It is important for businesses to prepare for the impact of hazards and disasters. Up to 40% of businesses affected by disasters never reopen.
The planning process should take an 'all hazards' approach. There are many different threats or hazards to consider as well as the likelihood they will occur. In developing an all hazards plan, potential hazards should be identified, vulnerabilities assessed and potential impacts analyzed. Your risk assessment will identify opportunities for hazard prevention and mitigation efforts. You should also identify scenarios to consider for emergency planning.
A preparedness policy should be written and disseminated by management defining roles and responsibilities, and outlining goals and objectives.
A business continuity plan that includes recovery strategies to overcome the effects of a disaster should be developed.
Typical business continuity should include the following:
- Safety of employees, visitors and others at your facility. Plan for persons with disabilities and functional needs.
- Minimize disruption of business operations.
- Identify and protect mission critical functions
- Internal and external notification to customers and employees
- Protect facilities, assets, electronic information, and vital records
- Identify alternate work site
- Ensure technology redundancy and offsite backup
- Create general awareness of the disaster recovery process
- Timeframes for expected recovery from the event
- Test, train and exercise your plan regularly