What do I need to know?
Benefits of investing in a BCP
- Businesses are vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters, and a good amount never recovery from large incidents.
- Customers and clients expect goods and services in a timely manner--something that may be hard to achieve following a disaster.
- A supply chain could be disrupted by one incident, and businesses who do not recover may become less competitive in the market.
- Insurance packages may not cover all types of disasters.
- Large-scale disasters may overwhelm the resources of public agencies.
- A business could lose its perceived reputation, requiring a need to act quickly.
- Disasters, or small incidents which are not handled correctly, affect the bottom line.
What to consider before starting a BCP
Anyone interested in starting a BCP should ask the following questions and research the answers:
- What laws and regulations is our business subject to?
- How much risk can my business tolerate? How severe? How much recovery time is too long?
- What resources are available to our business to aid during and after a disaster?
How to initiate the BCP
Initiating a BCP may be difficult, as it is hard to quantify the benefits of such investments. However, steps to initiate a BCP that may be considered:
- Garner buy-in from key management, if they are not the ones initiating the program.
- Appoint a program director and program committee. Make sure to discuss how knowledge will be shared, maintained, and safely stored throughout the program. The committee should be diverse, and contain members from all deparments, if possible. These members will provide input and help draft the inputs of the BCP. One may also consider inviting external partners to join the commintee, or take part in certain aspects of implementation. For example, the local fire department to assist and/or be notified of drills.
- Define the goals and mission of the BCP. Use parts of the already established business mission statement and focus how a BCP will fit into business culture. Sample goals include:
- Protect the safety of employees, visitors, etc.
- Maintain customer service.
- Protect physical facility and assets.
- Prevent environmental contamination.
- Protect reputation and brand.
- Decide how to administer the program, including a timeline, who is to be included, etc.
How to draft a preparedness policy
Continue to Step 2: Identify & Assess
Recovery time objective: the point in time when a function or process must be recovered, before unacceptable consequences could occur. [Source: Ready.gov]
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