Being ready for an emergency is all about preparation, preparation and more preparation.
There are many things you need to consider. However, some of the main ones are below:
- Governance - agree and document how your governance will work during an emergency – will you have a traditional Gold, Silver and Bronze team structure or is something else more appropriate for your business? Regardless, being clear about the following is essential: who makes decisions; who is responsible for drafting and sending the communications; who is accountable for checking major deadlines (e.g. client deadlines); who is responsible for briefing the press; who is responsible for coordinating any continuity activity such as moving people to a work area recovery centre; and who is responsible for coordinating the teams undertaking recovery work.
- Planning - Make sure you have sufficient and thoroughly tested plans – such as Business Continuity Plan; Disaster Recovery Plan; Pandemic Plan and Cyber-incident Plan. These will help you not reinvent the wheel during an emergency. It’s also vital that you plan for all scenarios, even if they are unlikely. Does your plan, for example, include all your equipment being wiped by a major cyber-incident? In 2017 several large businesses lost all their IT. If your plan does not include this, then it should!
- Training – provide your staff with training, briefings, information and other collateral, so when the time comes, they are prepared and know what to do.
- Communication - having a clear communication strategy, including agreed communication templates, is crucial to help you communicate promptly, and clearly. Also being able to engage with your people in two way communication, to understand the impact of their safety, health and productivity is essential too.
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