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Fourteen teenagers and 13 adults carrying 25 buckets, 64 work boots, 128 gloves and a handful of shovels met at the airport for a 12-day mission trip which had been in the works for 5 months. But the trip’s leader was stranded on the side of the road with 200 pounds of cargo, 3 unhappy children, 1 unflappable wife… and 31 passports dutifully turned in to him for safekeeping.

Thankfully, 1 phone call summoned a rescue and got them on their way.

What one thing in the world would cause your world to fall apart if it were lost, stolen, destroyed or compromised? We’re not talking about people, because people we love are irreplaceable. But we are talking about the roles people play. Is there only one person in your world who can cut a check, unlock a door or change the toilet paper?

Have you duplicated critical components of your organization? You can’t have a backup building full of inventory, a spare truck gassed up and ready to go or a second staff waiting in the wings, but what can you do to increase your reliability and stability in a crisis? A web-based backup of your operating system is a place to start. Cross training, job descriptions and user manuals are lifesavers. No one has ever regretted having an extra set of keys (with labels, no less) or a list of emergency phone numbers at home.

There are some things that can’t be duplicated, like passports. Others, like a suitcase full of clean underwear, deserve some redundancy.

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