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NOVA - Hurricane Katrina: The Storm That Drowned a City

On this site, we usually put the emphasis on the personal and family aspects of disaster preparedness. If you own or manage a business, you have to think of preparing your business for a disaster as well. In 2005, many companies in New Orleans were caught unprepared when Hurricane Katrina came calling. Even those companies who were not directly damaged by the storm and floods were affected; for many, it wasn’t “business as usual” for a long time.

Stuart Smolkin is a senior executive with Intralox, a conveyor belt manufacturer based in New Orleans. In this talk at the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford, Smolkin shares what the company experienced during and post-Katrina. While he doesn’t give all the answers, Smolkin discusses the steps that Intralox took to restore its central operations just 30 days after the disaster.

It’s an interesting case study on how a company should prepare itself, from training employees to having multiple backup operations locally and abroad.



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