After a huge earthquake, how do you go about canceling, rescheduling meetings? If you follow the rules of most Parliamentary Authorities, you have to have the scheduled meetings and then set up adjourned meetings. If you try to do that, expect everybody to just laugh at you and for parliamentary procedure to suffer a huge setback. It is a disaster and people expect the leaders of the organization to respond appropriately — taking disaster type responsibility.
This is a time when normal procedure just does not apply. I do not care what the authorities say as they do not fit into the situation at all. During the time around the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, when I was asked, I gave the standard response, but I omitted proving that it was actually done. Nor will I ever ask. I will find ways to defend the actions taken.
Thinking can be much more important than following some set of rules especially when people’s welfare is involved. Now, I deal with a group that is very involved in the issues of the day and their livelyhood demands that they respond to it first and foremost. Also, we had the lifeblood shaken out of us. The duty of the leadership was to respond to their needs and not some rule that had become “stupid” for the occasion.
Jonathan Jacobs has a great article about what needs to be in the bylaws to cover such situations. I am afraid that most people in the world assume that the leadership can do those things without any special articles. The bylaws etc. should be rules for life and when that becomes a problem, move on and keep the life going. Natural disasters happen; Parliamentary Procedure and Parliamentary Authorities need to help organizations get by them without additional strain.