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As we write the news pages are filled with the horrifying sights of a Texas town reduced to rubble by a factory explosion; whilst in the UK a fire at a cardboard recycling plant lit up the night sky as tens of thousands of tons of cardboard went up in smoke. Although the scale of the disaster in the UK cannot compare with the tragic loss of life in Texas both events are a stark reminder of the way in which businesses are intertwined with their local communities.
When disaster strikes, the way in which people rally round and help each other is a testament to the natural community feeling which we have as members of the human race. Witness the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this week where people ignored their own peril to run towards and help those who had been injured. Our instinctive reaction to those in need is to help, to do what we can, whether that be tea and sympathy, making a donation or carrying someone out of the danger zone.
But when the immediate event has passed it can be too easy to write off the longer term needs, to move on and assume that those affected are able to move on with us. One of the key elements of building a business continuity plan is the human aspect, ensuring that care and support are provided for as long as required. Engaging with our employees or with the wider community, providing long term support to those affected says more about our company culture than any document, meeting or advert can ever hope to do.