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Editor's prerogative.

EARTHQUAKES, INCIDENTS OF KIDNAP and ransom, and the Los Angeles riots are three good reasons to remind the public and corporate decision-makers that catastrophes do indeed happen. Crisis management is not just for pessimists and managers who always think about the worst-case scenario. Recent events have proven that executives do get kidnapped, and every now and then the earth does shake as it did last month in California.

For the past seven years I have been writing about risk management. But as with anything, there is no substitute for first-hand experience. If anyone had told me that on an early summer trip to Los Angeles I would be awakened in the night with the hotel bouncing and shaking, I never would have believed them. It seemed unfathomable that the enormous columns of brick, marble and concrete could sway and roll the way they were. And at the moment of crisis the words that flashed through my mind: risk management. I fully realized the utter importance of building codes, emergency preparedness, disaster planning and catastrophe insurance. I also thought of all those risk managers whose companies have operations in California, and how their companies deal with the looming threat of the "Big One." The city of Los Angeles was also just recovering from all the damage and fear caused by the riots over the Rodney King verdict a few weeks ago. What would be the financial impact of these two incidents on the insurance industry? It was also around this time that the kidnappers of Exxon executive Sidney Reso were discovered and arrested - one of which turned out to be a former employee of the company. What is the solution to dealing with all of these crises in the news? Preparedness. By being prepared for the worst and having emergency procedures in place to minimize loss, the risk manager can spare people involved in catastrophes a lot of pain - and spare the company a lot of money too. Risk managers already know better than anyone that disasters do happen.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:crisis management
Author:Oshins, Alice
Publication:Risk Management
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Aug 1, 1992
Previous Article:Combating insurance fraud.
Next Article:Executive forum.

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