Flood, fire or flu: continuity in crisis

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HR Takeaways

  • Communication
    Often the first casualty of an emergency so having the right processes in place are key to recovery and continuation, Pearce said. Make sure you have contact information available offsite, whether through a high tech option such as a flash drive that automatically updates when connected, or a low tech solution such as a hard copy of company contacts.
  • Accessible information
    If your employees are used to accessing information offsite, it will be easier for them to remain productive and informed in an emergency. Murphy said mobile works options could be key to the success of a business continuity plan because the ability to work from anywhere, on any type of device meant employees were prepared to continue their roles with minimal impact during a disruption.
  • Plan for impact, not event
    “If you can’t get to your business or do your business it’s not about what caused it, it’s about what you can do about it,” MacNeil said. “A lot of the plans you put in place will be applicable in any situation. If you plan for loss of key personnel it could be relevant in a pandemic or when the commuter trains are down. It’s more about the impact than planning for any specific cause.”
  • Ask key questions
    Look at all the steps of your operation and identify risks and hazards along your supply chain, production and shipping.
    “It’s really about knowing your business intricately and understanding what you’re dependent on. It’s about knowing your risks and what risks you can accept and what you really need to protect against,” MacNeil said.
  • Commitment at all levels
    To develop a plan requires a commitment from the top of the chain – the owner, president or board. Many company leaders were focused  on  running the business day to day and may not feel they have the time and resources. Make sure your employees are also familiar and comfortable with the plan by having a collaborative process where they help in the development stages.
  • Know your resources
    If your organization can’t afford to employ someone to help develop a plan, call your local emergency coordinator or provincial government office to discuss the most likely local hazards and what kind of community planning and resources are in place.

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