Katrina: Slow Progress, Tens of Thousands; Business No Continuity Plan


Ten years ago on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall near the Louisiana-Mississippi border, wreaking havoc along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The following month, Hurricane Rita struck southwest Louisiana, dealing a double-blow to the state, the coast and the nation.


The good news is the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has made significant strides. The FEMA web site is rich with information on how to be prepared both at work and at home. It is your first stop when thinking about how you can protect your business and family from the many likely hazards we face throughout the year, from storm related challenges to terrorism. FEMA’s good work is something we all pay for with our tax dollars, and it actually provides great value!


FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability. And, to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.


The 2014-2018 FEMA Strategic Plan reflects objectives the Agency will accomplish to provide the best possible support to the American people before, during, and after disasters. It sets forth the strategies FEMA will employ to accomplish the objectives and also establishes measurable outcomes to achieve. This Strategic Plan was developed through the involvement of hundreds of FEMA employees and many external stakeholders who contributed to generating our objectives, strategies, and outcomes, and who are now working to execute this Plan. 


The Strategic Plan provides a strategic lens to focus FEMA's efforts and guide the allocation of resources over the next four years. The FEMA Strategic Plan supports the Department of Homeland Security's Strategic Plan for Fisical Years (FY) 2014-2018 Mission 5 (Strengthen national preparedness and resilience) and is built on five strategic priorities and two strategic imperatives outlined in the Fiscal Year 2015 - 2019 Administrators Intent:


FEMA’s Five Strategic Priorities:

  • Priority 1:Be survivor-centric in mission and program delivery

  • Priority 2:Become an expeditionary organization

  • Priority 3:Posture and build capability for catastrophic disasters

  • Priority 4:Enable disaster risk reduction nationally

  • Priority 5:Strengthen FEMA’s organizational foundation

FEMA’s Two Strategic Imperatives:  1) A whole community approach to emergency management, 2) Foster innovation and learning.


The bad news is that ten years later few business owners have taken substantive steps to protect their businesses. A staggering number of small and medium size companies do not have any continuity plans. Yet each year many billions of dollars of non-insurance covered losses are sustained resulting in thousands of companies closing their doors forever. The impact on our nation is so very significant mostly because of the lost jobs.


Please look over the FEMA links I have provided and the many other free resources like Ready.gov to start your business and family emergency plans today.


I look forward to your comments.


Stay safe,



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