Lessons In Crisis Management

Most contingency plans fall victim to analysis paralysis, that’s because we spend so much time error-proofing the plan against all possible scenarios that we failed to build in the proper flexibility needed to adapt to changes.  As a crisis progresses many new information needs to be formulated to get the right equation.  The following article from Risk Management’s Regina Phelps details 4 lessons learned from the H1N1 outbreak that should be revised and properly codified in your response plans:  

Lessons From H1N1’s First Wave
Risk Management (11/09) Vol. 56, No. 9, P. 26; Phelps, Regina

The recent outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus has taught many corporate risk managers that having a plan in place is not sufficient. One of the biggest problems so far has been that most corporate risk officers failed to pressure-test their response strategies with either functional or table-top exercises. Second, employees will come to their corporate risk managers for assurance and answers. Expedient and efficient communication can differentiate between a considered and timely response and a distracted and hurried response. Third, H1N1 is unusual in that most of its victims are younger workers, meaning the virus has especially worrisome consequences for the business community. To minimize absenteeism, employers should categorize workers into four groups: essential to job site; essential but can work from home; nonessential but can work from home; and nonessential and not necessary to work remotely. Businesses should offer the highest level of protection to employees who are essential to the job site. Risk managers must remember that certain groups are more susceptible to the virus, including those with asthma, diabetes, chronic medical conditions, and pregnant women.

Read More: http://bit.ly/54FFny

The Geopolitics of Climate Change II

In light of COP 15 this week and the tacit accord reached yesterday, this report from NPR caught my attention:

Pentagon, CIA Eye New Threat: Climate Change

By Tom Gjelten

 Global warming is now officially considered a threat to U.S. national security.

For the first time, Pentagon planners in 2010 will include climate change among the security threats identified in the Quadrennial Defense Review, the Congress-mandated report that updates Pentagon priorities every four years….

Read more and listen to the podcast: http://bit.ly/7f4Ef9

Blackmail & Extortions….Oh My!

Here is something we security professionals don’t see across our desks everyday. But although Blackmail rarely occurs or is seldom reported to security, that does not mean it can’t become a request from a client.  Learn what to do from subject matter experts on this WSJ article.

New Squeeze: You’ve Got Blackmail


It’s not just people like John Stamos and David Letterman. Even noncelebrities are increasingly being targeted in alleged blackmail plots, say security and law-enforcement experts.

Some private security experts say a growing number of clients are calling on them for protection from extortion threats. The severe recession and high unemployment rates, as well as general turmoil following last year’s economic meltdown, appear to be swelling the ranks of blackmailers, they say.

Read More: http://bit.ly/5d7fCu

The Hostage Business

A very telling article from many sides of a complex issue. (From the NYT Magazine

The Hostage Business


Published: December 6, 2009

Kidnapping in the developing world is a grim byproduct of globalization, and a strange and shadowy ransom industry has grown to protect and retrieve the victims. But are all the consultants and insurers really just part of the problem?


A CSO In The Line of Fire

“This is the disheartening story of a Nigerian university’s CSO who lost his own life while responding to a distress call from the home of one of the university’s professors. When he arrived at the professor’s home, he was murdered by gunmen who were there to attack the professor (who luckily was not there).”
It is a dangerous world we live in; even the call of duty can turn into a CSO’s last call.  My condolences to the family.  May the killers be caught and pay for this heinous crime.

Read the story here: http://bit.ly/8uuT4p