Whenever a major disaster occurs, calls for better planning usually follow as we are now seeing after the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. And, what so often happens, one disaster gives way to or creates another as with the nuclear plant issues following the natural disaster.
There is a lot we can learn from Japan as one of the best prepared nations in the world when it comes to preparedness and planning for natural catastrophe. The first of which should be no matter how well you plan or prepare ahead of time, something unexpected or catastrophic can still occur, and the need to be flexible in your planning and using your contingency plan as a tool box as opposed to a rigid set of ordered procedures that should be followed is extremely important.
One of the unfortunate things that happen over time especially in the business world is that this type of planning quickly becomes un-important. Even more so during tough economic times as the recent global financial troubles, contingency planning was one of the first things to go.
While I appreciate the calls for better preparedness and I do agree with those calls, proper planning must consist of a continually ongoing process. Planning itself is a process and not a product or something you can do once and put it on a shelf.
Here are just some of the links to recent stories calling for better planning, preparedness and disaster recovery.
One last thing, while planning is great, it is still not enough. Make sure you incorporate tabletop or other exercises to test and run through your plan and look for gaps and opportunities for improvement.