By Brian Murphy
It’s hard to believe that more than six months have passed since we had our first COVID-19 preparedness meeting. Clients began reaching out to Mail-Gard about their disaster recovery plans in late February after officials from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies warned the public to prepare for the “inevitable” spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) within the United States.
Pandemic Lesson #1: The Impact is Broad
That warning now stands as the first lesson we learned and continue to learn from the pandemic: Everyone is vulnerable. Back in February it was hard to comprehend the scale of what that meant. We continue to learn more each day about how the virus spreads, what we need to do every day to protect our employees, ourselves, and our workplace, and to be ready when we receive a notification from a client that a declaration from them is imminent.
Pandemic Lesson #2: Things Can Change in an Instant
The second lesson we continue to learn from the pandemic is the business environment changes in an instant when a positive COVID-19 case is identified. We learned that first-hand when a positive case was identified in our facility. We also learned how important it is to have a proven plan in place so everyone knows what to do and responds instantly, calmly, and effectively. It’s amazing to see the resilience of our team in responding to this pandemic for our clients, and it’s also reassuring to experience what we do every day to protect our employees, their families, and our workplace.
Pandemic Lesson #3: Disaster Recovery Testing is Even More Important Than Most Thought
As many prospects have learned over the past six months, there is nothing like an actual event to expose gaps in a disaster recovery (DR) plan. It is a huge point of pride for the Mail-Gard team that our clients have learned there is nothing like testing to minimize gaps in their DR plan. For most, the pandemic section of their DR plan was just a required element, not a reality that anyone thought would be active for more than six months. Having a tested plan in place has given peace of mind to more than a dozen clients who have declared with us since February.
Pandemic Lesson #4: Research and React Quickly
Another hard-learned lesson is the requirement to understand the complexity and detail in local, state, and federal regulations. This started with the definition of essential business. In the beginning, that changed hourly as states grappled with terms like “life-saving” as businesses were being given 48 or 72 hours to prove they were considered essential as lockdown, stay-at-home, and safer-at-home orders went into effect.
It is hard to find a silver lining in the dark cloud of COVID-19, but one of the most important lessons we’ve learned over the past six months is this: strategies for business continuity have changed forever—but for the better.
If you need help identifying gaps in your DR and print-to-mail recovery plans, you can reach me here. We’re happy to share our lesson plans with you, but for now, we will continue to be safe and do that remotely.
Brian Murphy is Director, Operations at Mail-Gard. Has been bringing a commitment to teamwork and a lead-by-example philosophy to Mail-Gard for more than 20-years. This print-to-mail recovery veteran’s proudest moment was receiving recognition for turning in cash lost by a church school. Avid Philadelphia Flyers fan who enjoys playing ice hockey himself.