« Business Continuity, Continuity of Operations Planning

Business continuity planning good for companies of all sizes

Emergency responders are busy during natural disasters. Establishing your own continuity of operations plan will reduce chaos.
Emergency responders are busy during natural disasters. Establishing your own continuity of operations plan will reduce chaos.

This summer, the United States has seen its share of extreme weather. Ranging from near record highs in Nevada, to wildfires in Colorado and Arizona or extended power outages in Minnesota, having a continuity of operations plan in place is proven to be more important than ever.

In the wake of a natural disaster, residents and businesses cannot solely rely on emergency responders for their escape plan. When everyone understands their role, any evacuation can run smoothly.

That's why Ohio's Richland County has disaster training every year, drawing from a variety of simulated scenarios. Knowing a plan in advance will help streamline procedures.

"This is a shared cooperation thing, and one of the biggest things is making sure we can communicate adequately," Security Forces Manager Rich Schuller told the Mansfield News Journal.

When it comes to companies, workers should know how to act based on their business continuity plan. Organization leaders who aren't sure where to start can consider these tips from the Washington Post and KKCO, an NBC affiliate in Colorado, to kick-start some ideas.

Emergency kit: This bag of information should include deeds, certificates, identification and other paperwork that may be hard to retrieve after a natural disaster. Company credit cards, extra cash and employee contact information would be helpful as well. A bin full of bottled water, non-perishable food and other goods should be near by so individuals will remember to take these supplies with them in the wake of an accident.

Establish a hot site: Finding a facility that allows steady workflow will make it easier for customers to find you after a storm. This information should be available on the business' website.

Reflect: After the storm has passed and your organization went through the established plan, think about what worked. Consider improving the arrangements for the future.

Business continuity consultants can help companies create a plan that will ensure that recovery goes smoothly.