Prudent Overreaction

As Abraham Lincoln once put it, there are times when “the necessity of being ready increases”. Given the relatively high threat of a terrorist incident disrupting vital energy supplies, it’s prudent to be ready to respond quickly and effectively. So was it madness or good management to evacuate the Safe Scandinavia, an offshore accommodation barge, last weekend?

According to press reports, the evacuation was triggered by rumours following an overheard conversation in which a woman recalled a dream about a bomb on board. The exercise is estimated to have cost in excess of a million dollars. “Madness” and “ludicrous” suggested some observers. I disagree.

If there’s any doubt then you have to play safe. And the evacuation would have been a good exercise. Regular call-outs and drills are an essential element of emergency response planning. And much of the cost will be existing employees’ time rather than additional expenditure. By all accounts the evacuation was executed successfully. That’s good emergency preparedness.

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