Steps to Creating a Business Continuity Plan

Whether your storage facility has a fire, there is a breach in secure customer information or there is a pandemic, chances are your business will have to weather some type of storm. Planning and preparation are key to weathering the storm successfully. Just like those fire drills you participated in every month you were in school, planning is all about everybody knowing what to do and where to go in an emergency that you hope will never come.

Create a Plan

A business continuity plan is a document that outlines how business decisions are to be handled in specific situations. A good plan is well thought out and discussed in advance. Its features are understood and accessible to all parties. The Presidential Succession Act adopted in 1947 make the rules of succession very clear in the event the president and vice-president are both incapacitated. So too should your company make that information transparent so there is no second-guessing who is in charge of what in the aftermath of a disaster when the regular chain of command is broken.

View the Plan from All Angles

It’s difficult to imagine every scenario from a natural disaster to an economic shutdown, but it’s a helpful exercise to work through the most likely situations. Take into account the nature of your business and the geography of the supply chain. For example, does your business regularly deal with hazardous material? Chances are higher your business might suffer a fire loss. Do you get supplies from the Gulf Coast? Consider how to mitigate damage from a major hurricane. Pandemic planning should also be part of the business continuity plan. Each potentially affected system should be examined as well. Beyond personnel issues, there is also the possibility of equipment failure. Make a list of your company’s legal and business obligations should business get disrupted.

Planning for a disaster is an exercise of “what ifs?”. The more scenarios you work through ahead of time, the more likely it is your company will be able to get back on its feet quickly.

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