1. Disasters, Natural and Otherwise
Hurricane Sandy, which damaged offices and knocked out power to companies across the Northeastern U.S. in October 2012, is the latest in a string of disasters to disrupt businesses. Japan’s earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in 2011 impacted companies around the globe. American firms operating in Japan temporarily shut down, and those that depended on Japanese components like computer chips had to scramble to find alternate suppliers. And New York’s Sept. 11 terrorist attacks raised awareness of business continuity planning and prompted companies to consider an array of new dangers along with the possibility of longer disruptions. Companies also face problems from more mundane sources, such as software glitches, labor strikes, and backhoes that accidentally cut power lines.
Photograph by Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg