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Crisis, Emergency and Business Continuity Plans - What You Need to Know

Friday, 3 August 2012

Crisis, Emergency and Business Continuity Plans - What You Need to Know

Do you know the difference between a Crisis, Emergency and a Business Continuity Plan? Here’s what you need to know… 

A crisis is an event or series of events that have such an impact on an organisation or group that normal business operations cease and without the correct remedial action, the long term survival of the organisation or group is at serious risk. Examples of Crisis include: extortion, kidnap, product contamination, industrial dispute, the result of numerous hold ups or bomb threats or theft / fraud resulting in industrial action or loss of trade, the result of an emergency such as fire or flood , incident on a nearby site,  food hazards,  major contamination scare, bio chemical, meningococcal, legionnaires or loss of key executive(s). 

A Crisis Management Plan applies risk management techniques which include: determining what crisis occur and can occur,  what the level of risk is based on likelihood and consequences,  whether the level of risk is acceptable, what strategies can be developed  to minimise the risks to acceptable levels and how you will monitor, communicate and review all the above. 

Emergencies and Crisis can coexist! A crisis and an emergency can be coexistent such as with 9/11. The emergency was the incident and  the need to rescue people which continued for many days, the crisis happening at the same time was that the world stopped, the American economy crashed, trading ceased and the government had to reconstruct a nation. 

A good Emergency Plan includes: the appointment of an overseer for coordination, documentation in the form of a master reference, checklists and information cards plus scheduled ongoing training. There are a wide variety of types of Incidents that an Emergency Plan & Procedure should address. These include but are not limited to: Air-conditioning Contamination, Armed Hold up, Assault, Bomb Threat, Chemical Hazard, Children in Motor Vehicles, Civil Disorder, Deceased Person, Evacuation, Explosion,  Fire, Food Poisoning, Gas Leak, Hold-in-place-Lift Emergency, Medical Emergency, Power Failure, Seismic Disturbance, Sexual Assault, Storm, Suspicious Mail & Packages, Syringes (Found), Threats  Written or recorded, Violent or Threatening Persons and Water Leaks. Your plan should also outline the Emergency Planning Committee’s responsibilities, structure, roles, the resources available where they are located and the development and posting of the evacuation plan. 

A Business Continuity Plan is an ongoing and comprehensive means by which key business processes are prioritized, threats to normal operations are identified and viable continuation strategies are put in place. BCP assures that core organizational activities continue and functions before, during and after a crisis or disaster. This is achieved through careful planning, personnel training, regular meetings, plan testing with simulated incidents plus regular plan and manual currency reviews. 

Learn more about Barringtons comprehensive Crisis, Emergency and BCP consultancy services here. 

Learn about Barringtons Online Emergency Evacuation Training here

Blayne Webb, Director, Barringtons    

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