True Disaster-Recovery: What Japan Teaches Us

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.