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October 2008 | Volume 11 / Number 10
Disaster Preparedness

A Call to Action

A Snapshot in Time — August 25-31, 2008. The Atlantic hurricane season officially extends from June until November with September being the most active month. During our Snapshot Week a new hurricane, Gustav, hit Haiti and Jamaica and was in the Gulf of Mexico targeting the U.S. Gulf Coast. Another tropical storm, Hanna, became the 8th named storm of the season and was close on the tail of Gustav.

Snapshot Week was selected based on its historical significance as August 29th is the 2-year anniversary of Katrina. The National Hurricane Center describes Katrina as “one of the most devastating natural disasters” in U.S. history. Katrina was also the catalyst that triggered this column’s authors to envisage the formation of a Disaster Planning Communications Forum (DPCF) which was launched at the Los Angeles INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & Expo Fall 2005.

During Snapshot Week, tourists were evacuating Jamaica, government officials were heading to New Orleans, Gulf oil rig operators were planning to extract personnel and numerous other organizations were scrambling to prepare. Two full years after Katrina, the storm that killed more than 1600 people, “scrambling at the last minute” defined the state of preparedness for many. A prime example is that the New Orleans repairs are not even close to being finished (see the links below for additional statistics). Newscasters covering the historic Democratic National Convention in Denver were now shifting their focus to weather coverage. As Yogi Berra said, “This is like déjà vu all over again.”

There are many reasons why your company should actively participate in the DPCF but the most important reason is to help your company focus on business continuity and disaster avoidance. Let the week you read this column be designated as your Snapshot Week and picture yourself on the Gulf Coast monitoring the latest news on Gustav and Hannah (or in St. Louis watching the Mississippi rise). Then ask yourself “Are we ready?” Next steps:

  1. Visit the DPCF site and begin your research.
  2. Begin your participation in the DPCF by completing a member application. Note the benefits particularly if you are a reseller or vendor that would like to participate in ITEXPO (News - Alert) East 2009 (
  3. Act now to avoid having your company become a statistic.

For additional information please visit: or contact Max Schroeder (News - Alert) at

Katrina statistics: and

Max Schroeder is the Senior Vice President of FaxCore (News - Alert), Inc. ( and Managing Director of the DPCF.

Rich Tehrani is the President and Group Editor-in-Chief at TMC and is Conference Chairman of Internet Telephony (News - Alert) Conference & EXPO.

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