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Last Minute Corporate Hurricane Response Plan Adjustments

Posted on Mon, Aug 26, 2013

Researchers estimate that the pre-Rita evacuation of nearly 2 million people from the Texas Gulf Coast was the largest single migration of a group of people in U.S. history.1 The 2005 storm came on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, one of the most devastating and rampantly media-covered hurricanes in history. As a result, emotional reactive impulses snowballed across the targeted area, creating panic and gridlock. Many hurricane response plans gave way to emotions.

“Don’t just expect the unexpected, expect yourself and your team to act in an unexpected manner.” Continuity Housing

As the peak of hurricane season approaches, it is important to ensure hurricane and business continuity plans are in place, employee roles and responsibilities are understood, and exercises are conducted. While the plan should present process and procedures for various circumstances, unforeseen adaptations may be required to respond appropriately. It is critical for company response teams to discuss the important key elements of the plans and the consequences of making modifications midstream.

Key elements should be identified and analyzed for each business continuity component. Ideally, revisions and consequential employee training should be made prior to the arrival of hurricane season: However, if a plan adaptation is required, the following concepts may be affected.

Communication needs: Clear and effective communication channels must remain available in order to disseminate information to employees, assess and relay damage, and coordinate a recovery strategy. Altering communication processes may result in information delays or disconnected contacts. A mass notification system, such as provided by Everbridge, may assure a reliable method to communicate to key individuals, company employees, or an entire client base.

hurricane_response_planning.jpgData and computer needs: Identifying the procedural details of computer backups, data restoration methods, and the minimum program needs is crucial to re-establish critical business processes.  Data center outsourcing should be examined to ensure continuity and accessibility. Process changes during an incident may cause lack of information availability.

Equipment needs: Identify and procure necessary equipment and establish processes for continued operations and recovery. This will prevent unnecessary downtime and additional recovery efforts after a hurricane. The process of relocating equipment prior to a storm or arranging for these essentials after a storm is time consuming, labor intensive, and potentially costly. Changes to established processes or procedures may result in equipment damage, deficiencies, or duplicated efforts.

Essential Personnel: Identify necessary minimum staffing levels to remain on-site during a storm. Establish contingency plans applicable to projected impacts. As the storm passes, ensure staff, contractors, and suppliers understand their individual responsibilities and recovery time objectives. While last minute changes may be necessary to ensure safety of personnel, plans should incorporate a variety of procedures applicable to required actions.

Notification lists: Regularly update lists and contact information to ensure accuracy. Business continuity planners must be certain that notifications are being delivered to accurate e-mail addresses and/or phone numbers, especially in case of an evacuation. If maintaining accurate contact information is challenging, consider opting for an e-mail notification verification system that enables the contact to verify their information. Companies can also offer incentives, such as drawings or prizes, to encourage all personnel to register for notifications and update contact information changes.

Supply Chain: As a company’s needs change and new suppliers come online, plans should be updated to include these critical suppliers. Additionally, pre selected alternate resources should be included in the business continuity plan to ensure consistent delivery and continued operations in the event primary suppliers are detained by a hurricane’s aftermath.


1. Daniel P. Brown, Daniel P., Knabb, Richard D., and Rhome, Jamie R.   (March 17, 2006). “Hurricane Rita Tropical Cyclone Report” (PDF). Section c, page 8: National Hurricane Center.

For a free corporate hurricane planning guide, click here

TRP Corp Hurricane Checklist

Tags: Business Continuity, Response Plans, Business Continuity Plan, Hurricane Preparedness

Incident Specific Response Planning

Posted on Thu, May 30, 2013

No two crisis situations or responses are identical. As a result, Emergency Managers and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Managers responsible for developing and managing comprehensive, compliant, and functional response plans should create a broad scope of planned responses for potential emergency and crisis situations. In many circumstances, response efforts to various incidents may be similar. However, supplemental response procedures for specific hazards or threats can be added to the overall emergency management program to address these scenarios.

Focused supplemental response procedures or plans, for specific events such as pandemic flu and hurricanes can encompass a full range of hazards and potential threats and unique response details that apply to that single hazard. Depending upon response plan structure and volume of content, hazard-specific information may be included within an all-hazards response plan, or created as a stand-alone plan.

Hazard or incident-specific plans should include the same level of detail as the basic response plan, including, but not limited to:

  • Specific location(s)
  • Contact information for internal and external responders
  • Evacuation routes
  • Plot Plans
  • Specific provisions and protocols for warning employees, the public, and disseminating emergency information
  • Personal protective equipment and detection devices
  • Policies and processes for each specific hazard response
  • Identification of additional potential hazards
  • Response team roles and responsibilities
  • Recovery and restoration processes

Just as in the primary response plan, a planning team may use supporting documents as necessary to clarify the contents of the incident specific plan. These supporting documents can include hazard specific aerial photographs, facility maps, checklists, resource inventories, and summaries of critical information. Supplemental response plans may include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessment and control of the hazard information
  • Identification of unique prevention and preparedness of critical infrastructure/key resources
  • Initial protective actions
  • Communications procedures and warning systems
  • Implementation of protective actions
  • Identification of short-term stabilization actions
  • Implementation of recovery actions

Below are examples of potential supplemental response plans. Theses plans should be aligned with site-specific company facilities and personnel details.

  • Hurricane Plans:  Identifies response procedures and specific pre and post hurricane responsibilities according to landfall prediction timeline. May require providing evacuation route maps or shelter in place areas. Evacuation routes and scope of evacuation may change depending on the location of the facility, potential threats, or forecast.
  • Fire Pre Plans: Addresses specific information necessary to effectively fight a fire and limit exposures. Chemical and hazardous details in regards to particular buildings, tanks, and process units, and foam and water requirements should be included in fire pre plans.
  • Pandemic Plans: Documents procedures and methods necessary to maintain and restore operations of critical business processes in the event of a pandemic outbreak among the local population and workforce.
  • Additional Natural Disasters: Natural hazards tend to occur repeatedly in the same geographical locations because they are related to weather patterns or physical characteristics of an area. Depending on your specific risks, supplemental plans may be developed for one or more of the following:
    • Floods
    • Tornadoes
    • Thunderstorms and Lightning
    • Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
    • Extreme Heat
    • Earthquakes
    • Volcanoes
    • Landslide and Debris Flow (Mudslide)
    • Tsunamis
    • Wildfires

The planning development stage must include the identification of potential site specific hazards, and the critical responses necessary to respond to those hazards. To ensure consistency, it is a best practice for hazard-specific plans to follow the same layout and organizational format as the main response plan. This allows for familiarity and continuity, which enables the information to be identified and disseminated in a timely manner. Best practices also dictate that plans be developed during normal operational conditions, prior to any threatened outbreak. Training on the specific response plans allows for a complete understanding of assigned responsibilities and processes if an actual incident were to occur.

For an understanding of the necessary elements in creating an effective fire pre plan, download our Fire Pre Planning Guide.

TRP Corp Fire Pre-Plans Pre Fire Plan

Tags: Fire Pre Plans, Event Preparedness, Extreme Weather, Hurricane Preparedness, Flood Preparedness, Emergency Action Plan

Geographical Risks and Business Continuity

Posted on Thu, Dec 06, 2012

Despite a company’s location, natural hazards are a risk to business continuity. Natural hazards have a tendency to be location specific. However, images of the devastation left behind by these events are widespread. Unfortunately, many companies and their employees believe such disasters will not happen to them and fail to plan for plausible business disruption. 

The CMI 2012 Business Continuity Management Survey detailing Business Continuity efforts stated that 54% of companies surveyed that don’t have  business continuity plans stated their reasoning that they experience disruptions. This statistic is not uncommon. However, every year, rivers overflow their banks, high winds break treetops and tear away roofs, and power outages leave entire areas in the dark.

Despite the likelihood of a business disrupting natural disaster, many companies do not implement a Business Continuity Plan. Earthquakes and hurricanes are persistent and ingrained in location-specific cultures. Changing weather patterns, unprecedented seismic activity, strong winds and tropical rainfall impact many communities. Yet, 50% of all companies do not practice continuity planning.

Threats from extreme weather, wildfires, and flooding can affect any business in any location.  The below graphic from the Institute for Business and Home Safety demonstrates the potential risks of naturally occurring events across the United States.

These natural events can result in the loss or temporary disruption of key business resources including:

  • Facilities or Workspace
  • Infrastructure or IT Applications/Systems
  • People
  • Supply Chain

While natural weather events are not avoidable, companies may limit damage, loss, or prolonged interruption to key business resources with mitigation measures and business continuity planning. A detailed company identification and evaluation of critical business processes should be performed as an integral part of a business continuity plan.

A “bare bones” evaluation should list the minimum criteria necessary to keep a business in operation. Subsequent continuity plans should include procedures for the prevention of loss or restoration of operations.  Necessary resources for business continuity may include:

  • Alternate workplace location(s)
  • Necessary equipment
  • Critical software
  • Client records
  • Off-site storage
  • Key vendors lists
  • Inventory and supplier requirements
  • Notification procedures for key stakeholders
  • Predefined personnel roles and responsibilities with current and alternate contact information
  • Business Continuity Team notification and activation procedures
  • Staff relocation requirements, including name, department, title, function code, home address, type of PC (PC or Laptop), number of adults and children in immediate family, pets /other, relocation priority, recovery location or facility, relocation seat number/room assignment, alternate employees, and special needs

A business continuity effort for an impending or existing natural event should incorporate the following four phases into the plan:

  1. Initial Response: This phase covers initial response to an active or potential business interruption and immediate efforts to minimize downtime.
  2. Relocation:  Mobilization of resources and relocation of equipment and personnel to alternate facilities or redundant sites may become necessary if forecasted or current conditions dictate. The relocation phase ensures that the recovery phase can be fully implemented to sustain minimum service levels defined for each critical process. This stage may include “Work from Home” and “Alternate Facility” relocation strategies.
  3. Recovery:  The time after personnel and equipment have been relocated to an alternate site to before primary facilities have been restored or permanent alternate facilities have been secured. This phase incorporates the processes and procedures necessary to recover lost or interrupted resources.
  4. Restoration:  Personnel are able to return to restored facilities, or permanent alternate facilities, and critical resources are in full operational status.

A business continuity natural disaster event may be initiated from a single contained incident that affects one facility, or a large-scale incident that affects an entire region. Regardless of the incident, business restoration can be accelerated if communication processes and continuity of operations plans have been developed, tested, and properly implemented.

For a sample Emergency Response Checklist, download our helpful and informative guide.

Tags: Climate Change, Fire Preparedness, Extreme Weather, Business Continuity Plan, Hurricane Preparedness, Flood Preparedness, Business Disruption, Tornado Preparedness, BCM

Disaster Response Planning Guidelines in Emergency Management

Posted on Thu, Oct 04, 2012

Disasters, whether natural or man made, can result in a serious disruption to company operations. They typically involve widespread human, material, economic, or environmental impacts, which can exceed response capabilities for company facilities and offices. Planned response actions that incorporate qualified and trained internal and external responders are key to ensuring that both short-term and longer-term needs are addressed.

Although specific vulnerabilities to disasters vary, no company or facility is immune to the effects of a disaster. There are four main types of disasters:

  • Natural disasters: These include, but are not limited to, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions that have immediate impacts on communities and local companies.
  • Environmental emergencies:  These include technological or industrial accidents, usually involving hazardous materials, and occur where these materials are produced, used or transported. Large forest fires are generally included in this definition because they tend to be caused by humans.
  • Facility emergencies: These involve an authoritarian collapse and/or attacks on an installation. Complex emergencies include conflict situations, terrorism, and/or war.
  • Pandemic emergencies:  These involve a sudden onset of a contagious disease that affects public health, but can escalate to disrupt services and business operations. Effects may include economic and social costs.

 

Disaster Response Staging Area

A disaster scenario typically requires external resources beyond the scope of a company’s capabilities. In a major response, establishing a staging area (or areas) may be required to support an increase in activity and ongoing response operations.

In selecting a suitable staging area, the following criteria should be considered:

  • Accessibility to impacted areas
  • Location safety
  • Proximity to secure parking, airports, docks, pier, or boat launches
  • Accessibility to large trucks and trailers that may be used to transfer equipment
  • Accessibility to basic needs
  • Accessibility to necessary utilities

disaster_response_planning.jpgIn addition, the staging area should:

  • Be in a large open area in order to provide potential equipment storage and increased responder population
  • Not interfere with equipment loading and offloading operations
  • Have a dock/pier on site for deploying equipment if emergency is near shore or offshore
  • Have moorage available for vessels to aid the loading/offloading of personnel, as necessary

 

Disaster Plan Considerations

Other key considerations to be included in a disaster management plan include:

  • Communication Plan: Should identify telephone numbers and radio frequencies used by responders. This may also involve activation of multiple types of communications equipment and coordination among multiple responding agencies and contractors.
  • Public Affairs Plan: Contains guidelines for dealing with the media during an emergency. The Incident Commander will play a key role in providing the initial public assessment and taking the first steps to provide situational understanding.
  • Site Security Measures:  The potential for increased public attention created towards a disaster site may require additional security measures to be implemented. Several measures should be planned in advance to prepare security personnel for possible security events that may occur.
  • Waste Management Procedures:  Disposal plans should be in place to manage increased waste from the initial disaster, as well as from the increased activity surrounding the disaster. Waste management needs may be overlooked in the emergency phase of a response, which could result in delays and interruption of cleanup operations.
  • Demobilization Plan: These guidelines provide an organized set of procedures to help facilitate and expedite a return to normal operating conditions, and help to minimize costs by standing down response resources in a timely manner.

 

Receive TRP's free guide on how to structure your crisis management teams:

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Tags: Facility Management, Emergency Management Program, Event Preparedness, Hurricane Preparedness, Flood Preparedness, Disaster Recovery, Disaster Response, Workplace Safety

Multiple Agency Coordination in Emergency Response

Posted on Mon, Jun 25, 2012

Response planning coordination between private and public entities improves emergency management capabilities. When establishing, updating, exercising, and implementing response plans, partnering with associated response participants will result in a more successful and streamlined implementation of emergency plans.

In a 2010 press release, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate stated, "There's no way government can solve the challenges of a disaster with a government-centric approach. It takes the whole team. And the private sector provides the bulk of the services every day in the community.”

When a disaster strikes at a company facility, a response typically involves outside response groups and corresponding government agencies. Through collaborative planning, the following multifaceted concepts can be incorporated in a coordinated emergency management program:

  • Proven and successful response models and best practices
  • Effective tools and equipment from a variety of sources
  • Training and exercises

The goal of multi-agency coordination is to prioritize and organize the need for critical resources, thereby assisting the coordination of the response operations. A coordinated effort should consist of a combination of agreed upon elements including:

  • Personnel
  • Procedures
  • Protocols
  • Business practices
  • Communications systems and methods

The most commonly used elements in a coordinated response are Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) and Multiagency Coordination Systems (MACS). An EOC is a central command facility, activated to support response operations in the event of an incident.

According to FEMA, MAC Groups are typically comprised of administrators/executives, or their appointed representatives. MAC Groups may also be known as multi-agency committees or emergency management committees.  There are seven common functions that MACS will generally perform during an incident:

  1. Assessment
  2. Prioritization
  3. Acquisition and allocation of critical resources
  4. Supporting relevant incident management policies and interagency activities
  5. Coordination with other MACS
  6. Coordination with elected and appointed officials
  7. Coordination of information

 For a sample Emergency Response Checklist, download our helpful and informative guide.

Tags: Emergency Response, Emergency Preparedness, Crisis Management, Training and Exercises, Regulatory Compliance, Hurricane Preparedness, Flood Preparedness, Disaster Response

Review Business Continuity Plan for Height of Hurricane Season

Posted on Mon, Jun 18, 2012

The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, with the height of the season being late August through September. In order to be prepared, companies need to systematically review their business continuity plans (BCP) to ensure continued operations should a natural disaster strike. 

Hurricanes can affect the continuity of operations as the result of;

  • mandatory evacuations
  • extended power outages
  • facility damage from high winds or flooding
  • potential supply chain interruptions

Critical processes necessary for operation need to be identified. However, updating a BCP should be a continuously evolving process. In a business continuity review, each department should evaluate current critical processes, mitigate identified deficiencies, and update the plan as necessary. 

The following concepts should be analyzed and identified for each BCP update and prior to the arrival of hurricane season:

Data and computer needs: Identifying the procedural details of computer backups, data restoration methods, and minimum software requirements are crucial to re-establish critical business processes.  Companies may examine data center outsourcing to ensure continuity and accessibility.

Notification lists: Regularly update lists to ensure all contact information is up-to-date. Business continuity planners must be certain that notifications are being delivered to accurate e-mail addresses and/or phone numbers, especially in case of an evacuation. If maintaining accurate contact information is challenging, consider opting for an e-mail notification verification system that enables individuals to verify their own information. Companies can also offer incentives, such as drawings or prizes, to encourage all personnel to register for notifications.

Communication needs: Clear and effective communication channels must remain available in order to disseminate information to employees, assess and relay damage, and coordinate a recovery strategy. A mass notification system, such as provided by Everbridge, may assure a reliable method to communicate to key individuals, company employees, or an entire client base.

Supply Chain: As a company’s needs change and new suppliers come online, plans should be updated to include these critical suppliers. Additionally, preselected alternate resources should be included in the BCP to ensure consistent delivery and continued operations in the event primary suppliers are not able to provide required services.

Essential Personnel: Identify necessary minimum staffing levels to remain on-site during a storm. As the storm passes, ensure staff, contractors, and suppliers understand their individual responsibilities and recovery time objectives.

Equipment needs: Identify and procure necessary equipment and establish processes for continued operations and recovery. This will prevent unnecessary downtime and additional recovery efforts after a hurricane. The process of relocating equipment prior to a storm or arranging for these essentials after a storm is time consuming, labor intensive, and potentially costly.

Through hurricane and BCP exercises and training, employees can react as planned and understand expectations. 

Hurricane Response Checklist - TRP

Tags: Extreme Weather, Business Continuity Plan, Hurricane Preparedness, Business Disruption

15 Site Specific Corporate Hurricane Planning Consideration

Posted on Mon, May 21, 2012

Images of Hurricane Harvey and Irma highlight the far-reaching destructive nature of a hurricane's unprecedented rains that may accompany them.  Despite the historical disastrous effects to coastal communities, the misconception that a hurricane is strictly a coastal problem still prevails. Whether hurricane effects come in the form of storm surge, wind or rain, every emergency manager along the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico must prepare for the possibility of a hurricane and its lingering impacts.

"In the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, inland flooding was responsible for more than half of the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the United States." - Ed Rappaport, National Hurricane Center

Are you ready hand writing with a black mark on a transparent board.jpeg

Preparedness and pre-planning is the key to success of initiating a hurricane plan.  Below are key corporate hurricane preparedness concepts to consider:

  1. Assign and train personnel and departments to complete specific pre and post hurricane responsibilities. Many companies develop checklists by time frame; 5 days prior to landfall, 96-72 hours until landfall, 48 hours until landfall, 24 hours until landfall, 12 hours until landfall, etc. Be wary of assigning checklist by hurricane category as storms’ intensity can rapidly fluctuate.
  2. Highlight evacuation routes if site is in an evacuation zone.
  3. Identify the minimum necessary personnel to remain at the facility during the storm.
  4. Identify redeployment team(s) responsible to secure the site after a storm
  5. Identify needs for conducting necessary business processes offsite and processes for data backup and redundancy.
  6. Review alternate location options.
  7. Coordinate site-specific plans with local and county emergency management agencies’ hurricane plans.
  8. Inspect the site for potential mitigation measures and initiate countermeasures to minimize damage. If lumber is necessary, pre-cut pieces to proper sizes, and mark each panel/piece to identify location. If using storm shutters, identify proper installation procedures and functionality prior to storm.
  1. Identify, inspect and/or purchase materials required to support hurricane preparedness, including generators, battery-operated radios, flashlights, lighting, ice, additional batteries, etc. FEMA provides guidance on a basic list of needs.
  2. Identify and make arrangements for alternate or off-site storage of selected equipment (computers, moving equipment/inventory from potential flood areas).
  3. Prepare/update a list of employee home phone numbers addresses.
  4. Identify primary and alternate communication methods and procedures.
  5. Contract post-incident suppliers/contractors as to not interrupt supply chain.
  6. Refresh stocks of consumable hurricane supplies for use at the facility.
  7. Consider developing a business continuity plan to allow for continuity of essential processes in case a storm has long-lasting effects.

Every “close call” storm provides a real-time test of the effectiveness of processes and implemented procedures. No matter how far a storm veers off path, stalls, or weakens, company facilities, employees, and coordinating responders can gain planning insight by the act of initiating the hurricane plan. No preparation for an impending storm, no matter what the cost, goes wasted. Lessons learned should be applied to the hurricane plan, strengthening the plan and bolstering the safety of employees.

TRP Corp Hurricane Checklist

Tags: Corporate Hurricane Preparedness, Emergency Preparedness, Business Continuity Plan, Hurricane Preparedness

Come Rain, Sleet, Snow, or Hail...Are you Prepared for an Emergency?

Posted on Thu, Jan 19, 2012

A few months ago, AccuWeather came out with its long range United States’ forecast through the winter 2011/2012. The prediction was that cold and snowy weather will prevail across a large section of the country. Although snow amounts are predicted to be less than what was experienced last year, ice could be potential problem as far south as Alabama and Georgia. But despite predictions, companies should be prepared to deal with whatever unusual weather events may occur.

Depending on a facility’s specific latitude and longitude, a site-specific risk analysis for severe weather should be conducted for each facility, and plans should be prepared accordingly. Specific weather planning checklists can be developed for blizzards, floods, ice, tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Despite the weather situation, many common best practices can be implemented into a weather planning checklist including, but not limited to the following action items:

  • Monitor news and weather reports on television or radio (with battery backup)
  • Alert personnel  on-site that severe weather is approaching and communicate specific expectations and responsibilities
  • Be aware of the site specific dangers posed by wind, ice, snow falling from equipment and buildings, and mediate if possible
  • Identify product release dangers posed by heavy snow, flooding, wind, or ice falling on exposed piping
  • If applicable, insulate and protect any exterior water lines or piping
  • Identify and contract companies to assist in extreme weather events, such as snow, water, or tree removal services
  • Obtain basic necessary weather-related equipment (snow shovels, ice scrapers, rock salt, tire chains, backup generators, cooling stations)
  • Ensure that vehicles have a full tank of gas and are functioning properly
  • Ensure flashlights are in proper working order and have additional batteries on site
  • Monitor precipitation accumulation on or around any tanks, sheds or buildings
  • If appropriate, leave water taps slightly open so they drip continuously to prevent pipes from freezing
  • Identify and understand response techniques when responding to product spills that may flow under ice or snow, or within flood waters
  • Establish and maintain communication with onsite and offsite personnel
  • Monitor or limit vehicle traffic
  • Maintain building temperature at acceptable levels and understand safety measures if using space heaters or generators
  • Notify supervisors if a power failure occurs or if a facility is otherwise unable to operate due to weather circumstances

 

For an understanding of the necessary elements in creating an effective fire pre plan, download our Fire Pre Planning Guide.

 

TRP Fire Pre Plan Image

Tags: Corporate Hurricane Preparedness, Earthquake Preparedness, Power Failure, Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness, Emergency Management Program, Extreme Weather, Hurricane Preparedness, Flood Preparedness

The Supply Chain and Business Continuity

Posted on Mon, Dec 19, 2011

The primary purpose of a Business Continuity Plan is to minimize operational, regulatory, financial, and reputational impacts of a business interruption to accelerate the time frame to return to “business as usual”. In a recent Forbes magazine article entitled, “Why Verizon Has its Own HAZMAT Team", Dick Price, Chief Business Continuity Officer at Verizon explains the company’s business continuity planning exceeds any set regulatory requirements developed for the telecommunications industry. 

"Unlike most companies, Verizon needs offices with racks of telecommunications equipment in several major and minor cities throughout the U.S. and other countries. Therefore the company must work with landlords and various local officials with the buildings it uses. If someone has a fire, and it knocks out our equipment, it’s a problem.”.
           -Dick Price, Chief Business Continuity Officer at Verizon

As with many companies, Verizon’s critical processes includes the stability of their suppliers. Disruptions in supply may be outside of a company’s domain, yet can severely impact the ability to provide “business as usual”.

The Business Continuity Institute recently release its “Supply Chain Resilience 2011” study which examines supply chains and their effect on business continuity.  According to the study, supply chain incidents led to productivity loss for almost half of businesses surveyed.

The statistics emphasize the need to develop a business continuity plan that identifies critical suppliers and alternate resources. Factors to consider in the identification of critical suppliers are complex and extend well beyond first glance analyses, however, they may include those that provide:

  • Certain business specific products
  • Sole source services or products
  • Electrical power
  • Water
  • Fuel
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation
  • Staffing
  • Waste Management
  • Facility or facilities

A business impact analysis can identify potential supply chain vulnerabilities that may erupt in a crisis situation. Companies need to consider the consequences of supply chain failure and associated key business components that would be affected.  Through this process, alternatives can be explored and a business continuity plan can be produced that reduces the impacts of supply chain disruptions.

For a sample Emergency Response Checklist, download our helpful and informative guide.

Tags: Business Continuity key points, Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness, Crisis Management, Supply Chain, Extreme Weather, Hurricane Preparedness

Emergency Response Plan - Annexes for Added Incident Management

Posted on Mon, Aug 08, 2011

According to FEMA, the basic emergency operations plan should provide a broad scope of responses for potential emergency and crisis situations. Additional emergency response annexes that focus on hazard, threat, or incident-specific response needs can be added to broaden a site-specific basic plan to encompass the full range of hazards associated with a facility. These annexes contain unique and regulatory response details that apply to a single hazard, such as a pandemic response or hurricane plan. Depending upon the emergency operation plan’s structure and content amount, hazard-specific information may be included as either separate functional annexes or stand-alone hazard-specific annexes.

Hazard or incident-specific annexes should include many of the same details of the basic operations plan including, but not limited to:

  • Details of hazard-specific location(s)
  • Evacuation routes
  • Plot Plans
  • Specific provisions and protocols for warning employees, the public and disseminating emergency  information
  • Personal protective equipment and detection devices
  • Policies and processes for each specific hazard
  • Roles and responsibilities

Just as in the basic emergency operations plan, a planning team may use supporting documents as needed to clarify the contents of the incident specific plan. These supporting documents can include hazard specific aerial and facility maps, charts, tables, checklists, resource inventories, and summaries of critical information. For example, the hurricane plan may be made clearer by attaching maps marked with evacuation routes or shelter in place areas. Evacuation routes may change depending on the location or scale of the hazard.

Hazard-specific operational information usually includes, but is not limited to:

  • Assessment and control of the hazard information
  • Identification of unique prevention and preparedness of critical infrastructure/key resources
  • Protective actions
  • Communications procedures and warning systems
  • Implementation of protective actions
  • Identification of short-term stabilization actions
  • Implementation of recovery actions.

It is crucial to identify the critical functions necessary for a successful emergency response to a specific hazard in the planning development stage.  This may include identifying alternate communications methods in the event of a hurricane or pinpointing essential personnel to implement a pandemic plan. Hazard-specific annexes should follow the same layout and organizational format as the main operational plan to ensure consistency.

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

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Tags: Pandemic Planning, Fire Pre Plans, Emergency Preparedness, Crisis Management, Facility Management, Emergency Management Program, Security plans, Terrorism Threat Management, FEMA, Hurricane Preparedness, Flood Preparedness