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What Constitutes a Disaster?

Flooded City

What exactly is a disaster? A disaster is a sudden, unexpected event that causes an inability of an organization to provide critical business functions for an undetermined period of time resulting in damage or loss to that organization.

Even if your facility sustains no damage, a major earthquake, tornado, fire or other event can cause power outages, close roads, or create major problems that force a business to close.

No one is immune to the threat of losses caused by natural or man-made disasters. The catastrophic events of the past year alone should remind us all of the need to be prepared, to have a plan to survive, and to recover quickly.

"Few small businesses have the resources or knowledge to assess disaster risks and develop a comprehensive plan for mitigation and recovery." (IBHS, Institute for Business and Home Safety)

Earlene at Life Essentials can help you develop plans to enable you and your company to endure during a disaster.

Data Loss: Experts Agree

"A company that experiences a computer outage lasting more than 10 days will never fully recover financially. 50 percent will be out of business within five years."1

"70 percent of small firms that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year."2

Of companies experiencing catastrophic data loss:

Of those businesses that experience a disaster and have no emergency plan, 43% never reopen; of those that do reopen, only 29% are still operating 2 years later.6


"A national Harris Interactive survey of 597 computer users,7 as reported in Realty Times found";

1. Jon Toiga, Disaster Recovery Planning: Managing Risk and Catastrophe in Information Systems (Yourdon Press, 1989)
2. Contingency Planning, Strategic Research Corp and DTI/Price Waterhouse Coopers (2004)
3. University of Texas Center for Research on Information Systems
4. Bernstein Crisis Management, LLC
5. A Managers' Guide to Catastrophic Incidents in the Workplace, Bruce T. Blythe
6. The Hartford's Guide to Emergency Planning, JJ Keller& Associates
7. www.techworld.com