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October 2009 | Volume 12 / Number 10
Disaster Preparedness

Continuity Planning 101 — The Cost of Carelessness

Many events can trigger unplanned downtime, including hurricanes, power outages, floods, virus attacks, snow storms, fires, and computer hackers. Careful businesses, however, have implemented planned uptime alternatives.

Recent warnings and bulletins on the H1N1 swine flu have many worried about a possible pandemic this fall. Health officials in the private and public sectors are preparing for that eventuality. Comparisons are being made to the 1918 “Spanish flu” pandemic that killed about 20-40 million worldwide, and up to 650,000 Americans. The 1918 flu was very mild during the initial outbreak, similar to H1N1, but became a major disaster when it returned in the fall. To contain the outbreak, schools and businesses had to shut down and the cost in dollars and human anguish was enormous.

Today’s world, however, is much different than 1918. We have sophisticated telecommunications, the Internet, and the ability to work from home. Implementing a blocking defense early is vital with a communicable disease. Isolation is a critical strategy, and applies to computers and humans alike with some interesting synergies. A firewall, for example, is an excellent defense against the spread of computer “diseases” and can also limit the spread of human diseases, if deployed as part of a home office strategy that isolates employees.

Since its inception, this column has been a strong advocate of home offices. Perhaps Internet Telephony (News - Alert) Magazine’s comprehensive coverage of the hottest IT products has directed our thinking. Now even small businesses can afford fault tolerant on-premises or hosted solutions utilizing converged IP, VoIP, FoIP, UM and data solutions, and virtualization and SAN technologies.

Hopefully, the H1N1 flu will never become a pandemic, but maybe it can serve a positive purpose as a catalyst for business continuity planning. Don’t be careless – IMPLEMENT A BC SOLUTION NOW.

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

Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) is the CEO and Group Editor-in-Chief at TMC and is Conference Chairman of ITEXPO.

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