Does your business have a continuity plan in case a disaster strikes?  With Hurricane Irene hitting this past year and being so out of the ordinary in regards to the East Coast’s normal weather patterns, a lot of businesses were not prepared to deal with the damages Irene caused and were left wondering, “What am I going to do now?!”  Many people were without power for a few weeks and businesses were not prepared to clean up their offices from all of the water damage. 

The term Business Continuity is described as the practice of conducting day-to-day business, whereas business continuity planning is working out how your business will function in the event of a disaster.  Having a business continuity plan in place is a great way to better prepare your company for unforeseen disasters like Hurricane Irene.

According to Wikipedia.org, when creating your business continuity plan there should be five main phases:

  1. Analysis – documenting potential threats (i.e. Earthquake, Fire, Flood, Cyber Attacks, Hurricane, Terrorism, Theft, Disease)
  2. Solution design – find the most cost-effective solution for each potential threat, try to figure out the following:
    1. Command Structure
    2. Location of secondary work site (if necessary)
    3. Data duplication procedure between primary work site and secondary work site (i.e. remote website login, etc.)
  3. Implementation – the execution of the solution design
  4. Test your Continuity plan – basically trial and error.  Test out your plan before an actual event occurs to fix any flaws that may be present (these tests should be done on an annual or biennial schedule)
  5. Maintenance – update your Business continuity plan to reflect any changes in staff, clients, vendors and/or suppliers

A disaster may strike at any time without warning whether it’s a blizzard, earthquake, fire, hurricane, etc.  Implementing a Business Continuity Plan will ensure things run smoothly for you and your company in the event that a disaster does occur.  Remember, each phase is crucial in the recovery process, so try not to miss any steps!

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