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  5. The Approach of Companies to Crisis ManagementThe Approach of Companies to Crisis Management

2011 Vol.3
The Approach of Companies to Crisis ManagementThe Approach of Companies to Crisis Management

Business Continuity Methods for Corporate Survival Learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake


The Great East Japan Earthquake caused an unprecedented amount of damage to not only individual victims, but also many industries and companies operating in the Tohoku and Kanto regions. Prior to the earthquake, the importance of countermeasures to earthquake disasters and crisis management in Japan had been emphasized following previous major earthquakes such as the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake and the 2007 Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake. Also, the term “business continuity plan (BCP)” seemed to be gradually becoming prevalent following the spread of the new strain of influenza.
In reality, however, companies in the Tokyo metropolitan area, whose situation was far more fortunate than those in the areas that were completely destroyed by the tsunami, mention that BCPs that had been established did not function well. The risk of earthquakes in Japan is greater than before, with aftershocks and induced earthquakes expected to occur for the next several months or years and the likelihood increasing of the Tokai, Tonankai, and Nankai earthquakes occurring. In such a situation, a lack of proper measures or preparation would endanger the continued operation of companies, other organizations, and, in the worst case, the nation as a whole.
Taking into account the lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake, this paper considers how companies and other organizations should approach crisis management in order to be prepared for emergencies and what type of methodology or BCP should be used in order to quickly restore and continue operations for corporate survival. This paper examines ways for various organizations to increase their resiliency to disasters and contribute, however small, to reconstruction efforts