Emergency Operations Efforts In Fort McMurray

I recently read an article in the Globe and Mail about the emergency operations efforts in Fort McMurray. Huge efforts and sacrifices have been made and continue to be made by emergency service personnel. I have mostly heard and thought about the  firefighters, police force, and municipal officials.  But this article was entitled Telecom Companies Struggle with Fort McMurray Fallout.  You’ll find it here


It is worth a read if you have access to the Globe and Mail (a paid site). The article outlines the critical nature of our Internet and Phone communication.  It brings to light the amazing work of Telus and Shaw in this disaster and highlights that technology is a critical part of Emergency Operations. The emergency workers need to communicate and it is vital that the technology infrastructure stays working.  The Globe and Mail reports that Telus and Shaw employees have been in Fort McMurray all along putting themselves at risk to keep the systems running. It is an amazing story.

It makes me reflect upon how important it is to remember technology when planning for disasters. We can’t assume it (IT, servers, laptops, phones, etc.) will just magically keep working. Technology – especially reliable business grade technology – takes real planning, real people, real work, physical equipment, proactive maintenance, and budget/money.

We all hope we never have to experience what Fort McMurray is going through right now.  The reality is, however, major disasters could strike any of us at any time.  Business owners need to prepare for that eventuality.  And disasters don’t have to be Fort McMurray in scale to be a big deal to us personally.  If your office roof collapsed, it might be small to the world but it may be the whole world to you. Think about it – what is your business disaster plan? Will your IT technology keep working in a disaster?

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