Following the 2006 Digital Energy Conference with its stimulating Lunch & Learn session on "Hurricane Preparedness," the SPE Gulf Coast Section's Digital Energy Study Group formed a Working Group to collect lessons learned during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which had a disastrous impact on the oil and gas industry along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Composed of crisis team leaders and business continuity professionals from major oil companies, independents, oilfield service companies and communications providers, the Working Group sought to identify a number of better practices to share with the global oil and gas industry in the form of a White Paper. This SPE paper is a synopsis of the better practices captured during three Working Group meetings, at which companies shared their Hurricane Katrina and Rita experiences and subsequent improvements they made to their natural disaster preparedness programs. These recommendations are consistent with the professional practices of both the Disaster Recovery Institute ( and the Business Continuity Institute ( In most cases they provide an additional level of industry-specific detail to established practices.

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