Dealing with Disaster; One Week before the First Anniversary of the September 11 Attacks, the Contingency Planning Exchange Organized a Roundtable Discussion Amongst Representatives from Corporations That Lost Personnel, Material Assets and Operations. They Discussed Dealing with the Disaster and Protecting Themselves against Future Catastrophes. (September 11 Roundtable)

Risk Management, December 2002 | Go to article overview

Dealing with Disaster; One Week before the First Anniversary of the September 11 Attacks, the Contingency Planning Exchange Organized a Roundtable Discussion Amongst Representatives from Corporations That Lost Personnel, Material Assets and Operations. They Discussed Dealing with the Disaster and Protecting Themselves against Future Catastrophes. (September 11 Roundtable)


Deveau: What recovery or restoration activities, if any, continue to this day?

Bowden: Salomon Smith Barney had a couple thousand employees displaced due to the collapse at Seven World Trade Center. We have been able to relocate all of these employees to permanent locations, some of which are outside the city so that we have more diversity within the business. Today, there are no ongoing recovery activities.

Quintana: In the sixth subfloor of World Trade Tower Two, we had a multiple node with twenty-eight optical backbone rings that was totally destroyed. AT&T has a facility called Network Fast Recovery, which has 125 technology trailers that are equipped to recover any central office--up to forty-five associate IT networks and data networks--within seventy-two hours. Within only forty-eight hours, they had recovered all twenty-eight optical rings. We then began restoration procedures on the node itself, which took about eight weeks. Our customers in the area, especially some of the world financial facilities, have high needs to meet. In order for them to return to their facilities, we had to recover those lost rings and put them into place within a very short period of time.

Bauer: As a result of September 11, Deutsche Bank continues to improve technology recovery activities related to data centers. We are also taking into consideration new business requirements based on September 11 and are working on expanding alternate sites in the Americas.

Spall: World Trade Center Building Seven collapsed on one of Con Edison's major substations, which provided power to most of lower Manhattan. The collapse led to a power outage for over thirteen thousand customers. To get the power back on, we used our Seaport substation located along the East River to power thirty-six miles of above-ground wires in what we have come to refer to as "the world's largest extension cord." We thought it would take us eight weeks, but our crews were able to do it in approximately eight days. Our last remaining task is to reconstruct a new substation in a new building located on the former World Trade Center Seven site. That land has been cleared and our desire is to have the substation in service next year.

Deveau: Were there any systems or functions that you could not recover?

Bowden: Salomon Smith Barney did lose equipment at Seven World Trade, but we did not lose access to our production systems. We were ready to go at a moment's notice because we had an alternate site. Some of us were at the alternate site that morning when the disaster occurred and we were already prepared to go with the system.

Quintana: AT&T wasn't really affected from a systems function perspective other than the node that went down. Even though we had twelve affected locations in the target zone, we knew immediately what the target functions and locations of the people were. There were no data centers or data center functionality impacted. The people that needed access to do remote work were immediately relocated to alternate facilities, as per our disaster recovery plan, and were able to operate from the remote systems.

Bauer: Because Deutsche Bank employs a dual disaster recovery and data center strategy, we recovered all of our critical systems. In some cases, we had issues with noncritical applications and recovering tapes related to these applications. However, once we got permission to re-enter our building, we eventually recovered the tapes and reconciled what we needed to.

Spall: Con Edison had to cap and cut gas and steam service to the entire disaster area, and in certain cases, route services around the site to serve the area south of the World Trade Center.

Beyond that, we lost a very large customer--the World Trade Center site itself used about the same amount of electricity as Albany, New York uses on a typical day. This summer, we thought that there might be less electricity used in the New York City metropolitan area because of the loss of the World Trade Center. …

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Dealing with Disaster; One Week before the First Anniversary of the September 11 Attacks, the Contingency Planning Exchange Organized a Roundtable Discussion Amongst Representatives from Corporations That Lost Personnel, Material Assets and Operations. They Discussed Dealing with the Disaster and Protecting Themselves against Future Catastrophes. (September 11 Roundtable)
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