Newsletter: B(Prepared!)

"Business Income Made Simple"
   By Robert M. Swift



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CONTINGENCY PLANNING

The following questions and answers are for your information. The content is believed to be accurate, but it is not guaranteed.

How do I get a Business Continuity Plan?
Appoint a Contingency Planner and a Contingency Committee to write one and/or hire an outside vendor.

Who will help me with my Continuity Plan?
Hire an outside vendor or use web resources. Professional associations should provide some assistance as a service to its members, especially since it is composed of homogeneous businesses.

How do I convince upper management to agree to develop a Contingency Plan?
Corporate governance requirements, as well as several federal laws, require businesses to have a Contingency Plan.

How do I get started?
Appoint a senior level executive as the Business Contingency Coordinator and assign senior level functional managers to the Steering Committee. They will outline the organization’s strategy and oversee the development of the plan. Hire an outside vendor, but maintain control of decisions being made. Professional associations should provide some assistance as a service to its members, especially since it is composed of homogeneous businesses.

What is a Strategic Plan?
A plan that identifies such things as: Will you rebuild? Go somewhere else? Change your operations? The goal of the Strategic Plan is to take advantage of a disaster and turn it into an opportunity to make the organization more efficient and competitive into the next decade.

What is a Business Impact Analysis?
It is a separate review of each functional unit in the organization as to what the impact of a disaster would be on the unit and how that would impact the entire organization. This is one of the critical steps in contingency planning.

How do I know what risks I face?
Complete a Risk Assessment Analysis, which will identify natural and manmade hazards and then assign the likelihood of each disaster occurring.

How do I protect my employees?
Complete and test Life Safety procedures that include evacuation and "lockdown". Practice fire drills, ensure the premises are safe, and screen applicants carefully. Also, organizations should have Drug-free and Safe Workplace programs.

What are teams?
A group responsible for carrying out certain identified activities as part of the Disaster Recovery Program.

How do I test my plan?
In a conference room, start with one department and walk through their Business Contingency Plan for the most probable disasters. After each department has been reviewed, do the same for several departments together until the company as a whole has met and reviewed their plan. Then actually shutdown one department and implement their Contingency Plan, etc. Add departments until the entire company has been shutdown and the plan implemented. Review the results at each stage and make changes where necessary.

Is there an example of a plan?
There are many resources available on the internet under "Contingency Planning/Disaster Planning". Our website has generic examples for your review.

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