Profiting from disaster | Disaster consultant

Profiting from a disaster — is this ethical for consultants? Maurice Ramirez, founding chair of the American Board of Disaster Medicine, outlines guidelines for profiting from a disaster. This is certainly a contentious issue. Dr. Ramirez writes:

Realize that the people receiving your products or services don’t mind paying for them. In fact, nobody on the receiving end of the products or services expects to get everything for free, and most of them will gladly pay a fair market price for anything you offer. So take full advantage of this profitable market segment. By doing so, you’ll be helping people in need while helping your own business grow.

In a bit of a mirror situation, I have a friend who runs an emergency preparedness consulting business. She works with government, institutions and businesses to help them develop plans for fires, earthquakes, storms, war, riots and other potential disasters and emergencies. In her case, she’s profiting from the threat of disaster, not the actual disaster. And she’s providing a much needed service. I once worked with her as a facilitator when she was doing a presentation to her government clients. I was surprised when she pointed out the potential risks of nearby power stations, gaslines, a park used for protests, subway stations and other commonplace things. Fortunately, her attention to detail means her clients now have a plan to help them through a variety of scenarios. If that sort of mindset is one you share, considering becoming an emergency preparedness consultant or a disaster management consultant.

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