Below is an edited article I wrote in the late 1990’s illustrating not only my experience in Crisis Management but my work with a University (and others) in recovery. This was published in the Disaster Recovery Journal magazine. It includes a picture of me, at UVI’s library, with a generator we used to power freeze-drying equipment to save 100,000 books.
I was a leader of the IBM Crisis Response Team.
Hurricane Damage in Virgin Islands Repaired
By Ted Brown
Complete project and construction management services, primarily for the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI), are being provided. The work, involving 64 buildings on three islands— St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John, is being performed by IBM’s Business Recovery Services and Nolind Associates. The team began the project with the reconstruction of the Reichhold Center on St. Thomas.
In three weeks, starting in late-January, the concert hall was rebuilt. The work was finished on the morning of a sold-out gala mid-February performance by world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman.
Other completed projects include assisting the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority in the reconstruction of their physical plant, drying the computers at St. Thomas Hospital and drying more than 100,000 books and other contents of
the UVI library to prevent permanent damage from deterioration and mildew. At the hospital, the effort involved decontaminating and cleaning the computers and electronic equipment of residual moisture and corrosives, like salt.
Data recovery was performed on computer disk hard drives that were at risk of corrosion from salt residue, by transferring the data to contaminate-free storage devices.
Rebuilding the Virgin Islands Medical Foundation and the Watergate West villas, a condominium development, are future projects. As part of their project management responsibilities, IBM advises UVI management, assists in the development of disaster recovery documentation, coordinates the recovery effort, administers vendor payments and coordinates Federal Emergency Management Assistance (FEMA) and related issues.
Construction management includes assessment of damages to develop a comprehensive construction plan; selection of architects, engineers and other specialized consultants; complete design services including architectural, mechanical, structural, electrical, interior design and estimates; complete site analysis to determine optimum repair process; demolition and cleaning of existing damage; development of all construction documents; building permit and inspection process management; development and tracking of budget; on site supervision; contract negotiations; and documentation of all activities. The recovery work is directed by the IBM Crisis Management and Business Resumption Services team, made up of personnel from IBM and Nolind Associates, an IBM Business Partner based in California.
The University of the Virgin Islands celebrated its 34th anniversary this year. It was chartered on March 16, 1962 and is the only one of America’s 117 historically black colleges and universities located outside of the continental U.S.
Ted Brown is the Northeast Region manager for Business Resumption Services for IBM Business Recovery Services.