04 November 2012

U.S. Resilience: Hurricane, Terrorism, Political Risks...

One week ago today, Hurricane Sandy was making her way up the Eastern seaboard of the United States with a wind field 800 to 900 miles wide.  There are estimates of $50B. in economic damages to the country and that tells you only part of the impact story.  The direct impact in lives lost, people displaced and the continuous risks to the Whole Community unfolds in real-time.  Business Resilience and consumers patience is being tested by the hour, ever since the reality of the crisis started to reach the Executive Suites of critical infrastructure sectors such as Financial, Energy, Telecom, Transportation, Maritime, Retail, and the other thirteen or so others.  All have been exercising their COG, COOP and DR plans as part of the their organizational Operational Risk Management programs.

sandy.locative.us will provide you with a snap shot from aerial imagery of the Hurricane Sandy aftermath and geographic locations that could have a spectrum of damage from light to heavy.  This is just one example of how crowdsourced apps are being used to assist, with the ongoing situational awareness and damage assessments but also the long term recovery of those most impacted areas.  At the same time, resources are in high demand for certain areas such as gasoline.  The power companies are making progress and as the supply chain mobilizes and the electricity comes back on, the commodities shortages will soon begin to dissipate.

The Sunday Washington Post and New York Times are telling stories of heroism, tragedy and the effect on the Presidential election on November, 6 2012.  The politically charged atmosphere is primed for more of a perfect storm as the fiscal cliff approaches, regardless who becomes the next President of the United States of America.  This minute, there are tens of thousands of people wondering where they are going to live and stay warm this week in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.  Simultaneously, the September 11, 2012 terrorism investigation continues and in the next few weeks, the world will better understand the timeline and the vulnerabilities that still remain to U.S. assets in the Middle East.  The Associated Press reports:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The deadly military-style assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, has raised numerous foreign policy and national security questions and fueled a fierce, partisan election debate over the Obama administration's handling of the attack. 
The strike that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans is either proof of President Barack Obama's leadership failures or a tragic event that occurred despite the administration's best efforts to protect the compound and respond in the aftermath of the attack, according to highly charged arguments on both sides.
Administration officials have warned against drawing conclusions from individual documents that have leaked into the public sphere. They maintain that a full picture of what happened and any assessment of blame can only be determined after a complete review of all the evidence. But as documents continue to surface in the final days of the presidential campaign, the intensity of allegations of administration impropriety or incompetence has risen. 
A look at what is known, what is still unanswered and who is investigating the incident that has called into doubt Washington's ability to predict such events, secure American personnel in dangerous places and track down those responsible.

Courageous people who have special skills, talents and subject matter expertise are activated or being deployed at this minute, on billets to address a set of continuous operational risks across the globe.  These American first responders and long term recovery professionals all have one thing in common.  A desire to close their eyes each night, with the confidence that they did make a difference that day.  The peace of mind, that they did their small part to add to the tremendous challenges of securing the safety and long term security of their loved ones and those in need.  God, Family, Nation.

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