Emergency planning and crisis management
Black swan or blind spot? The duality of extreme events
A black swan is characterised by Nassim Nicholas Taleb [Ref. 1] as an event which:
1. Is a surprise (to the observer), an 'extreme outlier'
2. Has a major impact
3. Is rationalised by hindsight, as if it could have been expected
No need for alarm? The art of alarm management
The design philosophy of any alarm system is to alert the operator to a plant condition that has reached or exceeded a pre-defined limit, so that he or she can take action or monitor any automatic response.
Emergency broadcast – communicating major accidents events
Major Accident Events (MAEs) are low frequency, high consequence events typified by accidents such as Deepwater Horizon, Fukushima and Texas City. Significant efforts are made by operators to prevent and mitigate these events. But how well do we communicate what these events might be and how we would manage them?
Know your breaking point: the benefits of organisational stress testing
The term 'Stress Testing' has featured in the headlines over the past few years as authorities respond to the worldwide banking crisis and, more recently, the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident. Banks or operators of nuclear facilities have been required, or encouraged, to undertake 'Stress Tests' to assess the ability of their organisation to withstand extreme conditions.
State of emergency
The recent events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan have caused the international nuclear community to review their approach to extreme events [e.g. Ref 1] and, in particular, emergency preparedness.
The best in planning for the worst …assuring business continuity
Business continuity and reputation topped the list of "most important risks over the coming year" in a recent survey of risk managers (ref.1) and along with the publication of a new Business Continuity Standard (ref.2), is likely to lead to businesses coming under even greater pressure to demonstrate that business continuity risks are managed effectively.
Crisis management: the impact of Hurricane Harvey on petrochemical facilities
Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm, hit Texas in August 2017. It caused an estimated $180 billion in damage, more than any other natural disaster in US history. But hurricanes are nothing new to the Houston area, home to one of the world's largest manufacturing centres for petrochemicals. So how well prepared were these facilities?