This little section is where I get to tell you a little more about me, what I do and why.
Go to this link if you want to learn more about how Disaster Preparedness Blog Strarted.
My name is Keith Erwood, I am 39 years old and disasters are my life. Well, not just disasters really, but to help people like you, owners, executives and managers of businesses prepare for disasters and emergencies.
This can cover anything ranging from earthquakes to fires, pandemics to workplace violence, and can include bad press, protecting your image or brand, and even the current financial crisis. In the simplest of terms anything that might negatively affect your business can constitute a disaster.
I like to tell people that I fell into this profession, or that it kind of found me. But the truth is, I have been studying disasters, disaster response, severe weather, and emergency preparedness ever since I can remember. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to collect as much information as I could on these subjects.
When I was about 19 years old I became a New York State certified EMT and volunteered my time on an ambulance in Staten Island. I applied to become an EMT for NYC EMS (now part of the FDNY since 1996) and waited what seemed like forever (it was two years) to get the call.
Finally the call came and I worked for NYC EMS for 13 years from 1993-2006. These were interesting times to say the least, as I am sure everyone knows all of the major events that happened during those years. The 1993 terror attacks on the Trade Center (I was still a couple of months away from working but it still had an effect), The 1997 shooting on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, The June 2000 train derailment in Brooklyn, The September 11th 2001 attacks, and the October 2003 crash of the Staten Island Ferry.
Though there were many other incidents including the explosion of a barge filled with fuel, several blizzards and other storms, and the large August 2003 blackout; these are the most well known and does not include many of the daily things I was involved with ranging from fires, to shootings (more like full on battles, AK47's being shot off right down the street I can't tell you how many times) and of course your regular every-day sick calls. Anyway, I digress.
After working for the City of New York for 13 years, I decided it was time to move on (carrying people up and down stairs for the last few years had taken a toll on my knees and back you know). At the time I left the FDNY, I had a small computer networking and desktop support business, and did a large amount in the area of data recovery and business continuity. I was also getting married (yes, quitting a job and getting married, moving and starting a new career all at the same time) and my future wife and I decided I would make a fresh start out in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I had a nice job offer working as an IT systems analyst and with the dual role of helping to create a business continuity and disaster recovery solution that was needed. So off I went to CA.
While working at this company and speaking to others I decided I wanted to restart my business again in the future. Seeing that there was a need for my expertise I parlayed everything that I knew about disasters, my experiences in emergencies, and emergency management from the FDNY, and all my IT skills which includes many successful data recovery instances and complex off-site backup solutions and decided to focus on helping businesses create and implement viable, and holistic Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP).
This blog, is dedicated mostly to providing information on all of these areas, but there may be a time or two when I just go off and rant about off topic subjects, but that is just to keep my sanity in check. But I also focus on National Security Issues and Terrorism as well.
So that my friends, is how I got started in business continuity in a nut shell. So you could say my life has come full circle so to speak, there are some minor details missing, but they are not important to my story.
I am currently working on the creation of a disaster related non-profit as well, more to follow on this once I can provide you with more details in a few months.
If you have any questions, or feel you may be in need of a consultation feel free to call me: