Like most Americans and Oklahomans, we at TRUE are deeply saddened by the devastation caused by the tornadoes that ripped through Oklahoma this week. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Moore and other affected areas. If you are able, please make a financial donation to the charity of your choice to support the Oklahoma tornado relief effort. Although these events are still unfolding and the human and economic impacts are yet to be fully realized, this is a grim reminder of how important it is to have a solid emergency preparedness plan both at home and at work or school.
My home is less than ten miles south of where the tornado hit Moore. It is only natural to put ourselves in the shoes of others and wonder, "What if?" My wife and I have been going over and over our emergency plan since the tornado hit. Going into this storm season we felt fully prepared. We have an underground storm shelter where we can ride out a major storm. But what if our home collapses on our shelter? Do we have the right provisions to be able to survive days in that shelter if needed? How much advanced warning do we need in order to get our family below ground?
For me it is natural to draw lines between this event and IT disaster preparedness. At TRUE we consult our partners to prepare for IT-related disasters through the creation of business continuity plans and disaster recovery plans. Like our family, many companies may feel like they have solid plans in place because they spent a lot of time and money to create those plans. But have those plans been tested? Have they been reviewed in the past year? Table top exercises are a great way to exercise and test disaster recovery plans without experiencing the actual disaster. If our family had had a table top tornado exercise perhaps we would have realized that we needed more food provisions below ground. Maybe we would have realized that our plans didn't include diapers, wipes, toys, etc. for our six month old. Has your company had a major change in the past year or so that is not accounted for in your disaster plans?