Many businesses use a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) to determine what staffing and physical resources are required to maintain a necessary level of performance for functional units or areas within an organization. This BIA can also assist to determine the impact on the organization’s overall performance without that particular function for short or longer-term stoppages.
Each location, depending on jurisdiction, will be subject to different exposures, and as such will require a specialized disaster plan. Local authorities, police, hospitals, airports, media and local contractors will all need to be identified and should be kept informed during a disaster, especially when their respective services are required.
Unfortunately, even with some advance planning, not all disasters can be managed without error. Previously unforeseen events can occur that destroy any chance the organization might have – such as the entire loss of the only facility with the loss of the entire executive and/or Crisis Team.
Other areas that Disaster Recovery Plans must consider are:
- vital records back-up,
- contingency plans for internal and external influences such as
failed equipment replacement and interruption of utilities,
- setting up a command centre,
- emergency services,
- required services for disaster recovery, and
- up-to-date contact lists of personnel including other building occupants that you may be responsible for, which can be distributed to the necessary public authorities.
Simulations and rehearsals are an essential element to ensure that a disaster plan works smoothly during an actual crisis, and they serve to indicate possible rough spots in the strategy that might require further attention.
Practice drills should be conducted at least annually, under as realistic disaster conditions as possible, in tandem with a review of the Crisis Team members’ performance. For site disaster simulations, the strategy should be distributed to all site managers, supervisors and tenant representatives at each site, as well as to outside customers and suppliers, the fire department, police and ambulance services.
The emerging study and application of Disaster and Emergency Planning has progressed rapidly during the past decade and has proceeded almost exponentially since September 11, 2001.
Astute management teams have begun to allocate significant resources to this once ignored area. They have also developed plans that deal with risks other than computer systems. Stakeholders expect and deserve no less.
A discussion on Disaster Planning would not be complete without an examination of one of the key risk management tools of risk transfer. The most common form of risk transfer for a corporation is usually insurance. A complete, comprehensive corporate insurance programme can provide an essential element of disaster recovery through the proceeds of claims made on insured losses