The earthquake in Haiti is yet another disaster that has opened our eyes to how quickly life can change. The pictures and stories are devastating.
One positive aspect is the speed with which many countries have donated money, food, supplies and search and rescue teams. This speaks to the importance of having plans in place for these kinds of events. Within 24 hours of the earthquake, countries from around the world already had specialized search and rescue teams deployed and on their way to Haiti. These teams are models of efficiency. They need to be ready to move at anytime, not dissimilar to firemen, because they provide an on-demand service. They do not know when or what will happen next. Therefore they need to be prepared to leave at any moment. That means bags are always packed, supplies are always ready and communication is always quick and effective.
There is a lot that businesses can learn from this–have contingency plans in place and the more prepared you are, the faster you can get results. It is not only important how quickly you respond, but also the quality of that response.