Business Continuity Planning

It's important that you review and update your business continuity plan in order to cover all the possible risks -- everything from acts of terrorism to the zika virus. What's particularly important is ensuring that your current plan addresses all the risks that could affect your organization; readiness to respond is the goal. This week's articles cover what your plan should include, how to help your employees plan at home and what you should know about the zika virus.

Creating, updating, and testing your plan are all critical to responding successfully to a natural disaster or other business disruption. (Item #1)     You need to ensure that your business continuity plan completely documents all facets of the recovery process, and then (of course) regularly exercise it in practice. (Item #2)     Here are 10 things a good BCP includes. (Item #3)    

Institute a prep-at-home program at work to ensure your employees are personally prepared at home for a crisis. (Item #4)     If business continuity planning has taken a back seat in your business and you need some motivation for digging out, dusting off and updating your plan, let's not forget that it comes with a number of advantages. (Item #5)     Although predicting exactly how the outbreak may impact your business is difficult, you can better prepare for Zika's impact on your company with these five tips. (Item #6)    

As always, I look forward to hearing about your concerns with regard to business continuity. If there are any topics that you'd like to see covered, email me at

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp

1. Business Continuity Planning in Action: Keeping your Business Ready for an Emergency

Business disasters can strike at any time, often with little or no warning. Yet, according to a recent study by a national nonprofit organization, more than half of small businesses have no disaster recovery plan, and of those that do, the vast majority spend very little time making sure that their information is updated and understood by all who need to implement it. Not having a plan, and not exercising the plan, is almost like making the same mistake twice-and the result can be devastating to your business.

2. Fingers Crossed? or What is Your Business Continuity Plan for the Inevitable?

The costs of prolonged downtime of critical business IT systems are significant (potentially to the point of shuttering the company). This significance is compounded by the fact that the many events which can lead to such outages are not rare; it is a case of when, not if. It is not so bad provided that you have a complete, documented, and well tested business continuity plan in place. Maybe you think that you do, but the data does not support this thinking; unfortunately, many companies are operating with the mistaken belief that their business continuity plan will work when the time comes.

3. Ten things you should cover in your business continuity plan

Business continuity is much more than just a fancy word for "backup" -- although some organizations treat it that way. A comprehensive business continuity plan (BCP) provides a roadmap for continuance and/or restoration of mission-critical functions during and after a disaster, such as a fire, flood, tornado or even a disease epidemic. Your BCP must be thought out, written down, and distributed to key personnel well ahead of any incident that could cause a disruption to your operations. Copies should be stored off-site -- an obvious but often overlooked requirement.

4. Improve business continuity by encouraging personal planning at home

Businesses are finally putting business continuity plans and disaster recovery plans in place, only to discover that all their planning efforts are basically useless if their employees are not on hand to execute the plans during a crisis. Employee unavailability is largely due to their not being personally prepared at home for a crisis. Employers will find their businesses will potentially suffer loss of revenue, reputation, and customer loyalty if they cannot deliver their services as usual. Stress and anxiety can become overwhelming for both employers and employees during these critical moments.

5. Does your business continuity plan need a makeover?

The first sign that your business continuity plan might need a makeover is that you don't have one to make over. Business continuity is not an area that gets a lot of love in many organizations. It's not pleasant to think about the things you hope will never happen to your business, and thinking about things you don't expect to happen might feel like a waste of time. If this sounds familiar, your business continuity plan is probably in need of a makeover.

6. Zika Threat Is Worse Than Initially Thought, Health Authorities Say

The outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean, which began in May 2015 in Brazil, has raised concerns about a wider spread of the disease across the Western Hemisphere and the impact it may have on businesses and their employees. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika an international public health emergency and the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began developing interim guidelines for businesses to protect workers from occupational exposure to the Zika virus. Many organizations are trying to determine the business implications of the outbreak and how to best mitigate potential risks, balancing insurance and risk management approaches for their global operations or employees who live in or are traveling to the Americas.

Quote of the Week:

"That which is not impossible is inevitable - it's simply a matter of when."

-- Clive Perkins

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