Acting First and Fast

When there's a disaster spread over a wide area, people and resources will be in short supply. The more widespread the disaster, the longer the shortages will last.

The Fast Worker (film poster), Universal Pictures 1924.

When there's a wide area disaster, you need to be ready to act first and fast.

Some wide area disasters I've seen:

  • Ice storm, destroying power lines over wide areas of Ontario and Quebec.
  • North American power outage
  • Tornado
  • Derecho (unexpected wide area windstorm with sudden onset)
  • Mobile phone network outages affecting all customers

In each of these events there were shortages of things like:

  • backup generators to keep businesses running
  • fuel for generators or for vehicles
  • construction materials for making repairs
  • construction workers able to perform building repair

Often the first movers (only) got the resources that they needed. The rest had to endure long periods without power, or with damaged buildings open to the elements.

Moving means acting within minutes. During the North American power outage, a local newspaper re-used its Y2K plan. It had a generator truck en route to it within twenty minutes of the outage, and never missed publication. By the time other businesses reacted there were no large mobile generators available.

Speed counts. But do you have a method of making decisions fast enough?

6 September 2022

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