The latest issue of Business Today has a very interesting cover story titled :”Are We Disaster Ready”.          


Various types of disasters which a company or a corporate  entity can face, have been given as examples. 

1.The CEO is at a beach resort with no phone links when a tsunami strikes.

2.T he entire board of directors is on a company jet when it goes off the radar screens.

3.Your main data centre catches fire,and floods cripple your back-up location.

4.Maoists kidnap the chairman and are demanding a Rs 4 crore ransom.

5.The plant manager’s car has been involved in a traffic accident and a mob could lynch him any moment.

6.Pirates have boarded  the container ship  bringing critical machinery consignment for your factory.

7.A vagrant shop floor worker has contaminated a medicine production line.The plant could lose is US FDA approval.

8.The hot-tempered CFO got into a fight with customs at Riyadh.It’s two days and there is no news of him. 

These are real world examples and we have often read or heard about them.For the companies/corporates that face such situations,its a real period of stress and trial. 

I liked the article and so dashed off a letter to the editor of BT as usual.This is what I wrote:   

Dear Sir,
This refers to your very timely and interesting cover story titled :”Are We Disaster Ready ?” in BT issue dated 1st May 2011.
With what happened in Japan recently,the entire world and major corporates have woken up to the subject of Disaster Management.
Development and Disasters go hand in hand.In fact someone said :”Disasters are like ATMs-Can happen ANY TIME,ANY WHERE,ANY HOW.”
There is therefore,an urgent need for following the basic “Boy Scout Motto” :”Be Prepared”-which means one should always be in a state of readiness in mind and body to do one’s duty during disasters.
Disaster is a sudden, calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, and destruction and devastation to life and property. The damage caused by disasters is immeasurable and varies with the geographical location, climate and the type of the earth surface/degree of vulnerability. This influences the mental, socio-economic, political and cultural state of the affected area.
Generally, a disaster has the following effects in the concerned areas:
1.  It completely disrupts the normal day to day life,
2.  It negatively influences the emergency systems,
3.  Normal needs and processes like food, shelter, health, etc. are affected and deteriorate depending on the intensity and severity of the disaster.
It may also be termed as “a serious disruption of the functioning of society, causing widespread human, material or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected society to cope using its own resources.”

It takes decades to build a country or a business but just a few seconds/minutes to cause it to come tumbling down like a pack of cards.Hence being prepared is better than regretting later when a disaster strikes us unawares.”A stitch in time saves nine”-the common proverb in our daily lives, has immense significance,when we refer to natural or man made disasters.
“Prevention is better than cure” it is also said, but often disasters cannot be prevented or avoided,though their risk and effect can be mitigated to some extent.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT should be introduced as an important subject in schools, colleges and in all B Schools,at the earliest.AWARENESS about various types of disasters and the strategies needed to face them, is the need of the hour,since “Fore-warned is fore-armed.”
It appears that most of us have not learnt any lessons from the Chernobyl disaster,a nuclear accident that occurred nearly 25 years ago on 26 April 1986,at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the then Ukrainian SSR.
Let us hope and pray that India is spared from grim tragedies of such disasters.Amen.


I shall wait to see whether my letter is published in future issues of BT or not.  

Meanwhile,your reactions to this posting in particular and the subject in general,will be appreciated. 

Let us hope and pray that the companies/organisations we are working in or working for are spared from such disasters !! 


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  1. InderPreet Singh says:

    Nice! 🙂

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