How to Prevent a Chemical Disaster

A disaster is generally a brutal event, caused by nature or man-made. Its consequences are usually death and destruction. The singularity and the magnitude of the disaster that provokes catastrophes deeply affect the human spirit.

Man-made disasters, chemical, biological or nuclear, are the product of the 20th century. Already responsible for countless atrocities, these products continue to represent a risk for humans. Like in the Greek theater, the disaster (the catastrophe) was the fifth and final part of the tragedy.

Different from accidents, disasters have as outcome new considerations regarding the ways in which they can be avoided or prevented. Most accidents are caused by human error, like the involuntary use of a product instead of another or the misinterpretation of a work procedure. Therefore, all risky products must be clearly labeled to show the dangers that they can ensue: toxicity, inflammability or reactivity. All the equipment, especially the heating and cooling systems as well as security and control instruments must be inspected on a regular basis.

In order to prevent a chemical disaster in an enterprise or a company in which chemical substances are found, a few common sense rules must be followed. First of all, the products with a high-risk factor must be replaced with less dangerous equivalents. Also, the utilization and the storage of dangerous products must be reduced to a minimum.

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IT Consulting Services: Implementing a Disaster Recovery Plan

In recent years, major earthquakes have reminded companies of how quickly business can be brought to a halt by something that is difficult to forecast, and even more difficult to recover from: a natural disaster. Thankfully, natural disasters are few and far between, but it does not take an act of nature to cause the havoc an earthquake or flood can cause; a company’s IT network can also be destroyed by a structural failure, a building fire, or a burst plumbing pipe. For most companies, the biggest risk associated with these events is not property damage, but data loss that results from property damage. That is why business owners should contact a managed services provider about IT consulting services for disaster recovery.

Implementing a Plan

Implementing a disaster recovery plan is a four-step process that contains several sub-steps. Below is a basic overview of the steps a company must take as it implements a recovery plan with the help of a disaster recovery consultant:

Building a Governance Structure

Because implementing a recovery plan requires careful technical and financial considerations, companies should start by forming support for the initiative. Ideally, support should come in the form of two committees: a working committee and an oversight committee. The former should be composed of key stakeholders who address the technical and financial concerns of the initiative. The latter should be composed of senior leaders who can help navigate the initiative past internal obstacles.

Selecting a Partner

The perspective of an expert in disaster recovery and business continuity can help build approval for the initiative, especially when the expert can provide examples of how similar companies have implemented a disaster recovery plan and benefited from it. A managed services provider that offers IT consulting services for disaster recovery is an ideal partner.

Developing a Plan and Strategy

Developing a plan and strategy begins with conducting a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) that shows how a disaster can impact the viability of the company. Results from the BIA help define Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) goals. Developing a strategy to reach these goals involves technological and financial considerations that an experienced partner can help the company address.

Execution and Maintenance

Developing and approving a recovery plan does not provide assurance that it will work. To ensure the plan is viable, it must be tested, updated when recovery needs change, and measured against RTO and RPO goals. An experienced partner can ensure the validity of the plan by testing it and providing additional consulting if the plan must be changed.


Preparing for unexpected changes in the business environment involves preparing for unexpected disasters. When companies lack a disaster recovery plan, they can easily go out of business due to a major loss. In fact, statistics show that only twenty-nine percent of companies that reopen in the wake of a disaster without a recovery plan are still in business two years later. A managed services provider that offers IT consulting services for disaster recovery can help companies mitigate the threat that disasters pose to business continuity.

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Earthquake and Tsunami Preparation

Do you live in a region that has risks for an earthquake and/or tsunami? The recent events in Japan, New Zealand, Chile and Haiti have brought to light some catastrophic consequences for these terrible disasters.

The Japanese people are currently experiencing tremendous loss of life and destruction of property, and are in danger of a nuclear disaster. The news coverage of the tsunami rushing through the coastline of Japan, destroying everything in the path of the wave, is overwhelming. Right now, they are in danger of a core meltdown at one of the power plants.

My brother, Jeff and his girlfriend Diane were able to travel to Haiti one year ago after the earthquake. They volunteered with a project through his church, associated with Mission of Hope, and located about 10 miles northwest of Port-au-Prince. After arriving in Haiti, they were in shock at the situation. “The first thing we saw when we landed was the extreme need for food,” Jeff said. He told of long lines where people waited for hours for a meal. “People had set up tent cities, and there were thousands of blue tarps,” he said. “The earthquake damage was massive; there was rubble as far as you could see.”

Mission of Hope has a school, a church, a medical clinic and an orphanage all established back in 1998. Jeff was impressed with the operation. “It is expanding its orphanage from 60 to 240 children. This year they will teach 2,600 young people in their school. It has a clinic open five days a week that treats about 60 patients a day.”

FEMA has a great website for earthquake information. They list: What to Do Before an Earthquake, What to Do During an Earthquake and What to Do After and Earthquake. Part of emergency preparedness for a disaster is a proper plan, and to have emergency and disaster supplies on hand. There are survival kits and storage food available to buy, but here are a few things from the list.


  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Nonelectric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Sturdy shoes


As with any disaster, advanced planning and preparation make the ability to survive much more likely. It also makes you better able to help others in distress. Often, there is no way to gather items from a checklist once an emergency has started. People are already in panic mode, and stores are stripped bare quickly. Survivalist gear in the home, office, school and grab and go can make you more likely to be safe and relatively comfortable.

Our hearts go out to the families of the earthquake/tsunami victims in all the locations mentioned. Disaster recovery is a long process, and we can learn from this in many ways.

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