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Accinctus - Will you take 5 minutes to answer a question?

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Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:00

Will you take 5 minutes to answer a question? Featured

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Yesterday, April 30, 2014, was the first National Day of Action – America’s PrepareAthon! sponsored by FEMA. 

Did you notice?  Did you care? 

I’m not asking to be rude.  I actually want to take this opportunity to address a major issue within my profession and get your thoughts and help.  But first, let me give you a bit of background on the event.  You can check out FEMA’s link here for more information:   http://www.community.fema.gov/connect.ti/AmericasPrepareathon. 

According to the FEMA website America’s PrepareAthon! is a nationwide, community-based campaign for action to increase emergency preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions and exercises conducted at the national level every fall and spring.”  I registered for the event and although I didn’t conduct any training or exercises yesterday I did pass on a few tweets and other information to contacts and reviewed some items for my family emergency kit.  According to the website there were 5,091,940 registered participants; with more than 317 million people in the US that comes out to about 1%.  Not a good participation rate in my opinion.  So I will go back to my initial questions – did you know and do you care? 

 

The first question isn’t as important to me while the second is what I want to focus on.  Do you care that there was a day focused on preparing for disasters?  Do you care that there is actually a whole month dedicated to the same concept (September is National Preparedness Month)?  Let me take a pretty educated guess and (be honest now) – you really don’t care much, nor do most people.

In my experience I know that most people don’t care because I’ve seen the numbers of how many people and families are unprepared for a disaster.  I know that most companies (around three-quarters) don’t do anything to prepare their business for a disaster or disruption and have no idea what that disruption will cost them.  I have seen the direct result of those failures – both with families and businesses.  It’s not like we don’t know about these risk.  On any day I can look at your favorite local news broadcast, national news website, or your favorite newspaper and highlight a dozen or more threats to consider from every source.  Bad things make good news – which I think is a major contributing factor to why most people don’t pay attention = mental disaster saturation (meaning we hear about so many disasters that we block them out).  I’m sure psychology experts know a formal term for this concept.  I do think there are other contributing factors to our societies overall preparedness apathy but this is a big one.    

Now this next part is where I need your help.  As a business continuity professional and a new business owner that has to break through those barriers with potential clients, I would like your honest feedback to this simple question.  WHAT WILL MAKE YOU CARE?  In other words, what message and method of communication would get you to decide to prepare your family for disasters?  What key message will get you as a manager or business owner to take notice and decide to prepare your company so you don’t lose reputation, customers, or revenue?  Getting past all the doom and gloom stories – what do I need to focus on to drive action with the people I speak to and in the classes I teach?

You see, I already believe in these things and every argument I pose includes that natural bias.  So I am asking for your feedback and ideas to help me improve and focus on what is important to you.  Please post your thoughts or send via email or message over LinkedIn.  I would like to use your great ideas to drive more discussion in future articles.  Thank you.

Until Next Time – Be Aware, Be Prepared, Be Safe.

 


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