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Preparing for hurricane Irene - the “Masters of Disaster” way

Just days after feeling the tremors from the Virginia earthquake, New Yorkers are being warned that Hurricane Irene may strike in a couple of days. Aside from preparing businesses for the disaster, my fellow Lootokians and I are now preparing our homes. As professional planners, most of us actually do have go-bags and have prepared per the FEMA and OEM guidelines. So what else does a “master of disaster” do to get ready for a hurricane?


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Corporate threat intelligence 101

Threat intelligence helps leaders identify challenges before they negatively impact operations, reducing the risk of getting caught off guard, and allowing the organization to take the steps necessary to prepare in advance for adverse events. It improves situational awareness by giving leaders the information they need, at a glance, to make quick and informed decisions.  A robust threat intelligence program constantly monitors these changes and alerts decision makers whenever a change impacts the threat environment. This empowers leaders to understand the company’s footprint on a day-to-day basis and to increase organizational situational awareness, as the world changes.

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Radiating fear

Last March, after the tragedy in Fukushima, some residents in California became concerned about possible exposure to radiation drifting from Japan. For many, the biggest impact seemed psychological. News reported that roughly 1,000 worried Californians flooded a state hotline, and pharmacies along the west coast were inundated with demands for potassium iodide (KI), a salt of non-radioactive iodine used for preventing radiation damage in those at high risk of radiation exposure. But is it any wonder that the word “radiation” is capable of invoking such fear? The less familiar a threat is, the more people tend to fear it.

Hurricane Sandy
The perfect storm


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What I’ll probably do is…nothing

It was less than a year ago when Hurricane Irene swept across the Eastern Seaboard, invoking in us a mixture of responses ranging from apathy to panic. In this month’s Disaster Recovery Journal, Lootok examines common responses to Hurricane Irene, and what our actions can indicate about the way we manage problems in the home and in the workplace.

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Wrapping up another round of resiliency summits

The resiliency summit is a two-day event that we have organized to bring people together to learn about risk and business continuity in a focused, engaging setting. The attendees are typically folks who have been assigned to do business continuity at their specific site. Many of them step into the role unaware of their responsibilities or just learning about business continuity for the first time. Therefore, it’s common for companies to struggle with their programs because these individuals receive little or no training. This results in an overall lack of accountability and role ownership, which leads to a stagnant program. Our job is to bring these people on board, and to get them involved.

2013 Resiliency Summit in Beijing


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Business continuity: your company’s immune system

Just as the human body relies on its immune system for internal protection, so too can corporations rely on a robust business continuity management program to protect them internally as well as externally. Not enough is being done to exploit the many benefits of an internally targeted BCM program. One of the cornerstones of any such program is a map of the company’s dependencies and interrelationships, which can be developed for strategic and operational planning purposes. This BCM map of departmental relationships can assist companies in optimally prioritizing their resources.

Hurricane Sandy
A visit to a chocolate factory

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Opinionating on the BP oil spill

The ramifications of what many consider to be the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history have been massive, tarnishing the image of an energy company claiming to go beyond petroleum and challenging leaders of the oil and gas industry to reconsider its approach to safety.  Since the oil rig’s initial explosion in April, BP has made serious missteps, causing the public to question the company’s credibility. 

Lootok interviewed a few of its subject matter experts to offer their insights on BP’s response to the incident through the lenses of crisis communications, enterprise risk management, and incident management.

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