Winter Storms Underscore Need for Real World Emergency Preparation
News Analysis: Emergency planning advice usually assumes that things will work as planned. The real secret to emergency planning is to assume that nothing will work as planned.It's no secret that those of us who work on the U.S. East Coast have been subjected to a cycle of major winter storms that have hit about every four to six days. The Midwest has had a similar cycle that seems to alternate between the upper and lower Midwest. As those storms hit with blizzard conditions or with sticky, wet snow, freezing rain and high winds, the results are basically the same: Power goes out, employees get stuck in commuter hell, phone service is spotty and cell service vanishes. The only real differences are in how skilled the regions are in getting back online after one of these events.
Of course, other regions have their own emergencies. In the South, it's hurricanes from June through November. In the West, there are massive Pacific storms that bring mudslides, followed by droughts that bring fires. And, of course, there's the occasional earthquake just to stir things up. But right now it's the East Coast's turn to be pounded, and businesses around the region are struggling to stay on top of the repeated, and relentless, attacks from the weather.