Preparing for an outbreak
Being prepared isn't a fad... it's a lifestyle
I get teased… a lot. My career has been in Continuity Management and Risk Management but it isn’t just what I do, it’s who I am! I get very passionate and excited when I talk about planning strategies, discussing what could go wrong and how to make the best of a bad situation. This makes for some great “is she serious” moments in so many of my personal and professional interactions.
For example, my pantry, fridge and freezer are stocked at all times and with everything from canned goods to extra bags of dog food. You couldn’t stuff one more box of crackers in my pantry if you tried. Company comes over and they look at me like I’m ready for the zombie apocalypse. Why yes, I am!
The best conversation piece is my evac packs. I have evacuation packs that are filled with emergency supplies, food, water, first aid, clothes for 5 people to survive for 72 hours (probably more the way I planned). Cue the relentless teasing. But now think about some recent emergencies we’ve faced close to home. During the Fort McMurry wildfire evacuations there were thousands of people stranded on the side of the road for four days. I’d be the one having a cookout off the top of my Jeep Cherokee to feed my family. What would you be doing?
Today with the news coverage of the Coronavirus there is public madness to prepare for a mass outbreak. Grocery store shelves in the US are bare and I’m just waiting to see when the frenzy hits closer to home. Why are we waiting for “the next big thing”? Why are we not being strategic and diligent all the time? We have had a lot of warning for the Coronavirus threat but what if the next threat occurs tomorrow with no warning?
Take that thinking into your business. Do you know what your core critical functions are? How are you going to maintain those functions to keep your business viable during a threat? Are you prepared to execute your strategies if the threat materializes tomorrow? Don’t wait for something to happen before you plan for it because that’s too late. Be ready today for whatever might happen tomorrow. Start planning now and don’t hesitate to engage a professional like me to help. Certain people (like me!) have their brains wired to think about what can go wrong and how to both prepare and react. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And that ounce of prevention can be worth its weight in gold.
Shannon Walter, MBCI is ISM’s Enterprise Risk Manager and Senior Continuity Management Consultant. Shannon has 18 years experience developing and managing programs including loss of location, infectious disease, labour disruption and violent threat response. Shannon has been Incident Manager for over 21 incidents and uses her lessons learned to develop practical strategies that work for your business.