The Institute for Business & Home Safety is a national non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the economic and property losses that result from natural and other disasters through research, engineering, communication and education. IBHS takes a multi-peril approach to our research and loss prevention programs as we seek to build sustainable, resilient communities in order to maintain the places where we live and work in the face of disasters. Without a solid economic base many communities may never recover.We cannot afford to repeatedly pick up the same pieces. Instead, we must concentrate on better ways to keep the pieces in place. With that in mind, I’m going to share with you how to do that within your business.
These pictures represent some of the more recognized natural disasters:California Witch Fire—October 2007—burned an estimated 198,000 acresMidwest flooding, June & July 2008—affected 7 statesAtlantic Hurricane Season—Katrina, Ike…hurricanes have ravaged the U.S. coastal states the last several years. The earthquake, already titled “The Big One” is expected to hit California…We like to call these disaster “Events” because when talking about your business, the real “disaster” is what happens AFTER the event when you can no longer provide your customers with the level of goods and services they need and expect. The hurricane itself is not the problem, but it’s when you can’t recover quickly afterword that real devastation occurs.
The Institute for Business & Home Safety’s mission is to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other property losses by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices. The Open for Business® tools provide mitigation tips for protecting property specifically from natural disasters, but the business continuity plan encompasses disasters, or business interruptions, of all kinds. These free resources are designed to help your small to mid-sized business reduce the potential for loss, should disaster strike, and reopen quickly should you be forced to close.As a supplement to the Open for Business® workbook, IBHS has created an online training series, called Open for Business® Basic Trainer, to help businesses stay consistent in their planning efforts.
Designed to streamline the planning process and maximize your time, Open for Business® Basic Trainer provides step-by-step instruction during a series of eight 20-minute-or-less multi-media sessions. Each trainer session includes:valuable planning worksheets in Microsoft Word and PDF formats allowing you to save and print your completed plan;business continuity and disaster recovery tips;peril-specific property protection information;the option to receive e-mail reminders to incorporate the planning process in your daily schedule.The remainder of this presentation provides a glimpse into what you can expect to learn in the Open for Business® Basic Trainer.
Returning to business quickly after an interruption requires strategic planning before the interruption occurs. It’s difficult to imagine all the potential disruptions that could occur. Open for Business® provides simple instruction to help you sort through your risks and determine the controls necessary to fulfill the 3 main objectives of business continuity planning.The three main objectives of business continuity planning are to:Protect people (employees & visitors) and propertyAt a minimum, get your critical business operations back up and running quicklyAnd minimize the amount of time you are unable to provide your goods or services to your clients and customers so you don’t lose them to a competitor.
Open for Business® will walk you through the four basic steps of the planning process. 1) Identify potential impacts that threaten an organization – We’ve already seen a few of these in the form of natural disasters on a previous slide. We’ll talk about other risks in the next two slides. 2) Determine framework for building resilience – Put controls in place to minimize your risk from the potential disaster events.3) Create procedures for effective response – Plan your action steps to cut through the chaos immediately following the disaster event, including your methods of communication.4) Prepare for recovery – Put plans in place ahead of time that allow you to have backups of the resources you need to recover in the event there were losses or outages.
This map outlines the natural disasters that are most prominent across the U.S. While this is a great start to determining your risks, an interruption doesn’t have to come from a hurricane Katrina to be devastating to your business. Have you thought of some of these other risks?
Note to Presenter: Depending on the time allotment, this would be a good area to start dialogue amongst attendees about possible risks they face. You can start this dialogue by using the questions below. Take a look in the following areas to determine where some other risks may lie. Remember, even an isolated power-outage or flood can cause your business to close and potentially set off a chain of reactions that could lead to permanent closure. Geographic LocationAre you near a rail line transporting hazardous materials?Are there alternate routes to reach your location?Building StructureWeak doors/windows, skylight, old roofBuilding InfrastructureHave you checked recently for leaky or rusted pipes?Do you have an equipment maintenance schedule to check HVAC & generator?Vendor/Supplier ContinuityIf you rely on product deliveries and your key supplier is suddenly unavailable, will it set you back? Do you have alternates?Do your suppliers have a business continuity plan?Standard Company ProceduresTrack/protect inventorySafety & emergency procedures well-trained and testedHelp an alternate when primary employee unavailablePandemic Flu could result in 30-40% employee absenteeism. Data StorageDo you depend on customer lists? Delivery schedules? Proprietary research? Contracts? What if you lose data due to a complete system crash? Do you have a system in place for backing up this information?
You can’t stop the event from occurring, but you can work to minimize the negative effects it will have on your business by identifying the risks and putting controls in place. For example, if you are afraid that human error or a natural disaster (lightning, tornado) could ruin your servers and/or cause you to lose your data, get a plan to store backups of your data, whether they be in paper form at least 50 miles from your organization, or through an online data backup system that creates virtual copies of your material and stores them on a server in another state. If you’re afraid flooding might occur in your building after a hurricane or employees won’t be able to reach the office (chemical spill, bad accident), plan ahead for a recovery location out of the immediate threat zone and determine ways for your employees to be able to work from home or from the recovery location for a period of time.
The Open for Business® Basic materials—the workbook and the trainer—will help you put your plan together.
The first three forms are designed to help you maintain communications with your employees, suppliers & vendors, and other key contacts, including your key customers if relevant. It’s important to plan ahead how you will communicate with your employees, key suppliers/vendors and key contacts to update them on the status of your business. It is also important to notate any alternates you have selected in the event that the primary employee, supplier/vendor or key contact is unavailable to fulfill their responsibilities.Fill out all forms as fully as you are able. There may occasionally be a form field that does not apply to your company, however it is very important that you fully consider all possibilities for the field and how it may apply to your company before deciding to leave it blank. You may also determine that you would like to include more information that what is requested. We strongly encourage that you use Open for Business® as a starting point for brainstorming and include any other information you think is critical to protecting or recovering your operations. Take caution not to include information that is NOT critical to your continuity plan—your plan should be as simple to follow as a proper recovery would require.
The forms you see here help you to prioritize your critical business functions—those functions that are the lifeline of your business—then make a plan to keep them running through and following a potential disaster event. This might include ensuring you have designated employees to act as alternates for the function when the primary employee is unavailable to fulfill the responsibility. It is very important to determine how you will protect your vital records, as well as how you will retrieve them in the event of a disaster. Your vital records might consist of research, blueprints, certifications, contracts, customer lists, insurance policies, legal documents, historical records, etc. It is also important to consider backing up your daily work, such as word processing documents, spreadsheets and presentations that could be very difficult or time consuming to reproduce. There are several options for backing up your data. Determine which method is most effective for your company based on how much data you have to store, how vital it is to the continuation of your business, and how quickly you need to retrieve it. Some options are to make duplicate paper copies and store them at least 50 miles away; save to a flash drive or CD; save it to an external hard drive stored at an employees home; or create a virtual backup that allows you to have access from anywhere you have internet. You may choose to mix and match between these options for different types of material, or you may think of another option that works for you. If using a method such as a flash drive or CD’s, it is important to take the proper precautions to protect the data in the event the mechanism is lost, such as installing a password protection system. If storing duplicate paper copies, be sure to store them outside of the same geographical region as you. In the same fashion, if you choose to use a third party company to virtually create backups of your vital records, you want to make sure they are also located outside of the same geographical region as you, or that they have a backup server outside of the same region, so they are not affected by the same storm or other disaster. If your company suffers from loss of phone service, you’ll have peace of mind if you accounted for the possibility before the disaster hit. Check with your phone service provider to determine your options—can you forward your phones to another location, or to your cell phone? Can you remotely check your voicemail if you can’t get to the physical office? If you have to set up a new phone number how will you contact your employees, key contacts/suppliers/vendors and key customers to inform them of the new information?Does your business rely on specialty equipment or machinery to fulfill your business functions? Are there other supplies that are critical to your success that you need to account for before a disaster hits? These forms will help you implement a plan to ensure these materials are available to fulfill your business functions after a business interruption.
Once you have a plan in place to maintain operations, you need to begin the recovery process. You may find that your business functions require that you recover from your primary location, in which case you need to take extra caution to protect your location from potential damage. If you are not location dependent, then securing a recovery location (or locations) should happen before a disaster strikes. Some options for recovery locations are at a branch office, employees homes, a local hotel conference room or through a mutual aid agreement with another business. When determining the type of recovery location that will work for you, consider your IT and basic office needs. How will you access your data? Will you purchase new computers for your recovery location? Do your employees carry laptops that can connect to company data from a remote server? What types of telecommunications hardware and wiring will you need from your recovery location? Also, plan how you will obtain basic office supplies, such as desks and chairs, extension cords and calculators.
This is a team effort!You must have the support of senior management: Some aspects of your business continuity plan may require a budget—if your organization is very dependent on data, money may need to be spent on data backup; your building may require retrofitting against the potential natural disasters in your area; or you may need to equip your office space with shelter-in-place materials. Your senior management team also needs to help engage the other employees, and allow them to make planning a priority.You must engage your fellow employees:You can’t do this all yourself or you’ll burn out. (E-mail an employee information sheet to each employee and ask them to fill it out and return to you. Sit down with IT to come up with a plan and ask them to implement it).You won’t necessarily know the all the right questions to ask—gather a team of employees representing every department to help you and to be your liaison to the department. Employee cooperation: when they work hard to put the plan in place, they’ll work that much harder to execute it. Engaging your employees:Why should they be interested?Financial stability during a community-wide disasterBenefits continuationJob stability after an interruptionContinuing community economic stabilityWhy should YOU be interested?Productivity increases when employees feel secure in their jobPlanning encourages health and safety procedures (regulatory)Recording work processes decreases lost time during turnover (as does having alternates)Health & Safety Procedures: You’ll notice when you start talking about the Pandemic Flu and building fires, etc., the level of cooperation for the procedures you already have in place will go up because people are more aware of the consequences for not cooperating.
Your planning is not complete just because it’s on paper. Execution of the plan is only as good as the cooperation and knowledge of the plan by your fellow employees. Determine ways within your company to make it stick.This document should never be left to sit on the shelf…it requires regular updates, maintenance and testing, and it’s a good idea to retrain your employees throughout the years. And don’t forget to provide thorough training to your new employees that may not have been around the first time you did intensive training.
Your plan is a living document, and just like any living thing, you need to keep your plan in shape. Some good triggers for updating your plan, outside of your annual or semi-annual maintenance, are when you get a new employee or lose an employee and when there’s a major policy change that could potentially affect the priorities of the company.
Basic safety training is a great start for testing your plan. Do your employees know where to go when they evacuate for a fire? Holding your regular safety drills throughout the year is a good practice and will allow you to see what other areas may need work in the event of a larger interruption.In a table top exercise, your planning team (representatives from each dept.) will react to a read scenario using the controls that are put in place and will discuss some potential holes in the plan.A simulated exercise allows more interactive reaction to a disaster scenario. Act as if you were in a disaster situation and ask employees to work without access to their email or their phones.A full exercise could include changing over to a failover server or asking employees to work from home or from the recovery location for a day. This kind of exercise can be very expensive, but will be the most effective at determining the holes in the plan.
Gather your team, visit www.DisasterSafety.org/business_protection to download Open for Business® Basic and sign up for the trainer, and start your plan! There’s never a better time than right now.
Open for Business®
The Institute for Business & Home Safety<br />Even if the worst happens, be prepared to stay Open for Business®<br />
Disasters Happen<br />A business disaster is that point in time after the “cause” when you cannot provide your customers and clients with the minimum level of goods and services they need and expect.<br />
Protect Your Business<br />Open for Business®was designed to provide small to mid-sized businesses with the tools needed to create a comprehensive business continuity plan.<br />www.DisasterSafety.org/OFB_Training<br />
Minimize downtime to retain clients and customers</li></ul>Objectives of Business Continuity Planning<br />
Planning Process<br />Identify potential impacts that threaten an organization<br />Determine framework for building resilience<br />Create procedures for effective response <br />Prepare for recovery<br />
Determine Your Risks<br />Loss of Key Employee<br />Loss of Key Vendor<br />Pandemic Flu<br />Data Loss<br />Utility Outage<br />
Put Controls In Place<br />What can you do to prevent these determined risks from causing a business interruption?<br />You can’t stop the event, but you can:<br />Prevent loss of data <br />Plan for a recovery location<br />Set up back-up telecommunications strategies<br />Encourage employees to return to work<br />
Put Controls In Place<br />Open for Business® Basic<br />Free from IBHS<br />Step-by-step instruction<br />Valuable planning worksheets<br />Peril-specific property mitigation information<br />www.DisasterSafety.org/OFB_Training <br />
Before You Begin…<br />Senior-level support is critical<br />Budgeting<br />Make planning a company-wide priority<br />Engage your employees<br />Planning is more manageable<br />Employee cooperation: The plan is only as good as its execution <br />
Make It Stick!<br />Implement company-wide changes:<br />Make BC plan education part of new-hire training<br />Add BC plan policies and procedures to employee handbook<br />Maintenance, testing, and training<br />Update the plan regularly<br />Test the plan at least once per year<br />Conduct periodic “reminder” training<br />
Update<br />At least once per year, better every 6 months<br />Employee change<br />Major policy change<br />
Test & Refine<br />Hold regular drills<br />Fire/Tornado<br />Table top exercises<br />Simulated exercises<br />Full exercises<br />
Plan Now To Stay Open for Business®<br />[PRESENTER NAME AND CONTACT INFO]<br />Kelly Urbizu<br />Business Protection Specialist | Institute for Business & Home Safety<br />(813) 675-1051 | email@example.com<br />www.DisasterSafety.org<br />
DISCLAIMER <br />IBHS SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY, IN NEGLIGENCE, TORT OR OTHERWISE WITH RESPECT TO THE USE OF ANY OF THE INFORMATION AND/OR PRACTICES DESCRIBED IN THIS SLIDESHOW. ALTERATIONS OR MODIFICATIONS TO ANY OF THE CONTENT OF THIS SLIDESHOW ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PERSON AND/OR BUSINESS MAKING SUCH ALTERATIONS OR MODIFICATIONS. NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS SLIDESHOW IS INTENDED OR WRITTEN TO BE USED, NOR MAY IT BE RELIED UPON OR USED, BY ANY PERSON AND/OR BUSINESS AS LEGAL ADVICE.<br />