To Prep or Not to Prep – FEMA’s PS-Prep

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To Prep or Not to Prep


FEMA’s PS-Prep

 A recent conversation on the DRJ LinkedIn Group caused Firestorm’s Ken O’Dell to reflect on the importance of FEMA’s PS-Prep program;

By Firestorm Partner Ken O’Dell

Following the tragic events of 9-11, the US government convened numerous panels and bodies of experts to understand the impacts and potential solutions to mitigate the effects of future events.

Out of those committees came the development of PS-Prep and, more importantly, the understanding that…Preparedness is NOT a Luxury, but rather a Required Expense of doing business in today’s social, political, and economic environment.I don’t think the question is so much what has happened to PS-Prep, a voluntary program, so much as what has happened to common sense?

While I know that we often need a gun pointing at our heads before we respond, it seems counter-intuitive for the business community to wait until the government pulls the trigger by putting in place prescriptive plans and punishments to force a move from voluntary to mandatory implementation and certification.

Trust me (unless there is a conspiracy theorist in the group) the government is not going to control when the next disaster occurs, yet it has rightly provided good solid research and committee-based recommendations clearly indicating we must be prepared.

In fact, it is very important to acknowledge that we already have a gun pointing at our heads…it is the current and very real probability that a business disruption or disaster will happen. Do we need to wait for government regulations to point a second gun at our heads so we can gamble on which one goes off first?

Being prepared is not about having a single formula or list of check boxes to fill out and check off…it is about understanding YOUR business and taking steps to ensure YOUR business is sustainable and resilient in the face of a potentially devastating event.

If we go back to the thought that Preparedness is a Required Expense of Doing Business, it seems appropriate that the business community take the lead in creating traction in determining how they want to allocate the expense rather than being forced to spend it on Certification.

Disaster Denial is a terrible competitor of the DR/Preparedness world, because it leads to inaction and therefore reliance on others. The outcome can result in significant lost resources and huge expenses paid out under duress, rather than planned resource and expense allocations.

Where is the Traction and Urgency? Perhaps it is lost in the same place as our Common Sense.

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