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Your Plans Are In Place, But Is Your Business Really Prepared to Face A Major Disaster?

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 204

You have your IT systems prepared with your Disaster Recovery Plan. Check. You have communications plans and the support behind it in place. Check. You have your workforce trained and they know what to do and how to respond. Check. You have an alternate location to continue work. Check. You have workarounds in place for additional failures. Check. You've even planned for a way to get employees to and from the alternate site. Check.

Almost nothing stands in your way, you're clearly confident that your business continuity planning will enable you to recover even from the most severe disaster impacting your business. But can you?

Companies can spend vast amounts of time and resources dedicated to making sure they can recover processes, infrastructure, facilities, data, and other areas of the business, but these plans often fall short in a key area.

What is that key area? It is making sure your employees are prepared at home. This is especially true if it is a key employee that is tasked with some part of the recovery operations or team in your business. Think about it. A major event just occurred. Be it an earthquake, tornado, wildfire, or some other unexpected event that has a major impact not just on your business, but the region around you.

What are your employee's first concerns? Getting things up and running once the smoke has cleared. Or, are they worried about heading home if they can't get in touch with their family?

If they aren't at the office and their home is impacted and they have little disaster preparations are their first concerns going to be heading to the office? Or will they be finding a way of taking care of their family members first?

Now, think about what you would be doing if this is your situation. What are YOU going to do, if this happened right now, today? Work would most likely not be your first concern in most cases, would it?

So, now that you know this, how do you go about bringing about a change so that you can gain the commitment of your employees to assist in your recovery? It is actually a three-step process and one of those steps should be completed already if you have your business continuity plans in place. That first step is to identify the employees and resources you'll need to begin the recovery process.

The next two steps are not that difficult, however it will require some commitment from the business. The first of the two steps is to help or assist these employees get prepared at home. This could be providing the employees with the knowledge they need to take the appropriate steps to prepare at home. Or the business could go further by providing monetary assistance or even purchasing supplies for select employees and their families to be prepared. In some cases businesses even contract out for repair work ahead of time and keep builders on retainer to go to the homes of employees to do repair work. You can take this step as far as you like but I recommend you provide them with at least a list of supplies they should have on hand.

The next step would be to provide additional hands-on training through a workshop, or lunch and learn so that the employees can learn how to store, use, and even maintain their supplies. You could even go so far as to having an expert teach them additional hands-on skills. Some of my former businesses clients even have extra training for key employees in their own homes where they learn to properly secure items, shelter in place, and other skills.

For some businesses not all of these tasks are achievable. At the very least you should ensure that your key employees have some home preparedness planning. If you do, your recovery will encounter less "unexpected" problems and go more smoothly.

Keith Erwood is the Owner and Principal of Continuity Co., LLC a risk management business, specializing in business continuity, disaster recovery and emergency preparedness for business. Keith has also authored numerous articles on preparedness issues and writes the

Need help with your Emergency Planning or Business Continuity Planning?

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Source: EzineArticles
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Article Tags:

Major Disaster


Key Employees


Business Continuity




Business Preparedness



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