The timing was eerie.
In July 2005, I completed a story that encouraged shops to develop a disaster recovery plan so they’d be prepared in the case a catastrophic event befalls them. The article was published in our September issue. That September issue was received by our readers mere days after Hurricane Katrina punched the Gulf Coast hard in the gut.
“When Disaster Strikes” was written in the hope that machine shops would take the time to prepare for a natural disaster so they’d have a fighting chance to bounce back if one were to occur. When I received that September issue, I immediately wished the article had appeared a month earlier. But because it appeared so very soon after Katrina, perhaps it served to reinforce the importance of Boy-Scout-like preparedness. I certainly hope so.
The online version of that article can be found here: When Disaster Strikes. If you haven’t read it, I humbly ask that you do so. If you did read it, consider revisiting the piece. It is geared specifically toward machine shops and explains the importance of equipment appraisals, detailed documentation of all shop equipment, knowledge of exactly what is and isn’t covered under a shop’s insurance plan and so on. As you read it, though, consider how you might also apply those concepts at home.
Not surprisingly, September has been named National Preparedness Month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In an effort to promote safety at home and at the workplace, the USDHS has developed www.ready.gov, a Web site that emphasizes the essential need for emergency preparation and promotes individual involvement in those efforts. The “Ready Business” portion of the site outlines specific measures businesses can take to prepare for an emergency situation. Whatever emergency procedures a business currently has in place should be routinely evaluated and updated as the company evolves and new employees are brought onboard.
Finally, I’d like to know if your shop was directly affected by Hurricane Katrina. If it was, and you had a preparedness plan that allowed you to bounce back quicker than you might otherwise, I’d like to hear your story. Drop me an e-mail at email@example.com.
And stay safe.