In these days of incidents and disasters, most, if not all, agencies set up to handle this function are reacting to issues as they come up.

In simple terms we are reacting instead of being proactive.

What then should we do?

The business of emergency management is a specialized job, in fact, a profession which can be studied, embraced, built on and grown with. Therefore, the basic fact is that the knowledge of Business Continuity is the FOUNDATION, or basic requirement for professionals in the field of Disaster Management. The knowledge helps individuals to appreciate and have a solid information and expertise which can then be expanded to any field of choice.

To be proactive in Disaster Management, you need to know about two main tools used by experts in the profession to judge or anticipate that a disaster could occur. These two are:

  • Risk Assessment (Proactive in nature)
  • Business Impact Analysis (BIA) or Environmental Impact Analysis (Reactive in nature)

Component of Risk Assessment

  • Threat – A man-made or natural situation or condition that can cause disruption to

an organization’s operations or services.


  • Vulnerability – The degree to which a person, asset, process, information, infrastructure or

other resources are exposed to the actions or effects of a risk, event or other occurrence.


  • Probability – is the measure of the likelihood that an event will occur


  • Control Measures – include actions that can be taken to reduce the potential of exposure to the hazard, or the control measure could be to remove the hazard or to reduce the likelihood of the risk of the exposure BEFORE that hazard being realised.

Professionals in disaster management should actively be on the lookout searching, always judging situations, events, actions that are threat to people, environment or infrastructure long before it becomes apparent to the ordinary eye.  It is a full time ‘habit’.

He or she looks out for weaknesses that can be explored by the threat to cause a loss (risk). The probability of such loss occurring could be based on instinct or similar past events that have occurred.

From DRI International

Another area is the Business Impact Analysis which assesses the effect of process or critical infrastructure damage, or shut down, the impact which could relate to Customer (injury/death/Stress), Financial losses, Reputational issues, Regulatory  or Operational impact. This process seeks to appraise resources and vital tools needed to bring the situation under control. Using this process we will derive our RESPONSE time to incidents and disasters.

  • Please note that this is an abbreviation of a full study.

The output from this process will actually point the way to PLANNING to mitigate any event that could occur.

The Planning Process comprises of the following:

  • BCM Strategies (Continuity or Recovery)
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Development and Implementing Plan

The information gathered is only data, until it is sorted, appraised, judged and collated could it make sense and give direction to your strategies to contain negative events, budgeting, purchasing of vital equipment for disaster handling, types of emergencies that could occur within an area i.e. Local Government, State or the Federation.

Further analysis will help Health sector in planning for victims, stock drugs, purchase of required equipment or special uniforms to be worn during pandemics before such incident occurs.


We should not be reacting every time to incidents; we should have a process, training, expertise to ‘see’, ‘feel’ and anticipate incidents that could turn into disaster before it occurs and also be equipped to react, respond and mitigate the effect of the impact of such events.

Again, to be effective in disaster management, you need the very basic knowledge – BUSINESS CONTINUITY MANAGEMENT. It is the requirement in the field of Disaster Management.

*Philip Keshiro is the MD/CEO and Lead Consultant for Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) Nigeria