Contingency Planning

Contingency Planning Unforeseen threats never knock on the door before their arrival. They just arrive and destroy everything that comes in their path. Contingency planning provides protection against these unforeseen threats. In the case of an organization, contingency planning covers failures of critical systems, equipment, automated processes, energy, communications, suppliers, personnel, and natural calamities. It consists of the actions taken by the organization to prepare the organization for an impending emergency. It is a management tool used to analyze the impact of potential crises so that adequate and appropriate arrangements are made in advance. It is general enough that it confers different ideas to different disaster managers and emergency personnel, depending on their circumstance and area of concern. The cost to implement and activate a contingency plan can be high, but the impact of its absence is prohibitive. Further if a small contingency is not curtailed in time then it can create a snowball effect and rapidly generate a greater crisis. In the organization, it is essential to have mechanisms that ensure constant operation. When there is an unexpected disruption, an appropriate contingency plan can make a huge difference. The definition of an optimal contingency plan is a complex problem involving diverse resources such as systems, equipment, spare parts, services, and specialized manpower etc. The contingency solution involves alternative processes and recovery strategies so that in the case of a contingency, all the necessary resources are available in order to bring the system back to normal operation using the minimum resources and in the least possible time. Chinese general Sun Tzu has said, “Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small. The difficult things in this world must be done while they are easy; the...

Disaster Management

Disaster Management Disaster is defined as an event or series of events, which gives rise to causalities and damage or loss of properties, infrastructures, environment, essential services or means of livelihood on such a scale which is beyond the normal capacity of the affected community to cope with. Disaster is also described as a ‘catastrophic situation in which the normal pattern of life or eco system has been disrupted  and extra ordinary emergency interventions are required to save and preserve lives and/or environment’. Disasters are characterized by some or all of the following issues. They are disruptive to individuals and communities. They are not part of day to day experience and are outside normal life expectations. They are unpredictable in occurrence and effects can be of sudden onset. They require a response for which normal local resources may not be adequate. They have a wide range of effects and impacts on the human and physical environment. For reducing the impact of a disaster, a comprehensive disaster management programme is necessary in every organization which is aiming at the following activities. Development of an efficient disaster management system which improves the effectiveness of the management of disasters. Mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction in order to reduce the impact of disasters. To ensure that effective disaster preparedness measures are in place in order to cope with the disasters when they occur. There is an effective emergency response and recovery when disaster strikes Disaster management cycle recognizes four major functional areas which are considered as necessary components of a comprehensive approach. These are (i) prevention and mitigation, (ii) preparation, (iii) response, and (iv) recovery. Further to these functional areas, the key responsibilities of agencies connected with the disaster management include the following. Planning – The analysis of...