Communication is key to surviving a disaster (Colorado)

There’s always plenty of Monday-morning-quarterbacking after major disasters, criticizing the way it was handled is easy when everything is in full view after the fact, and there will always be the “what ifs.” But disasters are inherently unpredictable — they wouldn’t be “disasters” if they weren’t. Nonetheless, there are precautionary measures that go a long way towards mitigating the loss of life and property during a disaster.

After 9/11, A lot more attention was paid contingency planning and disaster recovery. I was a contingency management/disaster recovery manager at Time Warner Telecom in Littleton, Colorado at the time, working with a table scrap budget. Money began pouring into departments like mine across the country — building network redundancies and backup data centers and hiring a wave of disaster recovery planners to perform risk assessments. My job suddenly became a high profile position, the executives who didn’t even know my name before had realized they needed people like me in order to be ready for the next catastrophe.

But for some individuals and families, emergency planning and disaster preparation is still in the pre-9/11 era. According to a 2015 FEMA survey, 60 percent of American adults have not practiced what to do in a disaster, and only 39 percent have an emergency plan developed. Whether you have a plan in place or working on one now, communication should be at the top of the list.


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