Have you ever wondered what causes large teams of search and rescue people including all their gear to magically spring into action within hours of a plane crash, no matter where in the world it has happened? Meet UK company Kenyon, a company that is one of the best in the world when it comes to rapid response to disasters.
I came across them while talking to a friend who is partner at a large PE firm, we do technical due diligence for them and the subject turned to IT disasters and what can be done to deal with them. From there it was a small step to disasters in the real world and he mentioned Kenyon as an example of a company organizing such rapid response to all kinds of calamities.
Kenyon is fascinating. Their model is quite simple: you sign up for their services prior to anything happening. This allows them to analyze the risks they are dealing with and what it would take to deal with them. Then, when and if some disaster strikes they will deliver what is needed including on-site teams all the way up to spokespeople and such in an incredibly short time. The logistics are very impressive, as is all the preparation work that goes into making sure that if something happens there is no wasted time. This isn’t cheap, to put it mildly. Just for a moment imagine the machinery that needs to be in place including partnerships, high level contacts with local governments and various institutions to ensure cooperation when it is needed. People, lots of people on retainer ready to jump into action when called upon, and all the equipment and gear to support them.
It’s a grisly business. Recovering of human remains from crash sites, personal effects and so on requires people that don’t easily spook. But even if they aren’t they will still require their own level of counseling. This job is not about rescue, for that it is usually too late. But it is important work, they allow for a sense of closure, for something to be buried or cremated which must be super important to those directly affected by a disaster.
After a year I still haven’t found a way to adapt their model to the IT world. Which makes me all the more impressed with Kenyon because they are doing in the real world what I can’t even envision in the world of bits-and-bytes where the problems should by all measures be simpler and easier to be dealt with. If you want to read some more about them you can do so here: Inside the little Known Berkshire firm tasked with clearing up the Germanwings plane crash and The Man Who Cleans Up Plane Crashes.