Contingency Planning: Preparing for the Worst

by Stuart Hershon, Earth Networks

What would you do if a severe storm was gathering strength and heading straight for your area? How would you prepare knowing that you had limited time to take the required steps to mitigate injury, prevent property damage and brace for potential power outages?

North Florida business professionals had the opportunity to find out during The Disaster Experience, an interactive half-day Tabletop Exercise held earlier this month. Hosted by the Northeast Florida Chapter of the Association of Contingency Planners in partnership with the Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida, The Disaster Experience placed organizations and business continuity planners directly into the throes of a simulated disaster situation as it unfolded.

Event leader and business continuity expert Bob Mellinger walked participants through a simulated disaster scenario in which an impending hurricane was a significant component of the threat.  This exercise was developed help increase their understanding and gain critical insight into their levels of preparedness.

Without a doubt, access to real-time weather is a crucial component of disaster planning, mitigation and response. My presentation included an overview of sophisticated tracking tools for monitoring weather conditions — at geographic levels from hyper-local to international scales — for critical decision making.

Detailed weather tracking tools are being utilized in the field by both public entities and private enterprise to help ensure business continuity and the safety of personnel. In many locales, severe and dangerous conditions – whether a hurricane, tornado, wildfire or major snow emergency — are not a question of “if” but of “when.” Thanks to this and other Tabletop Exercises taking place across the country, businesses are better prepared to minimize the impact of future events on their communities and businesses.

What Tabletop Exercises are you attending and what insight did you gain? Let me know at

About Earth Networks

Earth Networks gathers and analyzes environmental observations from around the world to help promote a better understanding of the planet and its atmosphere.
This entry was posted in contingency planning, Extreme Weather, Weather & Economy, weather and business, Weather preparedness and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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