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Business Continuity Planning for Large Scale Events

Posted on Thu, Feb 23, 2012

On July 27, 2012, all eyes will be on the 30th Summer Olympics Game’s Opening Ceremonies. The committee, participants, and spectators are staking that every possible health and safety risk has been assessed, addressed, and planned for. Despite the magnitude, the emergency planning and operational security measures for such a global event has been planned, exercised, altered, and in place for months.

However, planning associated with with this multi-week infusion of activity should not be limited to the Olympic Committee stakeholders and associated emergency and security professionals. Local businesses in the path of large scale events should plan for potential disruptions. The Olympic Committee is encouraging businesses to prepare with the publication of “Preparing you Business for the Games” and a dedicated web page. With over 8 million Olympic tickets available, the sheer population increase is destined to affect typical business practices.

The Olympics, although an extreme in numbers, is just one example of how large scale events can alter “business as usual”. If proper business continuity measures are in place, companies can mitigate or lessen the impact of any potential disruptions.

Business Continuity planning concepts for large scale events should include, but are not limited to the following details:

  • Identify of critical business processes to maintain continued operation and mitigate as practicable. 
  • Identify the triggering events that initiate an emergency action, and specify checklist items to be taken.
  • Train assigned personnel to complete required checklist action(s) in case business continuity implementation is necessary.
  • Staffing Criteria: Increased population may affect typical transportation methods, staffing levels (depending on the industry), and/or flexible working hours.
  • Key Vendor and Supply Chain Requirements: Transportation delays could affect delivery times. Plan and mitigate accordingly.
  • IT Applications/Systems: Identify back up time lines, communication methods, and if possible, mitigate any potential networking disruptions. 
  • Alternate locations: Identify varied locations, if applicable (ex. satellite offices, home-based opportunities, alternate locations).
  • Identify recovery time objectives for each critical process.
  • Review and update personnel contact information and notification procedures.
  • Minimize vulnerabilities: Conduct pro-active measure to ensure the safety and security of the facility and employees, as needed.
  • Review emergency action and response plans with employees.

For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Best Practices for Crisis Management.

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Tags: Business Continuity key points, Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness, Supply Chain, Emergency Action Plan