Disasters, may it be natural or man-made, are occurrences that are inevitable to businesses and companies. They may take the form of an earthquake or informational theft that is equally tragic to the affected company. Romano emphasizes that “companies are starting to realize that they need to protect their assets both informational and physical.” (1995,P.43).
And so, companies and corporations have developed ‘Disaster Management’; as the name implies, it is a process of dealing, if not preventing, disasters done to companies. According to Rike, “disaster management is divided into three kinds: natural threats, technical difficulty and human activities.” (2003,P.26). Rike stresses that disaster management isn’t only concerned about natural disasters but also technical and man-made disasters that are relatively abundant in most companies which returns a loss of income.
Disaster management, according to Clark, is “the process of preparing for mitigating, responding to, and recovering from a disaster.” (1995, P. 41). Clark’s statement shows that disaster management is not only about what companies should do before or during or after a disaster, but what companies should do from before a disaster arises up to the time that the company needs to recover from the damage that the particular disaster brings to the company.
This report aims to discuss the types of threat, the impact and four-step process of disaster management and why companies should prepare themselves even before a disaster occurs.
The Types of Threat
Rike identifies that disaster management has three sub categories namely: “Natural or Environmental threats, technical hazard and human activities” (2003, P.26).
The Natural or Environmental threats that Rike was referring to are the natural calamities that we are accustomed to such as earthquakes, floods, fire, storms, etc. that can cause physical or psychological damage to the companies. Rike states that “human life is always the first consideration in any emergency or disaster.” (2003, P.26) and there are no other greater threats to human safety than natural calamities because of its destructive power.
Technical Hazards can be grouped in seven namely: “power outage, gas leak, software failure, biological contamination, train derailment, toxic spill and electrical shortage” (Rike, 2003, P.26). And human activities are the threat that is concerned about human errors, miscalculation and faults due to lack of skill or ignorance. There is a saying that “No man (or woman) is perfect.” And so, it is necessary for companies to prepare themselves for these kinds of disasters to avoid any loss of valuable income.
Impact of Disaster
One type of the impact of disaster is the development of companies (Rike, 2003, P.27). Companies should be aware of its competition because its survival depends on how well a certain company performs against these competitors and should surpass the development of other companies to be able to maintain a competitive edge over the others.
The second type is the Economy which dictates whether a certain company should act. If a certain disaster hits a particular state, city or country, its economy may well be affected and soon it affects the production/income of the company. The third is the people’s lives; a company cannot profit on its own, it depends on its workers to do the little things that bring the huge amount of money into the companies. So, companies should protect and maintain the well-being of its employees and make sure that they are in the same page to be able to assure them a great outcome.
Four Steps of the Process
In the first step is that management have ability to support (Rike, 2003, P.27). The company should be able to have a disaster management that can support its business. The second step is about the analysis risk (Rike, 2003, P.27). The Disaster Management should do an analysis risk that, as the name implies, analyses the risks involved in a particular disaster and its recovery. The third step is that the company needs to spend much time on data collection and preparing the written plan (Rike, 2003, P.30).
The company should do an actual planning of the disaster management to make things organized to minimize undone tasks especially when it comes to recovery because time is of the essence for most companies. The last step is that test the plan (Rike, 2003, P.31). A plan will not be complete without testing it. The company should test it under the most hazardous situations to maximize its productivity and to be able to identify its flaws.
The report has discussed in detail what disasters are and how and why companies should prepare themselves/recover from the said disasters and how they can affect the company’s profits. The report will be very useful for companies to identify the activities that should be done in order to protect what is most important to them, which is the income, because a disaster creates a thin line between bankruptcies and an incredible comeback from a disaster.