Every day that has gone by this week, we’re continuing to learn more about the devastation caused as Hurricane Harvey hit so many communities and businesses in Texas.  People everywhere are interested in helping.  Communities that I personally am a part of, and IT communities AllConnected is actively engaged with are helping donate food, money, and other resources.  Yet the number of shelters and evacuation resources can’t keep up with those who desperately need help.  Just a couple weeks ago, few *really* expected this kind of devastation to happen, to this specific area.

Active Evacuation Resources and Shelters, 8.31.2017

It reminds me of the disasters we face here in Southern California.  This past January marked the 23rd anniversary since the ’94 Northridge Earthquake. Although over 23 years has past, if it shocked you out of a deep REM sleep stage, you probably remember some specific details with clarity today. I clearly remember the loud rumble as my parent’s house shook with the sound of breaking glass and books falling, With no shoes and no lights, fumbling in the dark to get to the nearest doorway as quick as I could. Neighbors were out in the streets in shorts, pajamas or just in their underwear.  Stores couldn’t open without power and people were waiting on needed supplies. Gas stations couldn’t pump gas without power, you were left with whatever you had in your tank, to get you by.  It all happened so fast.

So, know your risks.  Here are 2 pretty cool links that show the real risks, both physical and cyber that face us here in California.

Physical Disaster Risk by State: FEMA Disaster Visualization

Worldwide Cyber Attack Map: FireEye Worldwide Real Time Cyber Threat Map

Regardless of where we live, what’s happening right now in the greater Houston area is a reminder to all of us that it’s important to be prepared.  Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead and they can come at any time. Our risks in the Greater LA aren’t limited to earthquakes, there are fires, flooding, toxic spills, active shooters, terrorism, cyber terrorism, ransomware, identify theft, or it can be as simple as a power failure or a gas leak.

They affect your county, city, home, and family. An old proverb says ‘shrewd is the one who sees the danger and conceals himself from it.  Indeed, being prepared can make all the difference when it comes to your next meal, your health, and even your life.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some thoughts, experiences, and resources that have personally helped me, my family, our company, and our community to take steps to better prepare for the unexpected.  If your organization is planning any activities during the month of September to raise awareness on how your people can personally prepare, please let me know.  If you haven’t started yet, we’ve pulled together various resources from Ready.gov, FEMA, CERT, and other disaster preparedness information that could help you raise awareness with your employees and their families.

For the first week of September, the message for National Preparedness Month is: Know Your Risks. All of us do well to spend time researching and thinking about the most common risks to our families, our employees, and our businesses.

Stay aware,

Alan McDonald
CEO, AllConnected