA and MBA students.

We should make ourselves available to the local media as Risk Management Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).

Organizations to which we belong, such as BCI USA and ACP, because they have a national presence, could develop lists of willing mentors and presenters, and make the lists' availability known to the media. It seems to garner more attention when a professional organization offers to provide SMEs. BCI already has a mentor volunteer list, although I wonder if anyone ever sought out a mentor; in all my years on the list, no one ever contacted me. (I have mentored people who sought me out - sometimes in unlikely locales, "all things considered.")

While I'm certain all my loyal readers - I hope that plural is justified - will agree that we should do all of the above, the problem remains the old one of leading a horse to water (but you can't make it drink). We can announce our availability, but unless someone takes us up on the offer, we - and our profession (trade?) - are no better understood than before.

Unfortunately, the times people are most inclined to invite our knowledge into their domains is immediately following a disaster, and that is too late; the barn door was open and the horse escaped.

I wonder if because a risk management practitioner may not offer the most popular approach - right now, "gun control" and adding armed guards to schools is the reaction du jour to Sandy Hook even though there are better, non-knee jerk reactions to prevent similar occurrences - we are ignored or simply overlooked. Perhaps our recommendations are less than "politically correct" in some circles.

For all that, Ms. Rainey's suggestion that we - the nation - need mentors across many endeavors seems to me a good idea.

Now all we need are people to mentor.

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