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On August 29th, 2005 Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast causing damage across all the states within the surrounding areas. Hurricane Katrina became recognized as one of the most deadly storms to ever wreak havoc on the United States. This storm not only affected the states where the damage was done, it affected areas nationwide as families frantically tried to contact family members whom were in the area of the storm. Lockheed Martin had multiple facilities that were affected by the storm, and they had to scramble to put together a plan in order to bring these facilities back to full operation, while also finding ways to care for the needs of their personnel. The company had to establish shelter, sources of food and water, and find out whatever else they may need to provide for their personnel to feel safe and taken care of.
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Lockheed Martin was directly affected by Hurricane Katrina, which directly affected their business for a short span of time. They had to be able to return to full operation as soon as possible because they had a NASA satellite that was planned to launch in roughly 9 months. While this was a very important topic for the company, they had to be able to take care of their personnel so that they would have workers to help get the facilities back online. They first had to establish a way to communicate to their employees so that emergency instructions and details could be spread to all of those affected by the storm. Due to the high winds and major amounts of flooding throughout the various regions, communication by telephone would be rendered about useless until personnel could get to areas of safety where phones could be accessed. To help correct these issues, an emergency plan would be put in place so that one standard form of communication would be used amongst all members of the company. According to an article from Terri Beattie, who was the president of Lockheed Martin at the time, it states,
“Web based Emergency Notification System was created. It tracked all employees, multiple contact information, their personal circumstances, and as a bonus, information they had on regional issues or other affected Lockheed Martin employees / facilities. It was managed from a remote location, was updated in real-time and monitored frequently by executive management. It also posted information for employees so they could monitor when business operations would resume, the regional situation, such as road openings or bridge closings, and how they could obtain disaster assistance support”(Beattie, 2015).
This program will allow for a consistent spread of communication where personnel will always know where they can find out what is going on, no matter the situation.
The next situation that occurred for the company was finding out where they would be able to house all of the employees that were displaced by the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Since many of the homes in the area were destroyed and routes in and out of major cities were closed due to flooding, this made options much more difficult. In order to find housing for the employees that were displaced, the plan would be to contact FEMA. During this time in the hurricane, they were attempting to bring in trailers for temporary housing for victims of the storm. In an article about the recovery process from the storm, it does state, “And FEMA’s strategy of ordering 200,000 trailers and mobile homes shortly after the storm was blind to the nation’s manufacturing capacity of 6,000 units per month”(Patel, 2005). So with this being known, there may not be enough of these shelters for the displaced employees from the company. The next option would be to contact other branches of the company to see if they have any places where these employees could stay near their branches of the company. This would allow for the employees to still work for the company and provide for themselves and/or their families since they would still be connected to the company. Also any other public shelters that may be in current use by these employees would be a viable option for them to stay in place to not risk any other harm of trying to get where the company would want them until it is safe for them to do so.
The next initiative that would need to be put in place would be to find ways to provide food and water for these employees, since these essential items would be lacking in these areas damaged by the storm. During times of crisis like this, all across the country many different sources come together to find ways to get these essential needs to the people affected by the storms. For the survival of these employees whom have been affected, it would be of high priority to find a way to get enough food and water sent to them for at least a week at a time before a resupply can be sent. In an article from the Second Harvest Food Bank, it states, “Working with urgency with the Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Convention, Seventh-day Adventists, Mennonites and so many others to provide food, shelter and clothing for hundreds of thousands of people struggling to get home and get started on rebuilding their lives”(Jayroe, 2015). With these groups being near the affected areas, being able to contact them to let them know where the employees were would be essential in getting their needs satisfied. These companies are able to pull items in from donations across the country and put those into the hands of those whom are in need. Another option would be to take up a collection of funds from within the company to allow for those funds to buy food and water that could be shipped to the people who are in need. These funds could then be used to also pay for a delivery service to take them directly to where the companies facility is, so that it can be distributed amongst all those who are there trying to get the facility operating again. Getting these items to those in need is a high priority for the strategic initiative to be able to be completed and give the employees the care they need.
The next task at hand is getting any sort of medical care to the facility along with any other supplies that would be needed for anyone who needs it. Being able to determine medical care is huge, since some employees may have medical needs that could cause life or death situations for them if they are not able to reach care within a certain amount of time. Before a disaster strikes, brief medical history should be collected for employees who work in areas where possible disasters like hurricanes could occur so that management could be aware of who may need care in order to survive. By having this list, it gives the executives who are making calls to possible care outlets a heads up as to what would need requested for those employees. With the major of major cities facing flooding, many major hospitals within the area were not able to keep up with the level of care that would need to be provided, so portable aid stations would be needed to be brought in for these employees, unless it was a true emergency that only a hospital could care for. In an article from Johns Hopkins about the care response it states, “There was no coordinated system to recruit, deploy, and manage volunteers during the medical response to Hurricane Katrina. There was no federal office to coordinate this response. There was no way to register and verify credentials of medical volunteers in place. The Medical Reserve Corps was ready to provide assistance, but was not used to its full potential often due to legal and liability concerns”(Boddie, 2015). With this information, that would mean the company would have to hire privately a response team that could be sent out to the area to provide the care needed by the employees who were taking shelter at the facility. This may be a costly expense, but without it many employees may not be able to make it out of this situation alive depending on how events could unfold after the disaster recovery process begins. Any request made by employees who are on the ground should be answered since they are in very high-risk situations and need all the help they can possibly get. Funding should be brought about from within the company in an emergency fund that should be established so that they individuals can get paid to help maintain an income. They cannot help that they are missing work due to a disaster striking, so being able to pay them should be done. If opportunities for them are open at other facilities until there home facility is operational, they will be allowed to take these opportunities. They will be given temporary housing in a hotel or company owned housing so that they can stay there and continue to work until they are able to return home when it is safe for them to do so.
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The tasks now move on the facility, since it is damaged from the storm and the company has a NASA satellite that needs to be launched in nine months. With all these supplies and resources being pumped into the facility to take care of the employees, security must be put in place to help protect and maintain a secure facility. This will have to be hired private security that the company will have to provide, since the National Guard or Armed Forces deployed to the area will not be able to provide security with the other priorities they have at hand. With security in place, it decreases the risk of people trying to ravage the facility for anything they can find of value, along with them causing any harm to employees or secure files that may be on site. This will provide comfort for all those present, and allow for the facility to start the process of starting operation back up.
After getting security established for the facility, regaining functioning utilities of electric, heat/cooling, running water will be essential to getting the facility back to operating function. Since power lines were damaged in the storm, it will be quite a bit of time before the main power is reconnected to the facility. Also with stores like The Home Depot not being open, being able to access a back up generator is not as simple as it may seem. With the project that is needed to be completed pertaining to a government agency on a timeline, it would be pertinent to request a power source be delivered by the government since they should have the resources to be able to get this to the facility. If this cannot be provided by a federal agency, it will be up to management to find places outside of the region affected by the storm that would be able to provide a power source that could be delivered to the site for immediate usage. If possible before the storm would hit or any disaster strike, it would be an effective strategy to install backup power sources that would be housed in areas where flood waters could not damage or cause malfunction of them. This would be in a perfect world since these disasters are not expected, but being able to plan and try to be ahead would be critical. The next utility to be brought back up to speed would be heat/cooling to provide the climate that is need for the production of the satellite. Mostly like with the area being in a particularly warm area of the country, cooling would be the main thing needed at this time. If air conditioning cannot be reestablished, the use of large fans that could be rented and brought in would be optimal for the situation at hand. These fans can provide relief for the workers and help maintain a comfortable work environment. The last main thing that needs to be reestablished for the facility is running water so that restrooms and any machinery that may require water for operation will be able to operate again. In an article from Nola.com it discusses water distribution after Hurricane Katrina and it states, “The trucks, which carried an average 10,000 gallons each, went to relief stations in coastal parishes, cruise ships on the river that housed emergency responders, and other sites where water service wasn’t available, according to S&WB Executive Director Marcia St. Martin”(Krupa, 2010). If a similar type of supply could be brought and stored at the facility in reserve tanks, it could be run through the facility and providing a very limited but viable source of water. Overall bringing back the true sources of the utilities will take quite awhile, this gives the facility an opportunity to continue working on the project they are currently involved in.
Taking into account all of the details that factor in due to the damage done by the storm, the questions still remains, could the satellite be finished in time for the launch in nine months? For this satellite to be able to be launched it would take a large amount of time and effort to make it happen, but the launch should successful. While operations at the main facility in charge of the build were held up, the plans should be forwarded on to other facilities to help pick up the slack while the facility is being brought back up to speed. Once it is ready to resume production, they will take over from the point that other facilities may have gotten to. In an article from the National Academy of Sciences, it states, “By the end of Day 12 (September 10), service had been restored to every customer who could receive it, and the number of outside personnel working on restoration had been reduced to 5,300”(Ball, 2008). This would mean that less than two weeks after the storm power would be restored and the facility could have the capability for production as long as the other parts of the facility are operational. Maintaining the safety of the building and its employees is the top priority, so once an inspection clears the site to return to normal operations everything will try to return to normal.
Overall Hurricane Katrina was a terrible disaster that was faced by millions of people and has transformed how preparation for the types of emergencies has evolved. Many lessons from this storm have been learned and are still currently improving for the future so that when events like this strike, the best solution possible is made to give the best results for all people involved. As for Lockheed Martin, they will be able to recover and launch their NASA satellite in nine months after the hard work and dedication to caring for their employees and getting them back into an operational facility. Many emergency strategies will be put into use to be able to provide all necessary care and supplies to make sure that all employees affected by the storm are able to survive and feel safe. This will be a defining moment for the company and many other companies across the country as they use this example to base their preparations for the future upon.
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