Lessons from a harsh land

project management and disaster preparedness in Iceland

Disaster preparedness is important in a volcanic country like Iceland, plagued with eruptions, earthquakes, and frequent flooding. This paper makes the case for the use of better project management in the wake of disasters, offering as examples the 1973 volcanic eruption in the Westmann Islands, and the 1995 snow avalanches in Súdavik. Also discussed are some of the differences between the project start and start-up processes, as proposed by Dr. Moten Fangel in a paper delivered at a 1987 PMI conference in Reykjavik and applied to disaster preparedness. In order to avoid conflicts and false starts (muddled project start-ups) following natural disasters, it is critical to have processes in place that enable an orderly, systematic project start-up.
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