by CIO Staff

Katrina-Surviving IT Execs Share Lessons Learned

Nov 09, 20052 mins
Disaster RecoverySecurity

A large panel got onstage to talk about lessons learned from disaster, as a warm up to some lunchtime working groups on the topic of business continuity and disaster recovery.

All the panelists had in one way or another been affected by the hurricanes in the Southeast this year. They had a lot of interesting observations and lessons learned–but as Paul Saffo made the analogy, such a big panel was rather like an Emergency Operations Center itself: fast moving, action packed, hard to track. My colleague Stephanie Overby will soon give you more in this blog; I’ll give you a tiny taste.

Here were the things that were the biggest surprises to the panelists.

1. Just how little sleep the human body requires.

2. How little improvement in disaster management there’d been since 9/11.

3. The difficulty of tracking employees.

4. Our ability to respond, ensure safety and get back to operations.

5. How surprised most organizations seemed to be.

6. The lack of communication, and how frustrating that was.

7. The storm surge.

8. That the storm was not followed by pestilence. And the difficulty getting data in and out.

9. The difficulty of executing business continuity plans when disaster struck people personally–30 family members had lost homes, and other employees had similar situations.

We broke for lunch and some extremely thoughtful discussion about what CIOs can do to help one another and to help first responders in the event of emergency. More notes on the findings of the five break-out groups will be available soon.

–Sandy Kendall