In September 2005 I was running teams that were impacted by Hurricane Rita in Texas. I acted as the single point of contact for regional businesses in EMEA during the active period.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Rita hit only about a month after Hurricane Katrina had devastated New Orleans. We’d supported the rescue effort in Louisiana by sending spare fuel bowsers and satellite phones not expecting our main data centre in Texas to be under threat just a few weeks later.
When Rita hit, we really only had a disaster recovery plan in place. We then wasted a lot of time determining what business processes were critical and what workarounds could be done. That should have all been addressed under less pressure.
One final thing I learned during this incident is the importance of triggering a business continuity plan early. If your plan is good, triggering it early will have little impact on your business. But if you wait, and trigger the plan too late it could be catastrophic.