We’ve had three successive meetings this week about the exact same topic – Which 10-12 people are “essential” to continue operating in an emergency even if that means they must work from a fallback location somewhere outside the commuting area. Also of topic: Are we calling things the correct name? – Crisis Action versus Crisis Management. Continuity of operations versus relocation. Telework versus alternate workplace – but what no one is talking about is how they intend to pay for any of it or where people might reasonably be expected to go. Which is all well and good until someone actually wants to put their plans, and I use that term loosely, into action.

What I’m guessing will happen at that point is 75% of people who you previously decided are essential are going to be launched to the four winds trying to find safe shelter for their families or themselves, trying to keep their home from being overrun by floodwater or looters, or will just plain decided they want to go somewhere else when the excrement intersects with the ventilator. Fact is that you can give people whatever title you want, but you can’t make them do much of anything once they’re outside the four walls. That’s one of the perks of being a civilian instead of a soldier.

Until you can actually start answering some of the hard questions, good luck in trying to nail things down how anything might actually works in a worst case scenario. What you’re doing is not planning, it’s charitably described as guesswork.

Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of previously de-published blogs appearing on for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.

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