Business Continuity Planning – Emergency Preparedness

Firefighters Putting Out a Fire

Business Continuity Planning is Business Efficiency at a Survival Level!

The Insurance Information Institute1 cites surveys noting that:

  • Less than a third (31 percent) of business owners said their businesses are “extremely” or “very prepared” for disasters
  • Over half (54 percent) indicated they were not concerned about a disaster impacting their business
  • Only 37 percent of business owners surveyed said they had a defined and practiced emergency plan at work
  • As many as 40 percent of small businesses hit directly by a serious natural disaster perish!

I recommend using an All Hazards Approach as defined by NFPA 1600 (National Fire Protection Association) for Business Continuity Planning.  FEMA2 has posted a site which notes the following key elements for an effective plan:

  • Program Management
    • Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program
    • Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program
  • Planning
    • Gather information about hazards and assess risks
    • Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA)
    • Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks
  • Implementation
    Write a preparedness plan addressing:

    • Resource management
    • Emergency response
    • Crisis communications
    • Business continuity
    • Information technology
    • Employee assistance
    • Incident management
    • Training
  • Testing and Exercises
    • Test and evaluate your plan
    • Define different types of exercises
    • Learn how to conduct exercises
    • Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan
  • Program Improvement
    • Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed
    • Discover methods to evaluate the preparedness program
    • Utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements

 Be Prepared!

Robert A. Fowke, MBA, Ph.D. (NIBCM Certified Continuity Manager Certification No. 20130120-01)

Sources:

1Insurance Information Institute, retrieved from: http://www2.iii.org/small-business-guide/risk-management/disaster-response-and-recovery-planning.html

 2FEMA, retrieved from:  http://www.ready.gov/business