Crisis Management in Action: Japan Tsunami Disaster

Crisis Management in Action: Japan Tsunami Disaster

Client Profile
A Fortune 500 global manufacturer of construction and mining equipment with more than 150,000 employees in 500 locations worldwide.

The Challenge
The perceived glamorous life of an expat living and working abroad can immediately turn to chaos when faced with a natural disaster, which is what happened to our client’s 40 assignees and families living and working in Japan in March, 2011. A magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake triggered a massive tsunami that left many of Japan’s eastern coastal towns in ruins and ignited a nuclear meltdown that is still affecting the environment today. But this high-volume global client had another problem to worry about: Immediately after the earthquake and tsunami, it was unknown if their assignees in Japan were safe and out of harm’s way.

Paragon’s Solution
Paragon management was in the region and proactively worked with their teams to contact the client and make phone calls to locate each assignee and their accompanying family to determine if they were safe or if emergency repatriation was needed. Paragon immediately provided an updated detailed crisis security report on every assignee in Japan that included information such as assignee name, host country home address and contact information, host country work address and contact information, family members living in the host country, etc. Paragon also assisted with developing possible repatriation scenarios and immigration support for anyone needing to evacuate the area without delay.

The Results
Paragon’s immediate response to the client’s request for assignee contact information helped the client successfully locate all of their employees who were in Japan during the unprecedented emergency. Paragon’s quick action helped ease the client’s stress, which enabled the company to properly administer their internal disaster recovery plan immediately. When an emergency occurs, it is too late to start a list of who’s who and where they are. Paragon does not wait for a crisis to happen; we provide monthly reports on assignee locations and have security reports available on a monthly basis. Our management team watches the news for weather-related issues and man-made disasters to ensure our employees in region and our client’s employees in region are safe. As a result, it was determined that emergency repatriation was not needed and none of our client’s assignees or their families were in danger.

As global mobility increases, the need for employee tracking data becomes imperative for those corporations that have a workforce spanning the globe. It is recommended that companies perform annual crisis drills with their relocation service provider to ensure that critical information needed during an emergency is easily accessible and can be obtained in a matter of minutes. Paragon is dedicated to partnering with our clients to ensure the health and safety of all their transferees no matter where they are located.