It’s hurricane season, wild fire season, and ongoing social justice reform & pandemic season. For years I’ve recommended reviewing your disaster preparedness plan at regular intervals. With everything that’s happening this year and new procedures in place as business begin to reopen, it’s a very good time to do this!
First, if you’re curious about how we got to current disaster planning — at least until covid-19 spiked into our lives — here are two books I recommend that I read recently:
The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic That Shaped Our History by Molly Caldwell Crosby
I read this as New York State hit PAUSE and cases were rising rapidly. Thankfully life has changed in a few ways since 1878, however there is a frightening amount of pandemic response and rapid understanding of a novel disease that hasn’t. This book definitely helped me not be too surprised by what I’ve seen occuring nationally.
Rethinking Readiness: A Brief Guide to Twenty-First-Century Megadisasters by Jeff Schlegelmilch
Please note that I received a copy of this title through Netgalley, the FTC wants you to know.
This is an excerpt of the review I wrote for Netgalley: It’s a unique and unexpectedly timely coincidence for me to be reviewing a book that looks into twenty-first century megadisasters in the midst of a global pandemic. Rethinking Readiness takes a brief look into the history and current direction of disaster prepardness planning, and is due to be published in the summer; months after the world coming to grips with the chaos and fear of this current health crisis. The book provides an overview of biothreats, climate change, critical infrastructure, cyberthreats, nuclear conflict, and cross-cutting threats. Disaster science is still in its infancy and globalisation has completely changed the world we know. Covid-19 has implications that will be more far reaching than we can comprehend today. This book will help us begin to reframe our views. An addendum: Schlegelmilch wrote a new preface to discuss the implications of Covid-19 & why its impacts will reach far beyond pandemics.
Order now from Columbia University Press.
There are many book lists available for social justice reform. I’ve chosen to focus today on public health concerns.
Ready to get started?
There are three simple steps you can take today to make progress on reviewing and updating your disaster preparedness document.
Step 1 – Block time to work deeply on this review, I suggest 30 minute blocks over the next several weeks. If you aren’t a solo business, then set time to review the plan and draft email/asynchrnoic notes to others in your business. FIgure out if you actually need a real-time meeting to discuss the plan.
Step 2 – Locate and verify that you can open your current disaster prepardness plan. Is the file not where you expected? Do you have a hard copy you can reference or scan and convert to digital? Or is the backup corrupted its impossible to open? Don’t worry, we can create it again but you’ll probably need to return to step 1 and block time.
Step 3 – Visit your local government websites to download/bookmark resources they share specifically related to covid-19 repsonse. For example, New York Forward is a very useful reference.
People (and pets) always come first, have you reviewed your personal preparedness? Complacency as we reach pandemic fatigue is a real thing. Be prepared.
Next we’ll focus on capturing and reviewing the administrative information that is useful for your business.