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1 Sept 2006

BCP lessons from hurricane Katrina

A report published by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) does a great job of distilling the key disaster management and contingency planning lessons learned from hurricane Katrina

The report deserves a wider audience than the financial services industry since the lessons apply more broadly:
  • Some organizations may not have anticipated or prepared for the extensive destruction and prolonged recovery period resulting from Hurricane Katrina.
  • To be realistic, disaster drills should include all critical functions and areas.
  • Anticipate disruptions in communications services, possibly for extended periods of time.
  • Critical staff may not be able to reach their assigned recovery location.
  • People are essential to the recovery of operations.
  • Replacement supplies may be difficult to obtain during a protracted recovery period.
  • Financial institutions' facilities could be damaged or destroyed, creating a need for alternate facilities.
  • The location of any back-up site can be critical to successful recovery efforts.
  • Processing transactions may be extremely difficult.
  • Be prepared to operate in a "cash only" environment.
  • The financial industry is dependent on numerous critical infrastructure sectors that potentially have competing interests.
  • A financial institution's involvement in neighborhood, city, state, federal, and non-profit or volunteer programs can facilitate a community's recovery from a catastrophic event.

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