4 Steps to Business Continuity Planning for your Not For Profit
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From fires to floods, earthquakes to hurricanes, a disaster can strike anytime, anywhere, and often with little to no advance warning. How an organization responds in the days and hours following a disruption is critical. Studies show that 1 in 4 businesses will never re-open their doors after closing them in an emergency situation.
This is especially true for not for profits. Disruption can cost your organization major dollars and even more time, causing huge setbacks for achieving your mission and successfully continuing your services. Every organization, regardless of size, should prepare response procedures for the unthinkable. A business continuity plan is intended to ensure that an organization’s critical business functions will continue to operate or be recovered to an operational state despite serious incidents or disasters.
Business continuity planning involves defining potential risks, determining how those risks will affect operations, implementing safeguards and procedures designed to mitigate those risks, testing those procedures to ensure that they work and periodically reviewing the process to make sure that it is up to date. We’ve summed up the process of establishing a business continuity plan into a 4-step strategy.
Step 1: Establish a Planning Team
Create a team of employees or volunteers that are responsible for the development of the emergency management plan.
Step 2: Analyze Capabilities and Hazards
Gather information about current capabilities and possible hazards and emergencies, and then conduct a vulnerability analysis to determine the facility's capabilities for handling emergencies.
Step 3: Develop the Plan
Now, you’re ready to develop an emergency management plan using the following process:
- Identify challenges and prioritize activities by determining specific goals and milestones. Make a list of tasks to be performed by whom and when and determine how you will address the problem areas and resource shortfalls that were identified in the vulnerability analysis.
- Make each member of the planning group responsible for writing a section on the plan.
- Assign one person to develop a training schedule for your facility.
- Distribute the first draft to group members for review, and then revise. Arrange for the CEO, president, and senior management to make final, written approval.
- Distribute physical copies to senior management, headquarters, and community emergency response agencies. Require a signature from each individual that receives a copy.
Step 4: Implement the Plan
Implement the plan by integrating it into company operations, training employees, and evaluating the plan.
Experts at risk management, Assurance can provide guidance and protection that fits your not-for-profit’s needs. Talk to an Assurance representative today.
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