During a Disruption, how will your Business Keep Doing Business?
Each dramatic home rescue during the tragic events of Hurricane Harvey is a reminder of the importance of having a household emergency plan. Easily overlooked in the effort to preserve human life is the importance for businesses to have an emergency plan. Much like a household emergency plan, a business emergency plan includes basics such as determining evacuation routes, maintaining an emergency contact list, and making sure equipment such as fire extinguishers and smoke detectors are up to date and operational. An equally important part of a business emergency plan is the ability to answer the question, “During a disruption, how will we keep doing business?” The answer to that question is reached through the creation of a business continuity plan.
It does not take a natural disaster on the scale of a hurricane to disrupt the ability to engage in business as usual. A business disruption can take many forms including:
- Physical damage to buildings
- Damage to or breakdown of machinery, systems or equipment
- Restricted access to a site or building
- Interruption of the supply chain including failure of a supplier or disruption of transportation of goods from the supplier.
- Utility outage (e.g., electrical power outage)
- Damage to, loss or corruption of information technology including voice and data communications, servers, computers, operating systems, applications, and data
- Absenteeism of essential employees
- Employees (including lines of succession if appropriate)
- Office space, furniture and equipment
- Technology (computers, peripherals, communication equipment, software and data)
- Vital records (electronic and hard copy)
- Production facilities, machinery and equipment
- Inventory including raw materials, finished goods and goods in production.
- Utilities (power, natural gas, water, sewer, telephone, internet, wireless)
- Third party services