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The Contingency Planning & Management Conference CPM 2011 - May 9-11

The Contingency Planning & Management Conference (CPM 2011) - is coming up May 9-11 in Las Vegas. It offers a 5-track program taught by leading faculty in small, classroom settings.

If you've never attended before, CPM 2011 is the only conference where business continuity, risk management, disaster recovery and emergency response professionals can learn from and network with top industry experts and collaborate face-to-face with their peers.

PLUS CPM 2011 attendees get an exclusive discount to see the hit musical Jersey Boys on May 10th at the Palazzo:

Interested in attending? Register for CPM 2011 at

Also, Reader of Disaster Preparedness Blog can register using code: NW1C08 when registering for the conference. This code is good until Monday, April 18, 2011 - so Hurry!

As recent events from Japan to Portugal to the Middle East have demonstrated, you can't over-think contingency, emergency business planning or disaster recovery in an increasingly interconnected world. CPM 2011 will bring together experts for advanced-level education on today's hot topics – including sessions such as "Dependencies and Interdependencies: Will Your Business Recover?" and "Cloud Computing - Ready Or Not It's Here." You can learn more about tracks, sessions, and speakers at



Toyota Announces They Will Shut Down North American Factories

Facing a parts shortage due to last month’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Toyota announced earlier today that they will likely shut North American factories.

The shutdown is said to be temporary, but also unknown is for how long the shutdown will last, and will affect about 25,000 workers here in the United States. All of which depends on how quickly the Japanese auto parts makers can get back to business.

Honda Motor Co. and Subaru of America also stated they would slow U.S. production to conserve parts as well.

Production of certain parts are not expected to resume for at least 30 days in a company memo to dealers and added, "Both the number of affected parts and length of production stoppage may increase."

The disaster in Japan, although exceptional in scope and size is an example how vulnerable our supply chains are. In our globalized world, everything is tied together and companies MUST do a better job at redistributing the risk of their supply chains, and it needs to happen quickly.

Large scale regional natural disasters are also tied to the globalized economy and this one will likely impact the overall recovery of the American economy which will further impacting the global economy yet again.  

Ironically, in the January copy of Reinsurance Magazine the article – World Cannot Take Another Crisis Global Leaders Warned and it points to the need to “solve future global risks before they become crises” and that “Twentieth century systems are failing to manage 21st century risks.” More can and should be done to manage our risks.


Weather Service Predicts Busy 2011 Hurricane Season

The National Weather Service is predicting 15 tropical storms, eight hurricanes, and three major hurricanes for the 2011 hurricane season which is from June 1, through November 30, 2011.

Colorado State University, which also makes predictions every year, is predicting an even busier season with 17 named storms which include nine hurricanes and five major hurricanes.

Both predictions are calling for an above average hurricane season. Also, visit with Landfall Probabilities.


Government of Barbados and other Caribbean Nations Consider Mandating Business Continuity Plans

The recommendation comes from consultant, Bob Turnbull, a business continuity management expert who has spent time in the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Africa.

The mandate would be for all companies regardless of size, and is an effort to ensure that resilience is built into the supply chains of these businesses. The call for the mandate comes at a time when business preparedness issues are highlighted due to the various and recent series of natural catastrophes around the world.

The mandate for the Caribbean Nations would put them ahead of many others, including the United States in calling for mandatory business contingency plans not just for large companies or critical infrastructure, but for all businesses regardless of size.

 As I mentioned in a previous posting, many calls are coming for increased business continuity and I expect this to be a continuing trend for much of 2011. What most businesses need to understand is that great business continuity is not a once in a while or sometimes thing or even an exercise to do one a year. Planning is not a product, but a process that should be improved upon and changed as your business changes.


One Crisis Often Leads To Another – Lessons From A Recent, Real World Incident 

One of the better recent examples of how one crisis often leads to another is with BP and the incident in the Gulf with the Deep Water Horizon platform.

As most people are aware, the first crisis occurred when the blow out preventer failed leading to other explosions, fires and the oil leak (though some may say the first crisis occurred when certain protocols where not followed).

The massive oil leak lasted for months, leading to the additional crisis of how to handle the clean up and cap the unprecedented leak at depth.

The large oil spill in turn lead to the loss of income to businesses in parts of the Gulf and Congressional hearings forcing BP to take further action of setting up funds to reimburse losses.

The size and scope of the incident lead to questions from the media, along with public statements from BP which lead to a significant PR crisis for the company. Most would say this was handled very poorly by BP.    

The reimbursement process required BP to gather information from people who were claiming a loss. As of this morning it has been announced that BP has lost a laptop containing 13,000 names and personal information, including social security numbers of those filing claims with the company.

As you can see, once a crisis starts it can be difficult to stop the dominos from falling in other areas, even over the long term. One way to get in front of a crisis, and preventing a potential domino effect is to implement effective planning prior to an incident, along with training and discussions among your leadership team has to how potential crisis’s and incidents will be handled.

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