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Why Communities Need to Plan for Disasters

Introduction – Today’s post is going to focus on communities. It is easier to get corporations to change or develop a 3CFortress but today I’m going to think BIG. Changing a community to have more 3CF qualities may take some time but neighborhood or a section can do it at a time.

Main Essay – Here are a couple of case studies to get you thinking:

Case Study: Joplin, Missouri — Tornado

On May 22, 2011, an EF5 (wind speeds of 200 mph) struck Joplin, Missouri. The path of the tornado was 13 miles long and 1 mile wide. Despite the widespread destruction, Government agencies and responders in Joplin still had to respond to the disaster.

  • 17,000 people were directly affected, including 161 people who lost their lives.
  • 7,500 homes were destroyed or damaged.
  • 553 businesses were destroyed.
  • Ten schools were not functional (six destroyed, four damaged), and 4,200 students were displaced.
  • Two fire stations were destroyed.
  • One of two hospitals was destroyed.
  • Buildings not destroyed were often uninhabitable due to destruction of critical infrastructure.
  • Employees and responders were also personally affected.

The Joplin tornado exemplifies an emergency that required the widespread activation of continuity plans. Localities and Government agencies needed to:

  • Assess and select a course of action to coordinate the re-establishment of supply chain for critical goods and services.
  • Locate suitable structures to support temporary schools, hospitals, and medical facilities.
  • Address impact to public safety (fire protection coverage and EMS response times) and damage to response vehicles.
  • Assess critical infrastructure systems for power restoration, street signage, traffic control lights, outdoor warning, water, sanitation, and communications.

Case Study: Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina is another example of an emergency that required the widespread activation of continuity plans.

As a result of Hurricane Katrina:

  • 83 General Services Administration-owned and -leased buildings were damaged in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.
  • 2,600 Federal employees from 28 agencies had to be relocated.
  • Numerous Federal, State, and local offices were affected.

AND YET, despite this large-scale emergency, The National Finance Center paid half a million Federal workers on time during Hurricane Katrina, without delays.

How was this possible?

Due to continuity plans, The National Finance Center took the following actions which minimized the hurricane’s effects on essential functions:

  • Surged work force before the hurricane’s landfall, allowing completion of payroll processing for Federal employees
  • Shut down operations and deployed to backup locations
  • Backup data was trucked out of the New Orleans facility
  • Advance deployment team moved to backup sites
  • Began catch-up processing within a 50-hour period

However, it’s important to remember that continuity plans are also necessary in emergencies much smaller than Hurricane Katrina (e.g., threat of impending emergency, power failures, water-main break, snow or ice storms).

Both of these, along with Sandy, should inspire any community/town/city to start their risk analysis tomorrow. I’ve mentioned before that response and recovery can’t be planned for after something like this hits. You need to develop a plan ahead of time so that you can execute it rather than react.

Both of these are great examples where some ‘devolution’ is necessary. This means moving to another facility or setting up a temporary facility.

How do you make this happen with the least amount of ‘pain’? Plan ahead for this by looking at other buildings/facilities and knowing how to convert a building into a temporary office, school or hospital. In some cases this could be tents or having transportation ready to move people and equipment to the alternate site.

Many of the 3CF concepts can provide mitigation to many of the impacts listed above. Housing destroyed or inaccessible can go to the long-term stay hotel tower. Tents can be set up on the grounds so they are in a secure area.

The 3CF office tower can accommodate displaced companies in unused space or doubling up in others. Apartments/Condos can be used as temporary office spaces. Executives can live in the back (bedroom area) and work out of the front (living room area). Can RV’s be parked in a secure area and be used for office and living spaces?

Not every 3CFortress will already have an Urgent Care facility but having one to catch hospital overflow or mass casualties would save many lives.

The hotel tower conference or meeting rooms can be used as classrooms. If trailers are available for this then move them close to or within the 3CF facility.

What the case studies don’t say speaks volumes. Think of all the people that went to the Super Dome thinking that they were going to a (viable) shelter. Conditions there became hell on earth. Don’t fall into the thinking that “the box was checked on that”. If you plan for and/or announce that you have a shelter make sure it is viable and staffed to accommodate victims. If it reaches its limit then where do the turn aways go?

Every part of your disaster or continuity plan has to be tested and rehearsed. Why not turn a local event into one that is held at the shelter facility. Don’t say it is a rehearsal for a disaster. Few will come, as most people don’t want to think about it. See if local businesses will provide some free give aways to those attending the event. Give people an incentive to come.

After each exercise or rehearsal make sure you do an after action report. Make sure that there is a corrective action plan on every follow up item shown as “needs improvement”. If you don’t, then plan on dealing with your own Super Dome catastrophe on top over everything else going wrong.

One last point on the two case studies is the Federal government will be impacted by catastrophic disasters just as much as the local government and citizens in the impact area. Look at what the finance center did to keep people getting paid. What would your community do to keep getting people paid, stay in business or continue essential functions?

National response has improved since Katrina and was very good in the Joplin case. But response takes time and recovery takes even longer. This is why I recommend your disaster or continuity plans should be a minimum of thirty days and more like ninety days. Sandy recovery, for many areas, was 120 days or longer.

Do you see the need for communities, of all sizes, to start planning for a disaster or crisis now? If your community leaders have thought ahead and have a plan then when was the last time it was reviewed or tested? Deficiencies in any area will cost lives.

Check It Out – Hopefully your community is one of the ones that were awarded with a Community Preparedness Award. One is from New Orleans. Wonder what made them think to be better prepared?

See the full list at: http://www.ready.gov/citizen-corps/citizen-corps-awards

There are different categories and honorable mentions. If your community is not listed then ask your leaders and emergency planners where your community stands on disaster or crisis planning. Don’t forget events like Ferguson or man-made disasters.

Quick Tip – September is National Preparedness Month. Go to ready.gov to learn more. This week is about wildfires but several other disasters are listed. No doubt one affects your area from one of the disasters listed.

Look Who’s Talking – 2015 has already shown to be a year to remember as far as declared disasters affecting many states. Follow any of the links in today’s post to another link and look into what resources are available to get your planning started. Make your community case study one to be copied by other communities as one to follow.

What Do You Think? – Was your community hit? Was it prepared? What can be done to prepare for the next one?

Who needs a 3CFortress?

Who needs a 3CFortress? A fundamental question! A 3CFortress, or 3CF for short, encompasses many things that are key to continuity and making one as self-sufficient as possible. But the fundamentals benefit certain groups more than others. At the micro level the beneficial groups are companies (corporations), retail, hotel, farm and apartment/condo housing residents. That’s a lot of people.

 

Let’s take a look at each group that benefits from a 3CFortress.

The benefit to a corporation is continuity or simply staying in business during a crisis through the time it takes until it is over. Plenty of web sites and papers are available on Continuity Plans however none of them will come close to how a 3CF pulls together essential players in a way that everyone wins. None of them “Adapt” to what is available in order to survive. A 3CF protects the company’s most precious commodity. No, not the “data”…employees are the commodity I’m talking about. The crisis is any of the risks identified when you started planning.

Since a string of retail stores is on the first floor they will benefit from being in a secure area. Think Ferguson, Missouri and how one business after another was looted and most burned. A 3CFortress would not be fortress unless advanced security measures were built into the facility. Retails stores will provide some of the basics needed during any crisis. They have to be protected and not just with barriers. The retail area should have one restaurant or food court to feed the office, hotel and people living in the 3CF. It is stocked and supplied by the farm and other sources as transportation allows.

One anchor piece to a 3CFortress is the hotel tower. The hotel should not be an “ordinary” hotel. It should be one of the “extended stay” types so that families not living in the 3CFortress can move in and be within the secure perimeter. The hotel staff becomes a logistical operation to keep the 3CFortress going. Getting the employees to the 3CF is one of the top priorities.

Securing the farms (farm families) and enabling transportation from the farm to the 3CF is a key function of sustaining the 3CF. Getting fresh food to the 3CF extends the time of survivability. More on that to follow.

The people living at the 3CFortress will include the key players in the corporation, hotel and other mission essential functions of the 3CF. Already having them in place removes the risk and delay of moving them to this location. The hotel conference center now becomes the command center.

There you have it. Several groups benefit from a 3CFortress but they do this by helping each other survive a crisis. Each group has a part to play in making sure the mission is accomplished. A 3CFortress enables the business to keep producing while protecting the lives of everyone involved.

3CF is a powerful concept. Companies have contingency plans that include devolution or moving to another site during a crisis. But none of them have all the components of a 3CFortress working together. No family, retreat or compound has all the needed components either. Whether it is a survival plan, continuity plan or crisis plan it must be comprehensive and sustainable through a time frame longer than 30 days (minimum) to more like ninety plus days. Take out one part of the 3CF plan and it all falls apart. It will fail early with no change of recovery.

 

Check it Out – At the time I’m writing this post there are several wildfires out West. Better add that to your risk analysis if you are an area than could have wildfires. Just like the spring and summer flooding, planning for a wildfire should not be discounted if the threat is not for fifty to one hundred years. One area the fire claimed something like 140 homes. There has to be some mitigating factors or ways to reduce the threat. As the fire is approaching is not the time to come up with a plan.

 

Quick Tip – In any long-term crisis meat can be a problem. To keep the supply from spoiling it is used immediately or in very short order. Keeping a ranch secure from looters could be a problem. One solution is to come up with a “green” diet consisting of vegetables, nuts and fruits. Read up on this but take a look at “Eat to Live” by Joel Furhman. I know it is on my reading list.

 

Look Who’s Talking – Is Solar coming back as an option? Electric vehicles too? I’ve seen a few companies marketing and advertising that solar is a viable option. Some of them are on Facebook. Can’t hurt to check them out. Once you figure out and verify both Federal and State rebates then forge on. The time for a low interest rate might be gone in the near future.

What do you think? Always need to hear back on whether or not the benefits mentioned will inspire you to make a difference in your organization. Make a difference by thinking and acting on a plan to build a 3CFortress.

Building Urgency for a 3CFortress Plan

Introduction – Bear with me as a I try to build on the urgency for communities and corporations to start a 3CFortress program. Why? Because your very survival depends on it. Simple as that.

I am doing this with a different approach. What you will see is a one-sentence (statement or question) lead in with a short response. I am fascinated with those small books you see in bookstores. This different approach is an attempt to write this post in that style.

Main Essay – Do you have a plan to survive a crisis or disaster? Yes or no?

Yes. Great! When is the last time you updated it? Hmmm…better look into the 3CFortress concept before you do.

No. Rut row! Better get that plan started or your chances of survival are greatly reduced.

What happens to those that do not plan?

Companies go out of business. One out of three on average. Communities put their residence through hell or force them to move on.

NO PLAN. ONE WORD: KATRINA

Why would any company or community want to put their residents through a Katrina like disaster? Oh, a disaster like that would never hit “here”!

Never is a powerful word. Another powerful word is “Risk”.

Have you looked at the RISKS to your community or corporation? Yes or No?

Yes. Move on to the section on updating your PLAN. No. Rut row, again, as this is something you need to look into ASAP.

Risk Management is a tough subject that I will leave for a larger book. Safe to say that you need to look at everything that could impact your “C” (Company or Community).

Looking at the risks, what impact they can have and the probability of them will end up pushing you to start planning.

Remember the 5 P’s. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

Poor performance = Little chance of Survival.

You do want to Survive don’t you? Keep reading.

3CFortress will make you think about all this in a different way. A different approach. A simpler approach.

Hope your sitting down…here comes a big word. Continuity.

Several definitions do not help make this word easier to understand. It is used in several ways unrelated to crisis or disaster planning.

Using a thesaurus shows another word “stability”. Stability is easy to understand.

A Stability Plan = Great Chance of Survival.

What could cause a plan to fail?

Plans fail for three main reasons. 1) No testing or practice, 2) Too much focus on Rescue/Recovery and 3) Missed the Big Picture.

1) If you don’t test, rehearse or practice you plan then crisis events can put you in a very bad situation. So bad that you can’t recover.

2) Rescue and Recovery is needed in every plan but too much focus has negative consequences. 3CFortress offers a way to minimize the need for these stages.

3) Missing the Big Picture means that you assume that certain parts of your system will always be operational. Assuming that essential needs will met can prove to be a costly mistake. A 3CFortress takes into consideration “sustainability”.

Sustainability, yes another big word, and self-supporting are key concepts in a 3CFortress system.

How does the “Living Triangle” fit into the 3CFortress Big Picture?

A “Living Triangle” is similar to the “working triangle” used in the kitchen. The triangle points are Home-Work-Play.

Home is where you live whether it is a house, apartment or condominium. Work is your place of employment. Play means several things such as: Parks, retail stores, restaurants, etc.

How many of you have to drive to your “Living Triangle” points? Most likely 95% plus of you have to have a vehicle. Vehicle traffic is a real problem during any crisis or disaster.

Getting the number of people able to walk their “Living Triangle” is another key 3CFortress concept. Walking to your “points” increases everyone’s survival during a crisis or disaster.

Side note: Think about how many spaces the residential garage now requires. Dad having a vehicle became dad and mom. Then the kids over 16 need their own car. And we wonder why traffic is an every growing issue?

One solution to walkability issues is public transportation. True, it is not what most people consider an alternative to driving themselves to where they need to go. Public transportation needs to be readily available, safe, clean to the point that everyone feels comfortable while riding.

Another way to look at the Big Picture is AdIOS. Adapt Improvise Overcome Survive.

Adapt deals with changing to fit your local conditions. A plan a desert area will not be the same as a plan near a farming community. How do you need to change to adapt to your environment?

Improvise is what you do when your plan starts to go bad. What if your plan dealt with three days but the crisis goes on into 30 days? After any plan test or rehearsal you update the plan accordingly. Improvise can be contingency plans where you think about, “What if?” You should never be in a reactionary response mode.

Overcome or another word is prevail. Your plan got you through the crisis or disaster. Congratulations! No plan or flawed plans have little chance to overcome the challenges in a crisis.

Survival means your plan got you through an adverse condition, i.e. a crisis or disaster. Survival means you stay in business. You beat the odds by having a solid plan.

Are you starting to see the benefits of a plan…a 3CFortress plan?

If you think that a 3CFortress plan or concept is just renaming a conventional plan then dig deeper. From the very beginning of planning 3CF enables you to take a different approach.

The 3CFortress concept will improve your chances of stability in day-to-day operations and survivability for any crisis or disaster. 3CF does this in a way no other company provides.

I hope that this “one sentence” approach gets you, your family, your community or your company wanting to take a closer look at the 3CFortress concept.

 

Check It Out – Primarily for my own benefit the Main Essay section has an FK/FRE score of 8.4. I am very happy with this as most continuity articles come out with a score around 12. Average words per sentence: 10.1. All this makes the reading easier to understand.

Quick Tip – https://www.sba.gov/content/disaster-preparedness. See what the Small Business Administration has to say about preparedness.

Look Who’s Talking – Your plan needs to have an appendix or annex to deal with stress and fatigue. Both of these can apply to daily activities or work-related in a crisis or disaster. Read more on the fema.gov web site and look for brochure TF-008 / October 2009 titled “Work-Related Fatigue”.

What Do You Think? – I always ask this. At some point I will have people opt in. At some point I will put out a once a week newsletter. Stay tuned!

Encouraging Trends Toward a 3CFortress Complex

Introduction – Taking a moment to look at what could be called encouraging trends on continuity, sustainability and working towards a 3CFortress concept. The 3CFortress concept brings together three main components to a community or corporation.

Maybe an acronym will help. Let’s go with ORAH. Almost sounds like what Marines say, “Ourahh” but that’s another story.

Office tower – Retail stores; Apartments – Hotel tower. As I have stated may times there is no current structure that fits this 3CF model perfectly. The main web site shows a picture of Windsor Castle that comes pretty close.

Main Essay – The hotel “tower” is not a paradigm shift from current hotel motels. The encouraging trend is that more hotels are moving to providing a long-term stay capability.

The long-term stay is a fast growing trend offered by well-known brands and chains. Marriott has SpringHill and TownePlace. Hilton has Homewood Suites. IHG has Candlewood Suites. This is just a partial list. What they offer, to one degree or another, is a full kitchen and usually separate bedroom(s).

Keep in mind that the long-term stay set up is a big leap from the everyday traditional hotel stay. If you’ve tried to say more than three days in a traditional room you know what I mean. Having a small refrigerator and microwave just doesn’t cut it. While many offer a breakfast option you still have to fend for yourself for lunch and dinner in many cases.

This brings up a few flaws in the current long-term set up. The more you want to prepare and cook your own food makes this difference more dramatic. Not having an oven can make a big difference in a long-term stay.

The 3CFortress concept uses the hotel tower to function as long-term stay of thirty days or more for displaced persons caught up in a crisis or disaster. You would think that the businessperson’s needs would be the same as a displaced person but it doesn’t seem to work out that way.

Another reason the current long-term stay is flawed is rental alternatives are popping up. Companies such as AirBnB, HomeAway and FlipKey offer a “home” experience that no long-term stay hotel can offer.

As a side note, I have to wonder what the level of commitment of corporate executives. I frequently stay in a long-term stay hotel. My current stay is in a major metropolitan city. It still has a small, very small, microwave that doesn’t have a light so you can check on the food. The sofa has tears in the fabric. It doesn’t have an oven. Counter space in the kitchen area is limited. Everything is what I would call “dated” or should have been replaced by now.

It is little things (or perhaps you consider them big) that is driving many people to look for something else. If you find yourself unable to work from home in a crisis then a move to a typical long-term stay hotel could be a bridge too far. Too much change!

Are some of the long-term stay hotels making changes in this area? Sure. It seems that these changes are driving the price so high that rental home alternatives will only continue to grow. Some sort of happy medium needs to be found. Thinking about the level that fits with a 3CFortress can be this happy medium, in or out of a crisis or disaster.

What got me thinking on this topic was a USA TODAY article by Christopher Elliot on March 30, 2015. He makes a good point to think about things like daily room service and other meals (dinner) when comparing where to stay.

Another area to think about, no matter where you stay, is security. In our ever-changing world this is an area you can’t ignore. You will have to do you own checks on security. Forewarned is forearmed.

Whether you just want to get out or eat out it matters how far you need to travel. Can you walk to a restaurant, park or retail store? Most likely the answer is “No”. It could be that the hotel provided meals are not up to your healthy desires. As many fitness sites suggest, you need to get outside every day no matter what the season. Getting in a vehicle and driving to the desired location is not convenient and another situation that needs to improve.

Think about the “Living Triangle” idea of how far do you travel between Work – Play – Home. When you can walk between these three then you are living the 3CF life!

The 3CFortress concept uses the Living Triangle into this ORAH set up. Office tower – Retail stores; Apartment living – Hotel tower is the foundation but to make it a sustainable place it has to go much further. What retail stores can be a part of this complex to help it be resilient and sustaining? We talked above about how the hotel on site can contribute to surviving the crisis or disaster. How do the supplies and basic needs get to this complex? All good questions that will continue to be addressed.

Check It Out – http://permies.com/ has some great information on permaculture. The more I read about this I feel like it fits in with a 3CFortress complex and continuity.

Quick Tip – The Small Business Association (SBA) has a great site on disaster preparation. https://www.sba.gov/content/disaster-preparedness

If you are looking for a starting point or moving your organization further along this this SBA site is a good one to bookmark.

What Do You Think? – Feedback seems to go up and down on numbers but keep it coming!

Catch Up and Small Books

Introduction – Thought I would catch up on some past posts/thoughts. I read a quote this week that really stood out. I’ll talk about that and get everyone back up to speed on some 3CFortress basics. Then I want to talk about small books. I’ve always been fascinated with them and wonder if that is a way to introduce the 3CFortress concept to, especially the ones that don’t look at blogs.

Main Essay –

The quote I read this week, “When opportunity comes it’s too late to prepare” is by John Wooden, long time coach at UCLA. The reason it hit me is that not only is this true for opportunity, it is true for disasters as well.

The opportunity is to prepare your community or corporation for a disaster or crisis that has a high percentage of occurring. While it is true that you don’t have to build a 3CFortress in order to prepare for a disaster. What a 3CFortress does is gain you confidence in your plan by making it long-term (strategic) and self-sustaining.

Why prepare? Because a good portion of the statistics on disasters show that as many as 30% of businesses will fail if the disaster or crisis goes on for two to four weeks. Reacting to the crisis when it hits puts you much closer to failure, not surviving.

For communities it means the residents are going to have a much harder and longer time during the recovery. It can mean that residents that leave for “greener pastures” don’t come back. If your community leaders don’t know where to go to get vital resources and supplies then your emergency supplies are going to be stretched to the limit. Thinking that the state or federal government will bring that is not a reliable alternative.

It is just as much of a concern that many of these luxury markets are in large cities that would experience severe problems providing basic services to their residents. Plus they are in areas of the country where a drought only continues to get worse. Planning to be self-sufficient in these areas is tough enough that relocation or rethinking where you live/work/play is in order.

While we are catching up I continue to be concerned about luxury marketing or Top 1%. Of course it has its place…if you are earning that kind of money. But I suspect that most readers are not earning anywhere close to that kind of money. The point here is that a 3CFortress is not setting up a Taj Mahal for this upper income bracket. It is setting up a complex that has affordable housing, reasonable nightly/weekly rates at a hotel and retail stores that are providing goods needed on a daily basis.

On CBS Sunday Morning they showed the Shinola Detroit company. It’s a great story about a company that used to be known for shoe polish. But one person asked who in Detroit buys $600 watches or $2000 bicycles? Good question as most likely very few. Plus the products are assembled in Detroit but come from somewhere else (not mentioned). Sounds like a supply chain that I would not like to manage in a minor crisis.

This brings me back to my “Living Triangle”. How far do you travel from home (residence) to work (employment) and to play/shop (parks, recreation, eat out, retail stores)? A Walkability Score starts to take a look at this but leaves out the “work” part. I read about how frustrated a person was wearing a fitness band in stop and go traffic being told by the band/watch to “move”. Not going to happen. If you were walking to work from your home then you are most likely not going to get a “move” command. Walking to a retail store or local park will only add to your daily fitness and overall outlook on life.

Small Books – Most are really what I would call “one sentence books”. That one sentence might be expanded on but small books are known for being short on words/sentences. For a 3CFortress small book one sentence (page) could be, “Do you walk to work?”. Maybe I could include, “Do you walk to all of these: work, retail or recreation?” Most answers will be “no” but either way the next sentence/page will be about the “Living Triangle”.

Can’t resist talking about how AdIOS (Adapt-Improvise-Overcome-Survive) can get you thinking about a 3CFortress Plan. That can fit in a small book and get my point across very easily.

When you get into the finer point of “continuity” it becomes harder to get your point across sentence by sentence or in a small book. I ran the blog on the Four Phases of Continuity through a F-K score and it came about around 13 (reading level). Yikes! It could be my writing style but I believe it has more to do with the subject matter. Continuity articles, on government web sites, have words that you don’t see every day, maybe ever. Reconstitution…right.

That is part of my challenge and one I want to work out. The goal is to get it down to a F-K score of 6-8. It is going to be tough and will most likely take coming up with new terms and a simpler process. By the way, todays article rates a F-K score of 9.7. Hmmm.

Check It Out – While doing a certain image search in Google came up with an image of “NO. 405 PARK AVE.”. It is an apartment complex that has garden on top. How many places can you think of that offer this today? The elevators don’t go to the public side of a floor but directly to the private vestibule of the resident. All water is filtered which I can almost understand “back then” but it could be applicable today in many places with less than desirable city water. It didn’t show a year but much of this I took as being a part of any 3CFortress complex.

Another look up image was on the Frisco Hospital in Springfield, MO (in the historic neighborhood of Woodland Heights). It was open from 1899 to 1922 and provided a small hospital to where many residents could walk to it. As one of my friends pointed out, did this mean that more people were injured on the job at the railroad? Or was this just an added benefit to living close to your railroad job? I like to think this was an early forerunner of the “Urgent Care” facilities that are a growing trend and one that fits in with the 3CFortress idea.

Quick Tip – If you do have a basic plan created do you:

  • Test the plan?
  • Think about what could trigger the plan to be put in action?

No to either of these means you don’t have a plan that has much of a chance to succeed.

Look Who’s Talking – I replied to a survival/security blog that talked about thinking of and knowing what you are going to do in certain situations. While it talked about events that can happen in a couple of seconds it reinforced the notion that if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. Even worse if the event is a life threatening one!

What Do You Think? – Great up tic in comments recently. Keep it going and thanks for reading.

4 Phases of Continuity Operations

Introduction – Time to get back to the basics for a minute and talk about the four phases of continuity operations. Continuity means keeping the community or corporation/business going through a crisis or disaster.

The four phases are “Readiness & Preparedness”, “Activation & Relocation”, “Continuity Operations”, and “Reconstitution”. The reference for this is the ready.gov website but I have to mention that I don’t rely/agree 100% with everything put out by ready.gov. I do agree that we don’t need to reinvent the wheel so I will use these four phases and specifically point out where I venture into my own 3CFortress ideas.

The Four Phases of Continuity Operations

Readiness & Preparedness

I doubt anyone can argue that being prepared is the first step or phase for any continuity planning. Isn’t that what the Boy Scouts have been saying for years, “Be prepared”? Before you can use my main acronym, AdIOS – Adapt Improvise Overcome Survival, you have to prepare…take steps to start building a plan.

It goes without saying that if you are going to prepare then the crisis hasn’t started yet. If it has then time to prepare has run out. You are now in the reactionary mode. It is always better to prepare and be ready.

In this phase you start to develop the plan or review/revise if one is already started. If you do have a plan in place then now is the time to figure out how to train, test and evaluate that plan.

Another first step in the development of a plan is Risk Management. That deserves a whole chapter so I will only hit the highlights for now. You have to know what you are up against. What are the threats and hazards (natural and man-made) that the community or corporation have to deal with, what impact and probability of their occurrence and how will you deal with them? This is a major step that you can’t rush through.

Activation & Relocation

After you have a plan approved then a key step is activating that plan. Here is where you communication plan becomes a make or break step. Did you test your communications plan? Do you have a team in place that was monitoring the situation? Does everyone understand how to receive the activation and what to do? People going in the wrong direction or not knowing what to do are not what you want at this point.

On the point of relocation I advise any corporation or business to develop your plan so this is not needed. The standard is to relocate within twelve hours to a different facility for a period of thirty days. It is easy to think how communicating and getting people to move is not easily accomplished no matter how many times you have rehearsed it.

My point is to plan for your main facility to become a 3CFortress that is self-sustaining at least for thirty days. If you compare how complex relocating is to planning a shelter in place facility is going to be much better in the long run especially if the crisis or disaster goes beyond thirty days. We’ve seen plenty of disasters go well beyond thirty days before normal operations returned.

Turning your community or corporate facility into a 3CFortress means you are not only planning for key employees but their families as well. In order for essential functions to be performed you have to provide for the entire daily needs that they require. This is another point that most plans don’t consider. As Super Storm Sandy showed us, many of these basic services were interrupted for longer than thirty days. Not only did this create a crisis on a personal level it forced many businesses to close forever.

When the crisis is developing it is a good idea to use a Decision Matrix. The ready.gov site mentions a good one to use and the military uses a more detailed process for this and much more when developing a plan. It is called the Military Decision Making Process.

Along with identifying the threats and hazards is thinking about what the “triggers” are for these events. It is rare that an event goes from no notice to a full-blown event. Identifying the triggers provides a decision point to up the awareness, alert teams and prepare for the next step or phase.

Alert and Notification

Back to the communications plan for alert and notifications… about the changing situation. Any change in the situation may involve staging of additional supplies and preparing for movement of supplies and personnel. Do employees/citizens need to prepare their drive-away kits now?

Continuity Operations

This is the main event for continuity. It means you have twelve hours to move to another facility or if there is no movement then to remain up and running in the primary facility for the next thirty days or as needed. Up and running means all the essential functions identified in the continuity plan are still operational. The key leaders and employees are performing their tasks without having to worry about their loved ones. In the 3CFortress model this can mean moving families to the main facility hotel, which is now operating in the long-term stay mode. Any vacant housing within safe walking distance (think “living triangle” or Work-Play-Live) of the main facility can be used as overflow housing.

Accountability, strict accountability, is needed at this point to keep personnel, supplies, everything from getting out of line. No plan goes exactly as planned but keeping a close tab on operations will prevent a lot of headaches. Is anyone not working out of the main facility (telework)? They need to be accounted for and taken care of. How are you support partners holding up? If there is a problem in your supply-chain then you better know about it as far in advance as possible.

Reconstitution

Once the crisis or disaster has passed then the decision is made to return to normal operations. While this should happen as quickly as possible it should not be done in haste. Reconstitution should have its own phases and have leadership involvement.

If this is a community going through a recovery phase it can mean meeting with FEMA and State emergency management personnel that will advise you on what awards are possible for any damages suffered during the disaster.

As you get deeper into your continuity plan, all these phases will be integrated into the big picture and become clearer.

Check It Out – Since I have mentioned the ready.gov website, I can recommend you go there for more information on the four phases of continuity operations and more details in other related areas.

Quick Tip – When you are looking at your supply-chain it pays to look at how much debt they carry. Many of the energy industries are heavy into debt banking on future operations to relieve this burden. It is a good idea to have redundant or backup plans to suppliers involved in your plan.

Look Who’s Talking – Responded to one survival web site that had people still claiming that bunkers are a viable option for individuals and families. Not so in my opinion. Think about the phases we just talked about and if they could be fit into using a bunker scenario within twelve hours of activation and for thirty days in duration? Gaps, problems with the bunker scenario start popping up quickly and can’t be resolved.

What Do You Think? – Getting a plan started in your community or business depends on you. It depends on you getting it started and getting leaders involved. Leaders have the ability to designate key personnel to work on the continuity plan and make sure it has enough financial backing. Like all long journeys, this one starts with one step…in the right direction.

Drought Update and the Future Outlook

Introduction – The U.S. Drought is something I’ve been tracking for a few years. The direct impact of droughts naturally ties in with water shortage/depletion issues creating another risk or compounding the impact of the drought. After the Midwest received some drought relief, the focus was on the West Coast. California and parts of Nevada and Oregon are still in a severe drought. But they are not alone and the future doesn’t bode well for several other areas. Drought should be on most risk lists but needs to be looked at for your strategic (long-term) plan.

Main Essay – A quick update, as of February 2015, is that the at least eight states have drought conditions listed as “Exceptional” (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/). About another fifteen states are in the “Moderate” ranges with many recently changing for the worse. Anyone doing a risk analysis for their community or corporation needs to look at the probability and impact of any moderate to severe drought. At the same time, how are you going to mitigate the impact of the drought?

How are you going to use the water in an aquifer/well? Do you have any water capture methods? Is water storage a problem/challenge? How do you handle storm water run off? How does wastewater figure into this issue/solution?

Might as well mention it now. Any drought solution needs to be legal for your area. Some places don’t allow the capture of rainwater in rain barrels. If that is the case then look at the legality of a pond or tank. Do your research on possible solutions and be creative. Can water be like solar in that can the “extra” be sold back to the water company/association? Can the amount of captured water be limited and the rest released naturally into a designated runoff area or approved stream?

Perhaps the biggest challenge with any drought is any individual or community garden. In an extreme case, how are you going to water your garden if the water is turned off to your house/building? What you are going to do needs to be part of the plan or the impacts will be greater. No water can easily mean the failure of your crops. Keep in mind that a loss of power presents water issues, as it needs to be pumped to your site.

An option in any plan is relocation. I talked about this in my last post. Another article in the Washington Post wonkblog (4 maps that show how demographic change will touch every corner of the country; January 20th, 2015) shows the population of “The Rust Belt and Great Plains” is on the move and in most cases to bigger cities. It is possible that many of these moves will be to places facing several future challenges and risks. One of the cities mentioned for growth was Las Vegas, Nevada. That city is one of the “Exceptional Drought” areas. If you feel like they have a drought and water plan for the future then by all means move there. On the other hand, if they don’t have a plan, then don’t consider a move to Las Vegas no matter what the short-term benefits might be.

The long range forecast for this drought doesn’t show any sign of improvement and actually makes it out to get worse and cover a larger area. In a BBC article (US ‘at risk of mega-drought future’ by Johathan Amos, February 12, 2015) he warns the American southwest and central plains could be in for a “super-drought the like of which they have not witnessed in over 1,000 years”. When doing risk analysis you should be looking at the 100 and 500-year cycles for floods and other natural disasters. As this one claims, a 1,000-year cycle is a clear indicator on future risks for these areas. It makes plans, to be self-reliant, all that much tougher.

Keep in mind that this will not be a graduated scale over hundreds of years. Mega-droughts have occurred in the past over twenty to fifty year cycles. The US “Dust Bowl” in the 1930’s was a twenty-year event that devastated large portions of the agricultural land and set up a population migration to California.

The current drought in the US would have to go on for several more years to make it a mega-drought cycle. Of course, that information doesn’t help the outlook for the short-term. It is not unexpected for discussions like this to head into Global Warming and Climate Change reasoning. For risk analysis you don’t need to know, per say, what is causing the drought. The BBC article noted about reduced precipitation and increased evaporation (due to higher temperatures) causing these drought conditions. Climate Change can affect what you put down for the probability. If you are currently in a drought zone or in a forecasted zone (SW and Central Plains) then this has to be part of your risk analysis and continuity planning. One course of action should be to relocate out of this drought area.

When you start to look at impacts from droughts the list can be quite long. One crop noted in a related BBC article by David Willis was about almond trees in California. They need a trillion gallons of water per year. Wow! More water than needed for cotton or tomatoes. Hard or impossible to pull that out of the ground or get it from irrigation. We get a lot of crops from California especially during the out of season months in other areas of the US. For those living outside the drought area it means planning on higher prices if you can get the crop delivered at all.

One of the primary acronyms that I use with 3CFortress planning is AdIOS. Adapt-Improvise-Overcome-Survive. For the drought risks the question is how to adapt? Can you adapt to your current environment? How can you improvise to make up for or replace the water loss in a short or long-term drought? What is your plan to overcome these risks and obstacles? If you don’t include this in your continuity planning then it will be “good-bye”. Your community will decline and your business shut their doors. In other words, you don’t survive the crisis.

Check It Out – With “self-reliance” as one of the key concepts for any 3CFortress, fresh and wastewater dynamics become very important. An article on freeenterprise.com (January 22, 2015) discussed using algae to turn wastewater into a resource. Microorganisms grade the organic materials in the water, then are separated out. To me, this is one of those, how can someone dream this up? Amazingly, the process is said to have been around for 100 years. One company is working to make this a profitable process for them and the community. Currently, this effort is going on in Tel Aviv, Israel but they are looking at possible sites in the USA.

Quick Tip – 100-200 words; advice in 60 seconds; long tips go in a full EET category. 12 Natural Remedies For Eczema, Rashes and a Range of Persistent Skin Conditions. Found this on healthysustainableliving.blogspot.com as the word “sustainable” jumped out at me. If you have persistent issues with your skin then this is worth a read. If not, it still shows you how to get some relief for your skin which we can all use from time to time. One of the twelve that is readily available is “coconut oil”. Make sure it is natural, not refined, bleached, or deodorized. Doesn’t require much touching or rubbing.

Look Who’s Talking – Freshbitesdaily.com, on the “About” tab, talks about growing produce for the house or local community. They produce garden vegetables, herbs and teas for the farm and local community on their five acre plot. They “try every day to make good decisions about our lifestyle to promote our health and wellbeing”. Any 3CFortress should keep this in mind when thinking about farm to market. The mother is seventy years old which tells me she has made a lot of great decisions in her lifetime.

What Do You Think? – Always looking for good feedback and questions. Send it now while you are thinking about it.

 

Thoughts on Relocation

Introduction-Deciding on whether or not to relocate is a major decision facing any individual, family or corporation. The only 3CF “C” that doesn’t face this decision is a “Community” unless a planned dam is going to inundate that community.

Relocating can be done for several reasons. One, the best, is for strategic reasons. This means you did the research on where you are currently located and ultimately decided it was best to relocate in order to survive. Hopefully you thought of AdIOS (Adapt Improvise Overcome Survive) to help you reach this decision point.

The other reason for relocating is a job change, disaster and/or some event has forced you to move from your current location.

Main Essay for today:

I say relocation is a major decision as it can end up being a costly decision. Weighing the options of staying in your current location or moving to another relies on good, very good, information. Other areas of this blog can help you gather that information in an orderly and logical manner.

In the end, the decision to relocate will mean that risks to relocate out weigh the challenges to adapting and improvising in your current location.

Perhaps your current location is subject to frequent major storms or earthquakes. As we saw with Katrina and Sandy, these storms can force many businesses to fail and locals in this area to figure out long-term (over a month) continuity or survival plans. The cost to prepare for a long-term event may be higher than relocation costs.

One of the major points of 3CF is the ability to walk to work (think Living Triangle) and have a long stay hotel ready to receive any local workers whose home falls in an unsustainable area. If the cost to prepare and set this up at your current location is too high or just not practical then relocating becomes a viable option.

Over the last couple of months I’ve travelled through several cities in the US Midwest. As I pass certain areas I can’t help but thing about how a 3CF solution could be applied there. At the same time, I can see how it would be difficult to set up a 3CFortress in certain areas without major renovation. In some areas “sprawl” is so embedded that relocation from that area might be the better or only option.

Pardon me while I digress to another dig on Urban Planning…or how it is applied in most cities/communities. I will never understand how “chunk” urban planning will ever work. How many times have you seen or driven through an area that has a “chunk” of housing with nothing else around it? In order to get to work, recreation and/or retail you have to drive your vehicle to another “chunk” of retail or “chunk” of businesses. Obviously, this violates my “Living-Triangle” philosophy.

Why not put the living, business and retail/recreation within walking distance of each other? Brilliant! Well, at least I think so. I recently discussed the “mixed living” areas that are springing up in some cities. Definitely a move in the right direction as far as 3CF is concerned. But I have to say it is a step that needs a few more steps to get to the 3CF level.

If you find yourself in the “forced” to relocate situation then decisions need to be made much faster and sometimes in real time. Real time relocation is commonly called “bugging out”. Bugging out presents a unique set of challenges. What to bring, traffic on the exit routes, fuel for the vehicle; can your vehicle carry everyone and their gear?

After taking a simple look at bugging out it should drive you to think more about where you are and if staying put is a better option. As I mentioned above, your local surroundings may not make it possible to stay in place. If you live above seven floors in a high-rise apartment or condominium then water can’t be pumped that high when the power goes off. Are you prepared to haul enough water to drink, cook and bath with in order to survive? How far from your residence is this water source? How far is it to the local grocery store? Most grocery stores don’t have more than three days of supplies on hand and will quickly run out in a crisis.

Many more questions arise about staying in place and if that will be possible in a crisis. Besides what we just talked about the question of how to get to work is huge. With an estimated 30% of businesses failing after Sandy it makes you wonder if part of the reason was employees not being able to get to their place of employment. No work equals no income. This is double trouble for both employees and businesses that the 3CFortress concept works to solve.

A base concept for a 3CFortress is to have living (residence and long-term stay), retail and corporate office co-located so that movement from one to the other is possible by walking. A side benefit is security. Think of the after-math of the Boston Bombing and the Paris terrorist siege. When neighborhoods are ordered to “Shelter in Place” it means all movement, recreation and commerce shuts down. While it is not literally true, a 3CFortress can pull up the drawbridge or shut out outside contact very easily if planned correctly. Imagine the relief at being able to go to work, take a walk, or go to work during a crisis.

When making a decision to relocate it should be planned to take advantage of setting up a 3CFortress complex and the benefits that would bring. In business continuity planning this can mean setting up an alternate location. Movement to and operations at the alternate location is planned until movement back to the original site can be safely done.

While this alternate planning is ongoing it seems logical to look at strategic relocation alternatives. Even if the relocation area has several plusses a business needs to know how many of its employees will relocate to the new location.

If a strategic relocation is viable then the move will resolve several or all of the current location issues. Relocation like this takes a staff to plan, organize and execute the move. If you are an individual, small family or business then you have to think about the same areas, as would a staff. Not an easy task!

I plan to devote a chapter to how a staff can plan a strategic relocation. The military has a system called the Military Decision Making Process or MDMP. It is a detailed process where a commander (leader) and his/her staff can use to gather information/intelligence, develop courses of action, decide which one is best and implement the plan that was decided on. Depending on time and resources this can be done with a small or large staff.

As I’ve pointed out before from my military training, “Planning is not fighting”. No matter what you are planning to do at some point you must act. Procrastination should not be in anyone’s vocabulary. With the current risks to any community or corporation it becomes readily apparent that action needs to happen sooner rather than later.

Check It Out – Is relocation something I’m just talking or planning for? No. After a long planning period I made the decision to relocate my family to Springfield, MO. It is in an older neighborhood on the North side that has a great “Walkability Score” to several “Living Triangle” points.

While the move wasn’t without cost it did involve a move to a much cheaper cost of living area. Missouri is one of a few states where the price per gallon of gasoline is below $2.00. I recently purchased Regular Unleaded for $1.79/gallon.

Does Springfield have ALL the advantages needed for a 3CFortress? No. As soon as you travel to the South side of town you enter another world. Actually, Springfield was two different cities when first starting out but that too is another story. Plenty of areas have what can easily be called sprawl. Plenty of areas have the “chunk” areas with very low Walkability Scores that require a vehicle for all basic errands.

It will be interesting to see if Springfield can be the tipping point for 3CFortress concepts. I’ve already seen some possible sites. Springfield does have a 2030 plan so change for the future is possible.

Quick Tip – Travel, beyond walkability, will be required in many situations. Travel outside the region is required for many including myself. If this is a concern for your strategic relocation planning then how close is a regional airport, highway that carries the out of season produce and common need items, and to public transportation (bus, rail, commuter)? As mentioned several times before, a bunker won’t work and neither will a place out in the middle of nowhere. Think about that.

Look Who’s Talking – I’m always glad to see comments left on the blog site. It is great to see other blogs and web sites addressing some areas that the 3CFortress deals with. Let me know the challenges you’re facing and what you want to see on future blog posts. I plan for all of this to go into a book at some point.

Is 3CFortress similar to “mixed use” facilities? Yes!

Introduction – You hear a lot about “mixed use” or multi-use facilities. Is a 3CFortress similar to these facilities? A resounding yes! A 3CFortress site or complex uses office space (corporate), housing units (apartments and condominiums), retail stores and a hotel as base units. Be aware that not all mixed-use facilities can be a 3CFortress. I say this because you don’t see mixed use with the base units found in a 3CFortress. But today I want to review some of the base elements of a 3CFortress stand alone or as part of a larger city.
Main Essay – Mixed-use, simply is great to see as a developing trend. I see the trend as a move toward mixed-use facilities. It opens the door for the 3CFortress idea to take off.

It is ironic that very close to the first mixed-use area that a typical sprawl type building is set up. Most of the time this is a large apartment complex with nothing next to it. Nothing in it that fits my “living triangle” or 3CF theme. People living there have to get in their vehicle in order to get food, eat out or go for some recreation. Most of the time a walkway or path doesn’t exit to connect this facility to anything. That is why I call it sprawl or at least poor urban planning.

I wonder what the city planners thought when the designed townships inside counties across the nation. Townships could be boroughs or any other division of a county within a state. Where I think we missed the boat on planning is how the cities and businesses would operate and be set up inside them. The other problem in older areas is removing old structures that have long since lost their usability. Why should old houses somehow be made into retail and office spaces? Talk about a location issue where parking and going to the next business might mean getting back in our vehicle. This would never happen if they tore down the old facilities (which requires jobs to do that) and build a 3CF complex.

New areas looking to incorporate or become a village should seriously consider the 3CF theme. A 3CFortress can become the nucleus of a complex area that is self-supportive (another 3CF base idea). It isn’t a freestanding castle and it can incorporate individual houses into the complex. It all depends on what can be supported and if that support level is exceeded then a new 3CF needs to be started to correctly handle the growth.

Not sure if there are guiding principles for mixed-use but they do “mix” housing and retail with a restaurant or two throne in for good measure. What they are missing is a grocery or farmers market and a hotel tower. With all these together they are not 3CF. Without all these together they are not sustainable in the long run. A 3CFortress has to be self-supporting or very close to it. The basic needs of water and food have to be met and create a walk able “living triangle”. Again, that is being able to walk from home to work and recreation sites. On a side note, think about how much time and energy this saves. It is possible to live in a 3CFortress and not own a vehicle and pay the associated taxes and insurance.

What the 3CFortress concept is trying to do is satisfy those leaving the city (for whatever reason) and those uncomfortable with living in the remote suburbs or country. By offering office spaces to work from and retails store jobs a person can live and walk to work with ease. When it comes time to relax those living in a 3CF can walk to eat out or a park for some recreation/exercise. If you have people staying over or visiting then they have the hotel option to consider.

As the 3CFortress grows or is planned to grow, then the complex can be part of a city renewal or expansion. Many of the old town squares are having trouble adapting to the times. Incorporating a 3CF into the town square and the city proper is definitely a way to consider.

Another future topic is about “Garden Cities” and starting your own Village. Garden City is a great concept that somehow missed its chance in history. There are a few areas where they retain this Garden City theme and do it very well. As a 3CF is scaled up it can continue to be a Win-Win for everyone involved. It can be a profitable enterprise and provide the needed business continuity to over come a crisis or emergency situation.
Check It Out – Another related trend is all about “micro-apartments”. Agora Financial recently wrote out this in one of their 5 Minute articles. Micro-apartments are about 225 square feet. Wow! The article talked about the transformation of the Arcade Providence in Providence, RI into a mixed-used facility. What a great way to take a failed mall on the historic register into micro-apartments. Each has a bathroom, bedroom, storage and tiny kitchen. Developer Evan Granoff figured out how to make it happen. Stay tuned for a future article “Architecture and Architect” as they play a key role in making a 3CFortress become reality.
Quick Tip – Think about living in a micro-apartment. How is it different than a loft apartment? Could you do it? Can you see yourself living and working in a 3CFortress?
Look Who’s Talking …about Ebola quarantines. One of the medical risks is dealing with a pandemic. Until recently other pandemics were more likely (Flu) but Ebola has become the number one concern of late. A 3CF should have some type of medical facility in it or close by. Can you imagine that it would be much easier to secure a 3CFortress and still remain in business? It is much easier to control who comes in and who goes out if you (the community) have the “living triangle” area secured.
What Do You Think? The feedback is growing and all I can say is keep it coming. Time to start getting 3CFortress to the “Buzz” stage.

Why a 3CFortress Needs to be Secure

Security, in this day and age, needs to be a top priority both in everyday life and even more so during a crisis. If your “living triangle” is not secure then you face the option of leaving…otherwise known as bugging out.

While you are in your home you need to feel safe. Can you get out to grab something at the store? In daylight? After sunset? Can you go for a recreational walk and be safe from attackers? Are you safe at your place of employment?

These are some of the questions that I want to deal with today.

 

In my acronym AdIOS the “S” stands for Survive. You can’t survive if you are not in a secure environment. Being in a secure environment means that physical security for where you live and the surrounding complex is free from unauthorized access. Corporations, hotels, campuses and apartment/condominiums work to prevent unauthorized access every day. A 3CFortress has to do the same thing to include the whole “living triangle”. This is a tough task that needs a professional evaluation and it has to work 24 x 7.

In addition to physical security the same is true for information security. I won’t speak too much about this in this post.

How do you know when you are in a secure environment? Think of it at the most basic level which is your wallet or purse. When you put your wallet in your back pocket you do that because you know it is safe there. If you move through an area where there may be pickpockets, you might move it to your front pocket for more security. This is “situational awareness”.

At your office, entry to your workspace may normally require some type of ID card to gain access. Someone using a borrowed or stolen card can gain access to that area. Security, if they feel the system has been compromised in some way, can institute checks that match the picture on the card with the person carrying it. Same as moving your wallet to your front pocket, companies take steps to make the area secure.

Both of these security examples fit in with the acronym AdIOS with “Ad” adapting and “I” improvising to fit both the everyday and special situations.

I like the thefreeditionary.com definition for “secure”: 1. Free from danger or attack: a secure fortress.

There you have it.

Free from danger in everyday life is accomplished is several ways. Local law enforcement plays a big part in this. If you feel that local LE can react in a timely manner there is little doubt that you are in a secure neighborhood. If concealed carry is perceived to be common in your area then this too provides an atmosphere of security. You can take a walk and not fear an attack. If this carries over after the sun sets then all the more better.

This feeling of being secure may fade or go away completely in a time of crisis. Look at Katrina, Greece protests and in the USA the city of Ferguson. If there is looting in your local area (living triangle) then normal everyday security has to adapt and improvise hopefully with a contingency plan. One that was approved and practiced long before the crisis started.

You can’t go to a store if looting is taking place or burning of stores is taking place. In a 3CFortress the idea is that you can walk down from your living quarters to the first floor retail stores without fear of attack. Someone owns the store there that lives close by or in the complex, implemented procedures to secure the store but still allow access from the 3CFortress side. Street or outside access may be highly restricted and guarded well enough to meet the threat. An office or corporate site inside the 3CFortress would institute increased security procedures so that residents can get to their workspace.

Increased security measures are meant to keep the facility secure and in business until the crisis subsides and life returns to pre-crisis living conditions. One of the key concepts of a 3CFortress is keeping the business open and running. This can only happen if the people working there can get to their workspace, do their job function and not fear for their family while they are at work. Along with this is the ability to get everyday items such as food and water. Do you have this at your place of employment? For your corporation? Can you do this from where you currently live? Is food and water still available after 72 hours and/or what do you have stored to last at least that long?

Security is one of the points that I stress shows the need to change from the way they are today. Change (adaptation) needs to happen to your “living triangle” for all three points: home/living, work and recreation/retail. If not, then you are faced with bugging out (leaving) to a secure or safe area. Keep in mind you are moving from an unsecure area, through an unsecure area and trying to avoid the congestion that comes when everyone tries to leave at the same time. Bugging out is a tough option to implement and may not be as viable as you think!

If you can’t get to work then your income goes to zero. If you opt to go into your bunker (also not advised) then your income is zero and how in the world do you know when it is safe to come out. If your business is not open, the option to go to work no longer exists. Think of any large-scale natural disaster (Katrina, Sandy) or man-made crisis (terrorism) and how many businesses failed to reopen after the crisis lifted. Many estimates put that failure rate at 30 percent or higher. Which outcome do you want to be a part of?

Start thinking today about a way through a potential crisis or threat. Think about using AdDIOS and 3CFortress. Future articles will address the “How” in greater detail along with resources already out there that are free to use.

Check It Out –

Security is a crisis will always be a concern but what if your everyday security is not so good?

In a 5 Minute Forecast article it talked about how the Miami mayor cut $64 million from the 2014-15 budget. This translated to cutting about 250 police jobs. If you had insecurity issues before then how is 250 less cops going make you feel? Or how about the recommendation from the head of the police union:

“If the mayor’s not going to provide security, then my recommendation, as an experienced law enforcement office for nearly 40 years, is either buy yourself an attack dog, put bars on your windows and doors or get yourself some firearms because you’re going to have to protect yourselves”.

Not exactly what I could call comforting advice.

As a security professional I have to warn you that it takes more than just these measures to feel “secure”. Again referring to Ferguson, bars and security barriers are not enough if that looters/attackers are not stopped while beating down the barriers. They continue to beat the barriers until they gain access.

Arming yourself is frequently put out as a way to deter intruders/attackers but this is true only if you know how to use a firearm in a “legal” manner. Thinking that you are going to shoot all intruders is not an option. If your life is not threatened, or those of your loved ones, it might be interpreted that you acted improperly and/or illegally. If your concealed carry training or firearm instruction didn’t cover this in detail then you were not properly trained for a situation similar to just described. Don’t rely on my statement here, as this is something so important that you need to consult with a pro 2nd Amendment attorney to make sure you have the legal questions correctly answered BEFORE being involved in a shooting incident.

Quick Tip –

The best tip, that doesn’t cost much, is no doubt an air horn. It can be used in your home and carried on your person. I believe the articles that say this is something criminals fear and said so in interviews from prison. Something about loud sounds disrupting your thought process is what I call it. Perhaps there is a more scientific reason for it. The air horn is something your neighbors will hear and not figure you are watching football game reruns at 2 AM. They will call the police and ask them to investigate.

Look Who’s Talking –

I read about Bass Pro Shops considering “various alternatives for raising funds” (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, September 19, 2014, in Corporate News section, “Bass Pro Shops on Hunt for Funds” by Dana Mattioli and Gillian Tan.) My immediate thought, imagine that, was to look at the 3CFortress concept. Some of the 100 stores do have full-service restaurants and possibly a bowling alley. Mr. Morris started out selling from his father’s liquor store. They now own and operate Big Cedar Lodge, a resort close to Branson, MO. My point is that Mr. Morris started out in a diverse retail-selling environment but ended up with stores that are more or less stand alone just like their Cabela competition.

Consider 3CFortress as an “alternative” that can provide “funds” but promote and expand what Bass Pro Shops stand for. If the “lodge” is selling in one location why can’t it be expanded to more locations? A Bass Pro Shop 3CFortress could take care of a “living triangle” for the store employees, the store visitors, the local community and the local farmers as a place to market their goods on a daily basis. Local farms and hunting areas would be close by and directly supporting.

The architectural look that Bass Pro Shops presents could easily be presented in a 3CFortress environment that benefits both corporate and community alike. Many, if not all, current sites including the corporate headquarters fall short of putting this “living triangle” into a 3CFortress complex.

What Do You Think? – Mr. Morris, I would love to hear what you think? Is 3CFortress starting to make more sense to you or your business? Everyone is free to post a response.