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These recovery resources, brochures, and tips are here to help you in the process of recovery. The Responsive City is the ultimate resource for public officials, government staff, and civic leaders to understand how to leverage new technologies and data platforms to fulfill the promise of effective and efficient local government. In September of 2008, Hurricane Ike barreled into the Greater Cincinnati area, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
What kinds of operations-enhancing questions have cities asked and answered with data and analytics? Rio+20 shows how shoring up natural ecosystems can help protect us from Mother Nature's fury. Rescue workers carry a body from the rubble of a village destroyed by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011.
Natural disasters are a fact of life.There's no controlling Mother Nature, and her wrath can, at times, be staggering.
Note: This is a guest post by Janet Flewelling, director of human resource operations with Insperity, a business that has been providing HR and business solutions for 25 years. Businesses that properly plan for disasters are more likely to continue to operate and flourish than those that simply leave things to chance, according to the Insurance Information Institute. What should be done if the company building or office space is damaged or destroyed by storm-force winds or water?
Would necessary resources, databases, contact information and other important items be available to adapt to a change in location or operations?
The answers to these questions and other similar concerns can be addressed in a disaster preparedness manual that is individually tailored to a specific business. Decide which employees are absolutely critical to the emergency response effort and which employees could better serve the company by working from home. A solid strategy must be put into place to ensure employees, families, service providers, contractors and the general public are all kept abreast of the situation.
Review existing insurance policies on all business properties and facilities, including motor vehicles, to ensure adequate and appropriate coverage.
After a disaster, the business that becomes operational first is in the position of being ready to serve existing customers and take on new ones while the competition continues to struggle. In a disaster situation, it is not uncommon for employees to search for pertinent information about company closures, their paychecks or even job status.


If a comprehensive disaster plan is created and in place before disaster strikes, business owners are in a strong position to confidently handle and successfully manage the recovery process with minimal disruptions to their business.
Last year, natural disasters—from droughts in Africa and Russia to typhoons and massive flooding in Thailand—caused a record $378 billion worth of damage.The indications are that the situation will get worse, not better. If the computer system or information contained in its files is destroyed, it can be extremely difficult to reconstruct important financial information, client databases or employee records.
Make sure employees are aware of their status and responsibilities during an emergency situation. This person should be aware of all of the pertinent details related to the business and serve as the single contact for any outside inquiries. Keep those policies in a safe, offsite location and have instructions for their use and access, including contact information, policy numbers, coverage periods and policy restrictions in the disaster preparedness manual.
One of the best ways to ensure a swift recovery is to negotiate strategic partnerships with key trade-industry professionals including carpenters, plumbers, electricians and the like – before a natural disaster strikes. Being prepared to respond to questions from employees, customers and the news media is critical during a natural disaster. Insperity (NYSE: NSP), a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 25 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Having a secure, offsite facility that stores and protects this information will help make the recovery process more manageable.
If a remote site has been identified for the essential employees to conduct business after a disaster, inform the employees of the location, travel arrangements, and lodging plans. For example, who will communicate human resources related information to employees and how will that communication be accomplished? The company spokesperson must be an integral part of any team that surveys damage and determines next steps.
Contact information, location and area of expertise should be included in the disaster preparedness manual for each trade-industry partner. InsperityTM Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive Workforce OptimizationTM solution in the marketplace that delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity. There's no ignoring the problem, but there remains a critical question: What protects us better, human engineering or natural landscapes?
Additional offerings include MidMarket SolutionsTM, Performance Management, Expense Management, Time and Attendance, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Retirement Services, Insurance Services and Technology Services.


There's a natural human urge to rely on the things we make, but the lessons of the past decade have led in a different direction.Often, the great works of civil engineering that we built as insurance against disaster had the opposite effect.
Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees.
Traditional delivery methods may include implementing a call tree, email blast or advisory distributed to local media.
With 2010 revenues in excess of $1.7 billion, Insperity operates in 56 offices throughout the United States. Over the past century, the levees built to protect low-lying New Orleans choked off the natural wetlands that once served as a buffer between the Big Easy and the Gulf of Mexico. As mentioned, some utility services, including electricity and conventional phone lines, may be interrupted for hours or even days. Backup communication methods under these circumstances could include cell phones or social media channels. So when the hurricane hit—with the area's natural buffers mostly gone—the resulting flooding overwhelmed the city's elaborate man-made defenses, leading to the worst natural disaster to hit the U.S. A good tip to inform employees is that there are times when text messaging works, even when cell phone coverage is unavailable. But in other places, it's the sheer complexity of the human-built environment that makes it more prone to catastrophic failure.
It was bad enough by itself, but it was made worse when it set off a chain reaction that caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.That's why the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) will take a look at disaster preparedness from a different angle. Is it possible to use "green" methods to avert catastrophe?"The natural infrastructure provided by ecosystems is often more locally accessible and less expensive to maintain than human-made, or 'gray' infrastructure," UN Environmental Program (UNEP) Director Ibrahim Thiaw said recently. Even the Netherlands—one of the most engineered countries in the world—has instituted a program to make "Room for the River," re-establishing the floodplains of its rivers.Can sustainable development plans go hand in hand with disaster prevention?



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