The importance of Contingency Planning


“For a split second, I saw something that resembled a flash of lightning,” Mbodilu testified. “Suddenly the windows flew into the room … There was the loudest noise I ever heard in my life.” Justina was eight months pregnant when she arrived at the embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Aug. 7, 1998.
People writhed in agony and semi-blindness amid the chaos that ensued after the bombings. All around were tables and chairs upside down, legs in the air, amid debris of glass and breakage. Smoke engulfed the air above the now former Ufundi Cooperative House building. Charred stones, protruding metal bars, cement dust and total destruction characterized the former five storey building.
Cries of agony, hopelessness, pain and desperation swamped the air as people still trapped in the buildings sought for help from anyone who could hear them.
Who would have thought that terrorists could attack some insignificant East African countries like Kenya and Tanzania? Before the 1998 atrocity, terrorist bombings had been an occurrence in the West.
Before this, we had heard of the wall street bombing on 1920 which centered around the Financial District of New York killing 38 people and injuring 400 more; the blowing up of the dome of the St. Nedelya Church during the wake of General Konstantin Georgiev in 1925; the King David Hotel bombing in 1946;The Cinema Rex Fire That killed 470 people in 1978; the Beirut Barracks Bombing of 1983 that resulted in 241 casualties, there was also the Pan Am Flight 103 Also known as the ‘Lockerbie Bombing in 1988 that exploded killing all 243 passengers aboard as well as its 16 crewmembers before it crashed in Lockerbie, Scotland killing 11 more on the ground; there was also the bombing that occurred on April 19, 1995 in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, an office complex in Oklahoma claiming the lives of 168 people, 19 of which are children below 6 years old, and left 800 more wounded.
The assumption that terrorism was a crime of the west had cost Kenya and Tanzania 225 souls. None of the countries were prepared for such an event.
Disaster and emergency strikes are never planned activities. Some say they are acts of God while others talk of human beings contributing in a way or the other to their occurrences. Preparedness is key when anticipating disaster occurrence but sometimes things don’t go as planned. As such designing a backup plan during such incidences is something that has to be adequately considered during efforts to minimize property destruction and loss of life.
For such to happen, timeliness in response is a key aspect that plays a key role in alleviating human suffering. This is catered for in the preparation of a contingency plans. These ensure continuity of operations.
Contingency planning aims at preparing individuals and organizations to prepare well for disasters and emergencies. A contingency plan answers the questions of; what might happen, what will be done, and what should be done prior to disasters to ensure adequate preparation. Time spent in contingency planning equals time saved when a disaster occurs. Effective contingency planning should lead to timely and effective disaster-relief operations.
A contingency plan is sometimes referred to as “Plan B,” because it can be also used as an alternative for action if expected results fail to materialize.
The Indepth Reasearch Services, International Learning and Development Center (IRES ILDC) training course recognizes contingency planning as; planning that aims to prepare an organization to respond well to an emergency and its potential humanitarian impact. IRES ILDC advises that developing a contingency plan should involve making decisions inadvance about the management of human and financial resources, coordination andcommunications procedures, and being aware of a range of technical and logistical responses.
The training among other core aspects of contingency planning discusses:
• Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR)
• Disasters, Their Impacts and Risk Management
• Disaster and Development:
• Safe and Resilient Community:
• Contingency Planning/ Continuity Strategies:
• Why and When to Plan:
• Development of Response Plans for Drought, Floods and Animal Diseases;
• Development of Response Plans for Drought, Floods and Animal Diseases; Consolidating Contingency Plans;

We attend our 5 days training on the same.
To register for the training click on this link

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