--> Gill Blog: Blackout Leaves Italy in the Dark: Identifying the Root Cause

Gill Blog

Monday, September 29, 2003

Blackout Leaves Italy in the Dark: Identifying the Root Cause

As you have probably gathered, I'm a big fan of the World Conference on Disaster Managment -- great topics, great speakers. At the 13th WCDM, I really enjoyed a presentation given by Paul Kovacs from the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) . There was so much substantial material he not only covered but quantified, it was dizzying. If there was one nuggett to be taken away from the session, however, it was simply this: the amount of incidents that can cause disruption are substantial, and during the 1990's there was a noticeable increase in their occurance (2,500 natural disasters recorded causing over $1 Trillion (with a T) in damage). For some reason the radar screen was tweaked, and I became more aware of incidents as they happened. Another day, another event.

The latest report from today. Officials have identified the root cause of the Italian blackout, and again, we see compelling evidence that small things can branch out to cause wide scale damage. But I can't help but wonder why each blackout over the past 6 weeks has been "the largest" in a particular region's history, and none of these events has been attributed to something we would normally associate with the outcomes they have produced. Is there more to it than that? We'll leave that one in the capable hands of conspiracy theorists.

This forum is a place where we have selectively tracked these kinds of events, and the evidence speaks for itself -- much has happened over the past few months. I didn't really anticipate how many events of mass disruption we would actually cover, but it seems as they have been occurring with great regularity. Mr. Kovacs was bang on with his observations. All these events, pandemics, hurricanes, and power outages cause not only dislocation and confusion, but they cost money, and lots of it.

The reason why terms like disaster recovery and business continuity planning mean so much today is that we are that much more connected than we were prior to 1990 (maybe that's why Mr. Kovacs' numbers seem to jump out at us). We are committed to continue using this blog to discuss events of the day, and using our research page to publish papers exploring issues that are longer term in scope and can be used for strategic planning.


Post a Comment

<< Home