Almost one week after the hurricane Sandy disaster and this is the scene within at least a 50 mile radius north of Manhattan. New Jersey which was hit harder is probably much worse considering gas rationing is now in effect.
December 2007 Posting
On December 19th, of 2007 InfoSecAlways posted a blog article on Disaster Recovery Alternate Site Distances. In that posting was sited the recommended distance in preparing for a hurricane. The external study suggested an 85 mile radius. InfoSecAlways suggested increasing that distance to 210 miles. If Sandy was only a category 1 hurricane and the Tri-state area is affected as far north as Bridgeport CT the 85 mile is absolutely not acceptable. Even gas is hard to get within that 85 mile radius.
One item that was not discussed in the previous blog article was gasoline. For the past 4 days now this is the same picture everywhere at least 50 miles north of Manhattan. This station in particular has had a gas tank delivery every day for the past 3 days. Each night the station runs out of gas late in the evening. In New Jersey and Staten Island there are stories about gas being siphoned from tanks and generators being stolen. The situation appears to get worse daily and the lines even longer.
A gasoline crisis affects both individuals and corporations. Employees will not show up to work out of fear of theft or running out of gas. This is especially true if they have power issues that require a generator. Individuals will be forced to deal with personal items and work becomes secondary. If a business operates as a supply chain, taxi, or delivery organization, which is dependent on transportation, it may be very difficult to operate due to lack of gas or increased traffic as a result of lines.
What to do?
Unfortunately gas is an absolute requirement for both individuals and corporations to operate effectively. Individuals should know several different items that can help in the event of a disaster.
Siphoning gas is difficult on most new cars. These cars contain a siphon screen that prevents hoses from going into the tank. In dire situations removing the fuel filter allows access to the gas. Remember lawn mowers and other house hold items may have gas if needed.
Generators and gas tanks will get stolen. Staying is a disaster zone is not recommended even within a few days after the disaster. Wait at the alternate location for several days until power is restored, supply chains can provide food, and any other immediate crisis has been resolved.
On the other hand corporations will need to provide an alternate means of connectivity for office and technology based jobs. Use a good mobile provider that can bring a generator to the corporate office or enable the business to connect at a remote location. Organizations like Agility Recovery are experts at providing these services and other mobile solutions.
Corporations that require gasoline to operate the business should have conducted the proper analysis and considered the supply of gasoline a mission critical process. As a result these businesses must purchase a series of large tanks and should consider owning their own gas stations with back up supply chains in place. These gas supply tanks and stations must be protected with the proper physical security mechanisms such as anti-siphon devices on tanks and secure fencing perimeters around the gas stations.
Gas is a critical resource and the effects during a hurricane can be substantial since it is required for heat, food, transportation, and much more. Based on hurricane Sandy the distance required to provide a solid gasoline supply chain is around a 100 mile radius from the center point of the storm. Both employees and corporations need to consider the type of disaster and its radius. The radius should be considered for all resources and the supply chain for those resources. Otherwise things may come to a halt when there is no gas left to buy at the station.