Business Continuity Reminders in the Face of Terror
The recent tragic attacks that occurred in London remind us all that we can never be too prepared for an emergency situation. Therefore we are republishing this article that provides some key reminders to help ensure the safety of your employees and the business continuity of your firm during these types of disaster scenarios.
Assessing the Scenario
Every scenario is different and lends itself to a certain degree of impact, whether it’s confined to an office building or a broader regional impact. Start with ensuring that your employees are accounted for and in a safe location. Then consider: will the events at hand impact their ability to continue with their jobs? Obviously, if the office space is affected, a secondary location may come into play, or firms may opt to allow employees to work remotely.
Next, review critical business systems, data and resources. Are your data and assets up and running so employees can continue business functions? Are phone systems or email functioning properly?
Internal and External Communication
Depending on the severity of the situation, you’ll need to determine the level of communication to both internal and external parties. If the event or disruption will impact employees getting to or from the office or if the building is inaccessible, obviously you’ll need to notify personnel. If there may be an impact to the business itself (trading, for instance), you may want to communicate with external parties such as investors, business partners, and/or regulators. It’s helpful to have a communication plan in place to guide this process.
And remember: all communications should be reviewed and approved by the individual(s) overseeing the business continuity program and the plans associated with it.
The Human Factor
Another important consideration for emergency scenarios is the human factor. In events such as bombings and terrorist action, for example, special attention and consideration should be paid to human factors that might not be as apparent as during other disruptions. Firms may want to consider offering grief counseling to employees and/or an open forum to discuss the situation and how it may affect the firm and its employees. Beyond business impacts, it’s essential to ensure employees are in the right state of mind and have necessary support if there is a need for it post-disaster.
Violent and disruptive events are an unfortunate reality, and their impacts can affect much more than can be seen by the naked eye. Special care and understanding should be demonstrated by employers, and communication is vital to ensuring the continuity of the business during an emergency scenario.