In This Issue
                    Rubber gloves, but not 'rubbers'
                    Silly earthquake poster                          
                    "The Concept Formerly Known As Business Continuity Management"
                    IAEM's Asia-Oceania Resilience conference
                    CFTC BCM rules
                    Continuity Insights
   
   
   
   
Rubber gloves, but not 'rubbers'
When does your own health stop being a personal, private matter and become a legitimate consideration in a company’s business continuity planning?
   
   

It's acceptable for a company to talk to its employees at the workplace about disease (and safety) threats that might keep them from performing their jobs, but not acceptable to talk to the same employees about their health, even if their health might also keep them from performing their jobs. Or drive them out of the workforce. Or kill them.

Some diseases are considered business continuity issues, but others are not. Companies spent magnificent amounts of time, money and effort on influenza in 2009, while hypertension, hypercholestemia, diabetes and AIDS sickened or killed roughly 100 times more Americans in the same year. Companies distributed masks and gloves, but not condoms.

Why are rubber gloves acceptable, but 'rubbers' are not? It's not logical. You don't get sick because you came through the factory door, and you don't get healthy because you went back out. If organizational resilience is the goal, and if costs-vs.-benefits are the evaluation criteria, then we have adopted the wrong strategies. We can achieve better resilience for less money by focusing on preventable health conditions, and less on unpreventable infectious diseases.

To read the rest of this essay, see "Disease, Health & BCM" at Nathaniel Forbes' blog.This essay is adapted from Nat Forbes' presentations at the Continuity Insights conference (New Orleans USA) in April, 2010 and the World Conference on Disaster Management (WCDM Toronto, Canada) in June 2010. The presentation will be repeated at WCDM Sydney (Australia) in October, 2010.


   
   


   
   

Silly earthquake poster
I found this poster on a wall in a corporate training facility in Singapore. I can't imagine seeing a poster like this in Sichuan (China) or Aceh (Indonesia) or California – all places where they take earthquakes seriously. I'm from California. I grew up doing monthly 'duck-and-cover' drills under my desk at elementary school. I've been in plenty of earthquakes. They're scary. I'm a big believer in preparation and training, and Singapore is, in my opinion, woefully – disastrously – underprepared for a real earthquake.  This poster doesn't help, and here's a few reasons why:

  • The poster is on A4 size (letter-size) paper in a 10-point san-serif font, so you have to be within 60 cm (2 feet) of it to read it. The text is too small.

  • Notice the words "earth tremors" in the headline. Using those words perpetuates the absurd – and in my opinion, misleading and therefore dangerous - official fiction here that there has never been an earthquake in Singapore. That shaking that swayed my 16th-floor apartment in February 2008 so hard that the kitchen draws rolled open?  Not an earthquake. Just a "tremor."

  • Hotline numbers? (lower right image) Five – five! - of them, in 10-point type. Do they really want thousands of people to call their hotlines after an earthquake? Instead of phone numbers, I'd have listed one URL. Maybe the National Environment Agency's web site www.nea.gov.sg, for example.
   
   

To see the other reasons, read "Singapore tremors poster" at Nathaniel Forbes' blog.


   
   


   
   

"The Concept Formerly Known As Business Continuity Management"
Add Australia/New Zealand Standard 5050 to your growing collection of BCM standards. As I wrote in January, you have to love any risk-related standard nicknamed "fifty-fifty." 5050's Big Feature: it complies with new ISO/AS/NZ 31000 standard for risk management. Standards New Zealand touts 5050 this way: "Building on earlier concepts (often called 'business continuity management'), this new Standard [sic] ensures that all aspects of the risk are considered – from the factors which can lead to a disruptive event and influence the size of the event, to the factors that influence the nature and scale of the effects." BCM is now an 'earlier concept'?! Reminds me of the way music writers refer to "the artist formerly known as Prince."  Here's what Continuity Forum had to say about 5050. It ain't free, of course.  Buy AS/NZ 5050 from Standards New Zealand (NZD $134 print, NZD $120 digital) or buy it from SAI Global (USD $99 print, USD $89 digital).



IAEM's Asia-Oceania Resilience conference






Martin's presentation about emergency management in Antarctica (brrrr!) is one of 16 great talks you'll hear at IAEM’s Asia-Oceania Resilience conference on 5 & 6 October 2010 in Singapore. AOR 2010 is the first conference anywhere organized by a non-profit organization specifically to bring together private and public sector professionals in security, emergency management, crisis management, business continuity management, risk management and disaster relief, focusing on Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

The two-day conference is just USD 450 for IAEM members and USD 600 for non-IAEM members. Register for the Asia-Oceania Resilience conference here. Hint: join IAEM Asia for USD 80.00 for one year, then register for the AOR conference at the IAEM member rate; it's less expensive. Pay by credit card (in USD), wire transfer, PayPal or cheque (in SGD).




CFTC BCM rules
The U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission is seeking comment on proposed BC/DR rules for designated contract markets (the CFTC's list of 51 registered DCM's, like the CME Group) and derivatives clearing organizations (the CFTC's list of 19 registered DCO's, like the CME Group). These are the firms that trade futures, options and other derivatives. The rules apparently will apply only to entities "that the Commission determines to be critical financial markets in the event of a wide-scale disruption" (presumably like the CME Group). The rules would mandate "same day RTO" for trading and clearing functions, and "geographic dispersal of infrastructure and personnel sufficient to achieve that objective." Get out your wallets, because it's going to be expensive. The problem for any exchange: it can only fulfill its business mission if its member firms are operational, so the CFTC's approach covers both the exchanges and the firms that clear and settle trades. Comments on CFTC's BC/DR rules must be sent by 23 August 2010 to BCDR@cftc.gov with 'Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery' in the Subject field.




   

Continuity Insights
The best BCM conference in the United States, Continuity Insights (CI), wants your presentation proposal for its conference in Atlanta, USA, April 11-13 2011. Here's the CI 2011 presentation submission form.  CI consistently draws 350 to 400 experienced BCM professionals, generally senior practitioners.   There were two excellent case studies at CI in April 2010: this one by Thomson Reuters VP of Global Security Kevin Cassidy about responding to a rubella outbreak in India, and this one by iJET Intelligent Risk Systems CEO Stephen Hoffman and two iJET customers, one of whom relied on iJet to help locate and repatriate students after the Haiti earthquake.  The final plenary session was by (American) ABC News' Director of Business Continuity & Crisis Management Howard Price about getting a 75-person reporting team into and out of Haiti after the earthquake. It was worth staying to the end of the conference.


   
   


   
Outsource Your BCP Work in Asia
Need help but can't afford a full-time BCP professional? We outsource qualified BCP professionals for as little as one (1) day or two (2) days per week on contract. Read our Capability Statement with case studies of our satisfied clients over 14 years. Write to Nathaniel Forbes at nforbes@calamity.com.sg, or call +65 6324-3091 in Singapore (12 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time, 8 hours ahead of GMT or UTC).

  


Need help? In Singapore, call: +65 6324-3091  Fax: +65 6324-3093
Email: chris.tan@calamity.com.sg

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