By: Cindy McIlhargey, Founder, Fenix Essentials Consulting. My career in Administration and Emergency Operations began in 1985.
Let’s face it ~ most businesses do not think about emergency operation plans, disaster recovery and business continuity. No one ever thinks this will happen to them ~ ‘we don’t have that type of weather’ or, ‘we are a small town/city for terrorism’. After 9/11, a lot of businesses never re-opened.
“Private-sector preparedness is not a luxury; it is a cost of doing business in the post-9/11 world. It is ignored at a tremendous potential cost in lives, money and national security.”
~ The 9/11 Commission Report
You as a business owner need to be prepared. Your employees need to be prepared and your families need to be prepared. Having the EOP (Emergency Operations Plan), followed by DRBCP (Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan) in place will not only relieve your mind, but that of your employees, clients/customers and financial backers. They will feel secure in knowing that should a disaster occur; whether natural, accidental or man-made, you will be able to continue to function and provide the continued support, products and services you offer.
Your company's plans are among the most important tools for your business. Your EOP and DRBCP will be relied upon for instruction, guidance, and protocols in the event of an incident, particularly those that could cause major disruptions to the day-to-day operations of your business, or could have a big impact on your company's reputation and ability to maintain productivity. These plans help to decrease the effect of disasters, enable recovery, and ensure your business is either able to continue to operate or to recover to an operational state within a reasonably short period of time.
EOPs are fantastic marketing tools. More and more businesses include their plans in company literature and on their websites. Some insurance companies may give discounts to clients with a viable DRBC plan; financial backers normally are willing to risk a little more on businesses which have both a solid business plan along with a viable DRBC plan. Without proper plans in place, management risks being sued for lack of “due diligence.” Some clients require proof of plans. Financial, medical and several other business sectors are required by law to have these plans in place. Even US Federal agencies must have plans called “Continuation of Operation” plans, or COOP.
Long gone are the days that this type of planning is only for natural disasters. You now have occurrences of terrorism, bombings, active shooters, rioting, hostage situations, strikes, hacking, pandemics, hazardous material spills or explosions, power outages, recalls, supply disruption or failure. The list goes on.
Are You 'Plan Ready'?