CHAPTER 2Why You Need a Plan

Physical damage from natural disasters is often the first thought that comes to mind. Yet, there are many financial effects that can have a substantial negative impact on an organization.

Employees may not be able to come into work. Customers may not be able to get to your location. Data and records may be permanently lost. Utilities may be down for weeks. Suppliers may be displaced.

A good disaster response plan, also called a business continuity plan (BCP), addresses these potential issues from a broad perspective. But why go through the time and energy to create this type of plan?

DISASTERS OCCUR . . . A LOT

According to the World Health Organization, across the globe 160 million people are affected by disasters and 90,000 people are killed annually.1

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in 2017 disasters affected 8 percent of the population of the United States. If you were not affected personally, your family or friends likely were; 2017 saw FEMA responding to 59 major disasters and 16 emergency declarations.2

According to the Center for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), 2017 saw 318 natural disasters in 122 countries affecting 96 million people and costing $314 billion.3 Figure 2.1 provides a visual representation of the 2017 disasters. The statistics go on and on, but I think you get the idea—disasters are here to stay. Most people have experienced a disaster either personally or professionally (and sometimes ...

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