With the recent tornadoes, tsunamis and other natural disasters wiping out communities in a flash, it reminds us of the need for sustainable strategic planning not only in business but in our personal affairs. According to an article by St. Louis Today, at the St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri, emergency procedures were followed which helped save lives. Minutes before the tornado hit, the hospital declared a “Condition Gray” which alerted all personnel to move to the stairwells and other protected areas of the hospital. These procedures had been in place for years prior to the event, and it’s this kind of preparation that helped to save lives and continue with operations once the tornado had passed.

Medical units typically start a triage system whenever there is a disaster which allows emergency personnel to evaluate people quickly and get help for the people who need it the most. In the case of St. John’s, the triage center was taking place in the parking lot and people were being directed to other neighboring hospitals. St. John’s was completely evacuated for fear of structural damage, and existing patients were moved where needed. Sustainable Strategic Planning and preparation created the environment for the hospital to continue despite the tragedy.

It’s a reminder to us all to remember to protect our important documents and papers as well as electronic media should an incident like this take place in our offices and our homes. Think about what scenarios could take place and prepare for these.  Know where your local food shelters are located should you find yourself in need to go there.

What are you doing to protect your data and files?

What sustainability procedures and processes do you have in place in case of an emergency?

How often do you practice emergency procedures to protect your family and co-workers?