Gilsbar Inc. has had a detailed disaster recovery and business continuity plan in place since 1996. The New Orleans-based third-party administrator, which handles claims for about 150,000 members, employs a certified disaster recovery specialist. And, the company's executives and technical staff go through tabletop disaster recovery scenarios at least twice a year.Like many other insurance companies, Gilsbar is prepared for catastrophes. However, when Hurricane Katrina hit last year, insurance executives were caught by surprise and had to act on their feet and respond to a bevy of unexpected circumstances.

It wasn't that these insurance companies didn't expect a hurricane; they just didn't plan for the likes of Katrina.

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