GovBytes: Disaster Recovery Lessons Learned From Big – Box Retailers

Government Technology had an interesting article this morning highlighting how big-box retailers like Target and Lowes could teach government some important lessons on disaster recovery. Government Technology states, that big-box retailers and government are more alike than different in terms of business continuity and disaster recovery. Government Technology also highlights how Waffle House manages disasters and provides some lessons to government.

Sweet Recovery

Since 1955, Waffle House has served truck drivers and residents at more than 1,500 restaurants that provide 24/7 service. The company also has become known in the emergency management community as a role model for disaster recovery and business continuity. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate has openly talked about his “Waffle House test” — if one of the company’s restaurants is closed after a disaster, the situation is still bad. Here are five ways state and local governments can recover Waffle House-style:

1. Operate on a limited menu. Bring back public services in their order of importance to supporting a community post-disaster.

2. Stay up-to-date with email alerts about severe weather.

3. Provide employees with key fobs that contain the phone numbers of local managers and important contacts.

4. Outfit a recreational vehicle with satellite equipment so backup communications can move to a safe location.

5. Temporarily staff with workers from outside the affected area so local employees can focus on personal recover

I never knew about Waffle House’s reputation for disaster management and think their model holds a lot of tips that government could implement.There are many lessons that can be learned from the private sector in terms of business continuity and disaster management. The key is to work collaboratively across sectors to do what is best in terms of the community.

What are some lessons you would like to share from your experiences with disaster management?

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