How brave are you in ensuring your association’s survival following a natural disaster? Many associations plan for survival through business continuity planning while others are leaving it to luck. An effective and tested business continuity plan (BCP) may be essential to the continued operation of your organization. BCP literature often states that 43% of businesses that suffer a significant event never re-open.
According to Office Depot’s Expecting the Unexpected: Disaster Preparedness Strategies for Small Businesses, 71% of small businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan and 64% of small businesses do not think they need a plan. Almost two-thirds of the respondents (63%) are confident they can resume operations within 72 hours of a natural disaster which is a false assumption (ask Gulf Coast businesses if that is true). The Office Depot brochure states that one of four small businesses will experience a significant crisis in any year.
BCP experts have a multitude of explanations and excuses as to why so few organizations have a disaster recovery plan. Some people believe the development, implementation, testing and modification a business continuity plan takes resources from mission-critical programs – they have more important things to do. As indicated above many businesses do not recognize the need for a plan but history proves otherwise.
There is no lack of resources available to help you develop your business continuity plan including BCP consultants and plan development software. The only thing missing is your commitment to develop your plan. Often associations hope they can just copy another organization’s business continuity plan but that rarely works. Your association is unique, your critical operations may not be the same as another organization nor do you have the same resources. But a copied plan is better than no plan, so get to work. Here are some resources for you.
Continuity Central is an awesome Web site with lots of business continuity planning resources. You can also sign up for the free e-newsletter.
Capital One has the Business Disaster Planning Checklist to help you develop your plan
The National Fire Protection Association is the authority on fire, electrical and building safety. NFPA published NFPA 1600 which is the Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs (2007 Edition) which outlines the requirements for a disaster recovery plan. NFPA also published Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities.
The Department of Homeland Security has several resources through two of its Web sites. First, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has several resources for businesses. The Ready.gov Web site also has checklists and guides to help businesses plan for an emergency.
(c) 2007 Croydon Consulting, LLC
May be duplicated, with attribution, by charitable organizations.