What if? Those two words form the initial basis of a disaster-recovery conversation. Like you, I've seen the heartbreaking pictures from Japan and what gets me is, a country that is known for having the best earthquake-disaster-preparedness in the world has suffered tremendous losses in spite of that fact.
The best laid plans…
Japan's nuclear facilities prepared for a monstrous earthquake, but not an 8.9. Is there any way to plan for an 8.9? And if so, at what cost? Obviously, when contrasted with the devastation we've seen – and may yet see – I wouldn't blame you if you said money is no object. But in reality, we're rarely given a blank check. We're required to work within parameters; sometimes very constrictive ones.
Lessons learned: No matter how thoroughly you plan, it's impossible to prepare for absolutely every contingency that may befall you. In the future – when memory of this disaster has faded and the passage of time blunts the impact – when envisioning a worst-case-scenario for your disaster-recovery program, if those around you are prone to cut corners, remember Japan.