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What you should have done first, you did last

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Granny said, ‘What you should have done first, you did last’.

Our response, ‘Granny it’s better late than never’. This approach has become so common place in our society that is now embedded into our culture and has taken its place as the status quo. With everything that currently bombards us; it seems apt to address the issue of disaster risk management from a corporate perspective. Our corporations have developed a repetition of being reactive. Consequently, regardless of how critical or expected certain things may be; they are often not planned for, until after the fact. It appears that while many corporate leaders have a general idea, of where their corporations need to be during and after a disaster, not much attention is placed on the processes, actions or plans that need to be put in place in order to achieve these results.

Since St. Vincent and the Grenadines is susceptible to disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and volcanic eruptions that have the potential to significantly disrupt communities and the society, resulting in massive economic losses, corporate leaders should be more aggressive in their approach to disaster risk management. Research reveal that for every dollar spent on disaster preparedness, seven dollars are saved in economic losses. These savings can literally mean the difference between corporate success and corporate failure. It is unfortunate that many corporate leaders continue to overlook the need to identify, assess, quantify and characterise the possible risk to the sustainability of their corporations and their employees, in the event of a disaster.

The most effective time to perform disaster risk management is before the disaster strikes. However, if you are among the many corporate leaders who have failed to plan; here are some steps you may find useful in the future, to reduce the effects of a disaster on your business. First, prepare a risk assessment of your company. Second, put a system in place to protect your employees. Third, secure your assets; this may include reviewing your insurance coverage. Fourth, review your contractual obligations with your vendors and suppliers. Fifth, keep abreast with regulatory requirements and lastly, develop and communicate a written action plan.

The explosive eruption of our volcano has caught many unawares and many leaders have exposed their corporations to unnecessary economic risk as they scramble to put things in place.

Mr. Manager this needs to stop.

Dr. Wendyann Richardson is a Management Consultant who specializes in corporate governance, business operations management and refining of skills through training. She can be reached at [email protected]