Protect your organization this hurricane season by reading the Ultimate Guide to Business Continuity Planning.
June 1st marked the beginning of the 2014 hurricane season. The threat of natural disaster is more pertinent than ever – is your business prepared? Now that Hurricane Arthur has passed through, be sure your organization will not be effected by any other natural disasters.
The primary goal of Business Continuity Planning is to find a solution to mitigating the impact of a disaster, no matter its source. Hurricanes aren't the only threat to a company. Snow, flooding, lightning, fire, power outages, network/hardware failure and viruses are all threats to business production.
Lessons from Past Disasters
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy rammed the East Coast causing over $68 billion in damages. Sandy caused thousands of organizations to question whether they were truly prepared to recover quickly and continue operation after a major disaster. To make it easier, here are nine important takeaways to consider before a natural disaster:
- Consider an off-site, real-time mirrored failover location so operations can continue in the event of a disaster impacting your immediate area.
- Assign back-up roles in case key players are injured, unavailable or missing.
- Plan for possible communication issues with satellite phones, hotlines and Web alerts.
- Establish accessible spending accounts for employees. Making lodging arrangements near your recovery site and account for other logistics, like mail delivery and payroll.
- Plan for extended recoveries in case your business location is damaged and you are displaced longer than expected.
- Keep your organizations documentation, scripts and business continuity planning handbook up to date.
- Provide an alternative method of accessing your data and documents.
- Be sure all vendor contracts are complete and up to date, including those with providers of media storage, insurance and fuel.
- Plan for business continuity, because no one else will do it for you.
Implementing a Business Continuity Plan
An effective business continuity plan is more than just the result of effective backups and data replication. An effective plan must not only be based on sound knowledge of your organization's culture and structure, but also on well-defined policies and procedures that make the plan a part of your daily operations, rather than something that is referred to only in case of emergency.
A good business continuity plan should include policies regarding:
- Emergency response procedures, such as reporting and tracking.
- A public relations plan, determining who will speak with the media.
- Damage assessment and insurance claims processing information.
- A plan to handle phone calls, website updates, email and physical mail delivery. What if your building is destroyed and there is no office to deliver mail to? How will you update your website?
- An executive communication plan, with information on communicating with management and stakeholders. An a plan if key leaders are incapacitated or unavailable.
- A communication plan for clients and vendors, because you don't want to lose contact, especially if operations are disabled for a period of time.
- An employee communication plan. How will you communicate when service is down? How will you locate employees to share crucial information and manage critical personal data?
- Banking, regarding payroll and emergency cash access. If you can't access funds during a crisis, your operations will grind to a halt, and funding may not be instantly available.
- Human resources systems that may not be immediately mission-critical, but will become important in the weeks/months until operations are back to normal
Scanning as a Part of Your Organization's Business Continuity Plan
While most organizations are quick to consider their IT infrastructure when planning for a disaster, it is easy to forget paper archives. Paper is a familiar yet extremely vulnerable, archival medium, particularly threatened by fire, flood and theft, and may be just as important as your electronic data, especially when it comes to pre-computer historical archives.
Paper records are often forgotten – and once they are gone, they are gone forever. The solution is scanning. Trusting a scanning service, like ScansAmerica, digital images of paper records would be captured and preserved in an unalterable format. Digital archives should become a key factor in your organization's data storage and recovery plan; it frees up more space, it is much more cost-efficient and makes files more easily searchable.
Without access to your data, key steps of your business continuity plan cannot be carried out and there is little hope for recovery. ScansAmerica has a variety of services that can aid you in the process. We provide a top of the line scanning service that can help scan, store and retain all of your important information. In the event of a disaster, the information will remain secure and can be easily and quickly accessed anywhere at anytime.
Contact us today and schedule a demo for more information on protecting your organization from disaster.