Risk management lesson washed away


Here’s a story about a watermain break in the Montreal borough of Pierrefonds, Quebec which left about fifty homes without water for a couple of days. The West Island Gazette writes:

Pierrefonds residents can expect two four-litre bottles of water per household will be delivered to their door by borough workers sometime before supper, Monday. Borough spokesperson Johanne Palladini explained the watermain break, which has left between 40 and 50 Fifth Avenue homes without water since Sunday morning, will only be fixed Monday night, sometime between 9 and 10 p.m.

While I agree delivering water to these families is a terrific humanitarian gesture, from a risk management perspective it’s a terrible idea.

Risk management is about preparing for events that are important but not urgent and most of the time people don’t recognize the value of identifying, assessing and managing risks until after an event (like this!) takes place. The upside of being left without water for two days is people saying “never again” then make preparations for the Next Time.

So when the government steps in to mitigate some of the pain caused by the broken watermain then that risk management lesson is not learned.

For more please see my earlier post Under the Dome Risk Management or go to the Government of Canada’s list of basic emergency kit items.









Photo: Courtesy of Emergency Outdoors

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