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An Outline for Business Continuity Planning

SPHR, Kathryn McKee Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9781576754207

Chapter 9: Starting to Prepare Now—Five-Minute Planning Steps

SPHR, Kathryn McKee Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

This chapter suggests a number of planning actions that can each be carried out in five minutes. The basic idea is that some disaster planning is better than none, and the planning process need not be an onerous obligation.

For many of us, time is our most precious resource. Why spend it planning for events that might not occur when you already have many pressing demands? The answer is that a variety of unexpected things can happen, as the real-life examples in this book show, and those who took the time to plan generally have benefited from a faster, more complete recovery.

If you remain unconvinced that planning is worth your time, consider the following sets of actions that you can do in five-minute time slots. You may not solve all of the problems that arise, but you’ll bring to the surface important issues that you can then handle one by one over time. By taking action in small bursts, you may be able to stay a few steps ahead when a disaster strikes. Carry out these actions in any order you choose—just take five to survive.

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Chapter 6: Balancing the Needs of Employees with the Need to Return to Work

SPHR, Kathryn McKee Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

This chapter discusses the following topics:

Once the rains, winds, fire, or floodwaters have abated, it’s time to attend in equal parts to employees’ physical and emotional states in anticipation of going back to work. You need to consider where your employees will report to work; whether they have the tools, information, and other resources they need to do their jobs; and what tasks they need to focus on. As daunting as this may seem considering everything that has happened, the challenges of getting employees established in a new work setting may be nothing compared with dealing with their emotional states.

As a leader, you may have to deal with employees’ feelings of loss, uncertainty, confusion, fear, sadness, anxiety, and anger. You may need to deal with issues of safety, health, and job security. 91 When you and your employees are forced to work under difficult conditions, frustrations—both theirs and yours—can work against the organization’s objectives.

In the hours and days after a disaster strikes, organization leaders frequently become consumed with the logistics of business interruption. In fact, most business continuity plans concentrate on backup computer facilities, backup mechanical systems, off-site locations for resuming work, and perhaps an Emergency Operations Center that has sufficient space for the executives most critical to command and control efforts.

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Employee Emergency Response Procedures

SPHR, Kathryn McKee Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

These procedures are excerpted from the University of California at Santa Barbara Department of Emergency Operations procedures.

Careless management of work and storage areas and of electrical equipment is a common factor in office fires. Stockrooms and vault storage areas, for instance, should be kept uncluttered to prevent fires.

Keep work areas free of excess paper. A concentrated collection of papers and files on desks and filing cabinets makes excellent fuel. Before leaving at night, eliminate that unnecessary fire hazard by placing as many papers and files as possible in closed drawers or file cabinets.

Overloaded electrical outlets are the cause of many building fires. Do not create an octopus by inserting a series of two-way or three-way plugs into the same outlet. Connect only one cord to each receptacle socket. The use of extension cords is prohibited. If you need additional outlets, contact the Maintenance Department. When plugging or unplugging electrical equipment, be sure it is turned off; avoid touching metal or standing on a wet surface when doing so. For your safety, unplug electrical equipment by holding the plug and pulling it out of the socket; do not pull on the cord.

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Chapter 3: Creating Contingent HR Policies

SPHR, Kathryn McKee Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

This chapter focuses on three areas:

Some organizations develop an overarching Human Resources philosophy that fits their vision or mission. It goes beyond the “Employees are our most precious asset” cliché; it states how you value your workforce and how you exemplify that value through the types of Human Resources programs and policies you establish.

You need to take this philosophy into account when you start your business continuity planning. Your philosophy should be the underpinning of your plan. We also strongly recommend your plan include contingent policies for dealing with HR issues, and that these policies align with the plan and with your HR philosophy.

When developing contingent policies, the business continuity planning team, or a subteam, should discuss with senior leaders the organization’s values as they relate to the treatment of people during times of crisis. These contingent policies, which also should include how you wish to treat your customers and their demands, will serve to support the business and will be especially helpful in achieving a speedy and efficient business recovery.

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