iJET Outlines Heightened Risk Factors and Areas of Impact for a Unique 2010 Hurricane Season

Intelligence Firm Warns Active Season and Unprecedented Threats Could Complicate Disaster Preparedness and Expand Reach; Highlights Top Four Steps for Proactive Resiliency Planning

Jun 22, 2010, 09:36 ET from iJET Intelligent Risk Systems

ANNAPOLIS, Md., June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- iJET Intelligent Risk Systems, a leading provider of global intelligence and business resiliency services, today outlined unique threats that could complicate what experts already predict to be an active hurricane season. iJET also provides the top four steps for effective business resiliency planning that will help organizations sustain operations in the midst of a disaster.

"When it comes to natural disasters, the question facing businesses today is not a matter of if, but when," said Steve Hoffman, CEO at iJET. "An organization that has invested in a comprehensive business resiliency plan is less vulnerable when disaster strikes, furthering its ability to not only survive, but thrive in the wake of what could have been a significant setback to normal business operations."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is calling for an active to extremely active hurricane season, which runs June 1 - November 30 for the Atlantic Basin. The impact of a hurricane on an organization operating in or around the affected region can be significant, with the safety of employees, physical infrastructure and continuity of operations at risk during and after a storm. Further complicating the 2010 hurricane season is the emergence of new threats, including the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and ongoing instability in Haiti.

Oil Spill in the Gulf

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico presents an element of unpredictability to this year's hurricane season, as even a minor storm could push oil into surrounding areas. Storm surges in coastal areas often bring tides of up to 10 feet above normal and can reach heights of 20 feet during large hurricanes, potentially forcing oil miles inland to low-lying areas and into nearby estuaries and riverbeds. Hurricanes could also move oil into currents that travel around Florida, potentially affecting U.S. coastlines up to the Carolinas, the Bahamas and Bermuda, as well as westward toward Texas and Mexico. Organizations tied to the hospitality/tourism, fishing/food service, extraction (oil and gas) and other major services industries in the Gulf are of highest risk to face complications from the oil spill and hurricane season.

Post-Earthquake Haiti

With the Haitian government continuing to struggle with an unstable infrastructure and amidst growing security concerns following the recent withdrawal of U.S. troops, iJET's analysts warn that if a storm hits, the impact on the Haitian people and organizations in the area would be significant. The delivery of aid in the wake of a storm could take days or even weeks to reach those in need and the country's refugee situation could be severely impacted, as makeshift camps cannot withstand major rainfall and other shelters may become inhabitable. Criminal activity and other security issues have the potential to worsen following a storm, placing both employees and facilities at an increased risk.

Hurricane Preparedness

As a result of these complications, iJET offers organizations the following advice to improve operational readiness around the 2010 hurricane season:

  • Take proactive measures. Determine your building's physical vulnerabilities, including its elevation above sea level and proximity to flood, storm surge, levees and evacuation zones. Update your resiliency plan with procedures and policies for all phases of hurricane operations in advance, outlining the specific tasks that must be performed to protect the facility and designate responsibility to staff members. Train employees, stock necessary tools and supplies, and have set procedures in place to weather the storm.

  • Consider threats to key assets. Curfews and disrupted transportation systems may make your facilities uninhabitable for a period of time. Prepare for extensive supply chain disruptions by creating an alternate operation plan in the event employees cannot quickly return to a facility. Consider setting up a remote system or designating a remote location for employees to report to.

  • Monitor ongoing developments. Ensure your organization is equipped with the intelligence and technology required to track conditions as they change. Use a source that incorporates predictive intelligence, which can help identify areas of risk before a storm strikes.

  • Ready access to data, emergency communications, emergency plans and key documents. Ensure all levels of the organization have appropriate access to reliable, accurate and actionable intelligence as well as critical information about your operations. Provide 24x7 emergency response for employees and ensure that plans are in place and enacted when appropriate. Be aware that even a minor hurricane can dismantle communication systems, including cell phone towers. Do not assume you will be able to make calls or have Internet access during or in the aftermath of a storm.

About iJET Intelligent Risk Systems

iJET Intelligent Risk Systems (iJET) is an intelligence-driven provider of business resiliency and risk management solutions to nearly 500 multinational corporations and governments -- helping them survive and thrive amidst global threats to their people, facilities and supply chain assets.

iJET's services, team of world-class intelligence analysts and patented Worldcue® Global Control Center technology solutions equip decision-makers and organizations with real-time information to anticipate, respond to and emerge from business disruptions with a competitive edge. iJET's Worldcue solutions provide decision makers with timely, actionable intelligence on potential disruptions and emerging threats to employees, operating assets and suppliers.

For more information, please visit: www.ijet.com.

iJET, Travel Intelligence and Worldcue are registered trademarks of iJET Intelligent Risk Systems, Inc.  All rights reserved.

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