By Lindsey Turnbull
If 2020 has taught business owners nothing else, it has shown that a solid disaster recovery and business continuity plan is absolutely critical if a business is to continue to be productive in, during and after, difficult times. Former senior police officer, security expert and prolific fundraiser Derek Haines has created a service with partners, son Chris Haines and business partner Philip Quinn, called Haines Disaster Consultancy, which aims to assist business owners across the Cayman Islands, creating a bespoke disaster recovery and business continuity plan for each client.
Mr Haines came to the West Indies almost 30 years ago as a senior detective on secondment with the UK police, first working in Turks and Caicos in 1992 before moving to Cayman in 1995. His broad experience as a senior police officer gave him plenty of opportunity to hone his skills and knowledge in disaster recovery and business continuity.
“Before moving to the West Indies, I was seconded from the British police to work on anti-corruption in Hong Kong,” he explained. “Having then moved to the West Indies on secondment I became Secretary then Chairman of the regional division of the US Drug Enforcement Administration. I also directed counter terrorism exercises in the Cayman Islands and Anguilla.”
Perhaps the most poignant part of his career for this jurisdiction was as a member of the Cayman Islands Government’s National Security Committee, for whom he drew up a disaster management plan in 2003, and having finally seen its approval on 23rd August 2004, just a few weeks before the category 4/5 Hurricane Ivan smashed into Grand Cayman.
“The plan was put to the test in just three weeks,” he confirmed. “After Ivan I think I gained my best command experience, having to take charge of the entire police force in a hands-on way after it underwent manpower losses following Ivan.”
Having to deal with prison riots and unrest, a plane hijacking in Turks and Caicos, and, sadly, many murders, all cemented his invaluable experience dealing with emergencies and disasters.
Leaving the police service around 15 years ago, Mr Haines turned his wealth of experience and knowledge to the full-time business of security, working for Dart for the next 12 years, writing not only their security but also their health and safety as well as disaster management plans, and taking the overall lead in their implementation and running. Two and a half years ago he felt the time was right to establish his own disaster recovery and business continuity business, helping clients to write their own plans and keep them up-to-date.
“I work very closely with our clients, walking around the premises with them and writing a plan that deals specifically with the threats that they face as a company,” he explained. “For example, all businesses in Cayman need to be prepared for threats such as hurricanes, which are probably the most common form of disaster that could take place here; however, banks would also need to prepare for threats such as bank robberies as well.”
Mr Haines said he also worked closely with HR departments, ensuring that staff are fully trained and that there was a continuity of the client’s plans when staff left and were replaced. Plans are reanalysed each year to ensure that they are relevant and up-to-date, he advised.
“Businesses in Cayman that are overseen by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, such as insurance companies and financial institutions, must have an approved business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place, so we are able to provide them with that service which will be to the level required by CIMA,” he said, thereby establishing his business as the benchmark for such a service across the Islands.
When he is not engaged in his business, Mr Haines is busy raising literally millions of dollars for incredibly worthy causes in Cayman, having raised an unbelievable amount towards building the Jasmine hospice facility (valued at $3.4 million) on West Bay Road (as officially opened by the Duchess of Cornwall in March 2019). Last year he walked along the Pyrenees with Mike Burcombe to raise CI$750,000 for Cayman’s Special Needs Foundation. Both of these events brought the community together in support like never before. Mr Haines was awarded the MBE for his services to charity in 2015. A signing of his book that showcases the Pyrenees event called Coast to Coast, a trundle along the Pyrenees, takes place this Friday at Books and Books at 5.30pm.