The future! That’s where the focus is and where it should be, but we cannot forget our past. History holds many lessons that we should seriously remember when the future arrives.
We spend inordinate amounts of time and money assessing risk, developing huge plans (hazard mitigation) and planning for the future. Unfortunately, we often forget to look at these plans when the future arrives. So, why have a plan if we are not going to use them?
The heavy rains brought all sorts of challenges for us to deal with the past two weeks. Like many organizations we ran around damming up holes, pumping out ponds, clearing gutters and changing the floor mats. For the most part, those actions played out well. But for one organization, their failure to review their written hazard mitigation plan resulted in their third failure over a period of 15 years.
If this organization would have reviewed their hazard mitigation plan they would have seen that the same water pipe failed during each heavy rain at precisely 5 year intervals wreaking havoc in the public right of way and on private property.
It is important to review your plans often, especially during the build up to emergency/disaster events. They can hold the secrets of past generations of staff and unlike our memories, they rarely fade away with age.