You’ve created a plan – you’ve involved your staff – you’ve put your plan to the test. Now it is time to identify the weaknesses in the plan and allocate resources to improve the program.
At the beach last weekend I was chatting with a neighbor who works in the IT department of a large company. They had a great disaster preparedness plan. The generators were set-up and tested regularly. Everything seemed great until Super Storm Sandy hit their facility and the surrounding area. They only had enough gas for the generator to run for 2 days. The electricity was out for 2 weeks. They had made no provision for acquiring additional fuel if they needed it. Just an additional reminder that your plan should accommodate both short term interruptions in your business as well as long term interruptions.
To improve your plan meet with your staff and identify any areas which were missed in the original plan. Create a specific list of areas to be addressed.
Describe the issue
- Identify the action or resources required to address the issue
- What is the justification? Example: Spending money on a gas contract for the back-up generator will insure that 5 days of gasoline are available for delivery.
- What is the Priority? If you identify 15 issues based on your exercised you will need to determine which are most critical.
- Assign the action to a specific individual with a due date.
- Create a status checklist so you can be sure that all items are completed by due date.
Make adjustments to your original plan based on the exercises you’ve performed. Include information about new equipment purchased, new systems installed, new processes implemented due to the exercises you’ve performed.
Once again – be sure to inform and train your staff to insure that everyone knows the protocol should a small or large disaster hit your business.
Your plan should be a living document that is reviewed and updated regularly. This review should take into account:
- New or changed processes
- New hazards
- New product or services launched or withdrawn
- Integration or divestiture of business divisions
- Changes in suppliers
- Changes in the workforce
- Changes to the work site, building, office design
Wilmot Modular hopes that these articles have helped you to consider all the implications of business interruption. We hope you never have to implement your disaster preparedness plan. We also want you to know that we are here for you if disaster strikes!