Northrop Grumman Corporation has received Disaster Recovery Institute International’s (DRI) Award for Excellence in the category of Response and Recovery of the Year. Northrop Grumman’s enterprise business resiliency and Lake Charles crisis management teams were recognized for their preparation and response to back-to-back hurricanes, optimizing employee safety and minimizing business disruption.
Northrop Grumman’s Aircraft Maintenance and Fabrication Center in Lake Charles was directly impacted by Hurricane Laura in late August 2020. The region was hit by the hurricane which, with high winds, delivered devastating loss of life and property damage to the community. Residents were just recovering from this first hurricane when Hurricane Delta hit in early October, bringing another round of torrential rains across the region. Both hurricanes caused widespread power outages and flooding, which created extensive debris fields.
“While going through a global pandemic, the people of southwest Louisiana faced down two hurricanes and showed us all the meaning of resiliency,” said Michelle Scarpella, vice president and general manager, global sustainment and modernization, Northrop Grumman. “From the start, our focus was on the health and welfare of our people in Lake Charles, followed closely by reopening our site and contributing to the broader community relief efforts.”
Crisis management teams engaged early, with Northrop Grumman’s recovery and response preparation efforts guided by well-documented crisis management and business continuity plans and established protocols. Once all personnel had been accounted for, teams were deployed to assist with employee needs including supplies, insurance coordination, repairs, temporary housing and more, with a focus on timely and targeted outreach and communications.
Concurrently, business resumption teams prioritized site repairs, which included aircraft relocations, to facilitate return to work. The site was able to partially reopen between hurricanes which accelerated recovery after the second hurricane.
“Teams across the company mobilized quickly and the site resumed full operations in under 20 days from Hurricane Delta’s landfall,” said Mary Rose McCaffrey, vice president, security, Northrop Grumman. “This award is truly a testament to the resiliency, compassion and commitment of people and leadership across the company.”
DRI’s Response and Recovery of the Year award recognizes that “the ability to recover from a disaster – whether it was a hardware/software failure, a product recall, a natural disaster, or some other catastrophic event – is the foundation on which business continuity is built. This award recognizes those who have successfully bounced back from a major incident using their plans, skills, and creativity.”