Keep your dreams and business alive through the emergency.
The City of San Ramon has taken action to prepare for emergencies. The responsibility to return to normal service as soon as possible is taken seriously by City management. While it meets the regulatory requirements, the practices remain practical. The number one goal is public safety while meeting the needs of the residents, businesses (and their workforce) and city employees.
Where do I start?
Businesses are encouraged to develop their own business continuity plans. They should complete this process to identify and reduce the potential impacts on their business from losses of critical functions or processes. Consult the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce www.sanramon.org for additional information on business continuity.
The following suggestions are not all inclusive and require practical operational evaluation. In the end the goal is to develop a plan that addresses:
- What is the plan if the President/Owner is unavailable during an emergency?
- What vulnerabilities does your business face as a result of your physical location?
- Has staff been trained to take protective measures during an emergency?
- Are staff clear on contingency procedures for getting the business operating ASAP?
- Are contingency plans in place if key suppliers cannot provide material?
- What bare minimum equipment is necessary for continued operations?
- Does your business have a sharing arrangement with another business which has similar equipment?
To get the best answers, each business needs to complete a 5 step process:
- Step 1 - Vulnerability Analysis - Identify the likely hazards and vulnerabilities
- Step 2 - Business Impact Analysis – Identify then prioritize financial and operational impacts
- Step 3 - Develop the plan
- Step 4 - Run the plan – Test the plan to ensure it is viable
- Step 5 - Maintain the Plan – Incorporate lessons learned into the plan
Employee Care and Responsibility
Employees need to prepare personal emergency kits with change of close, shoes, food, and medication if practical. These items can be stored in a desk drawer, a locker, or other location near their work station. With it each employee should maintain a copy of the Family Disaster Plan.
Are you ready to restart the business after the emergency? Business Resumption Planning is about getting the most critical business operations back up and running first. Identify short term workarounds that could include remote access to internal systems, forwarding phones, return to paper processes, etc.
Take action now
- Back up computer data frequently and keep a copy off-site that supports data encryption
- Stock a minimum supply of backup materials and equipment needed to keep the business running if there is no access to the facility.
- Purchase a battery operated/solar radio or TV for the office.
- Ensure enough communications equipment, bedding, food, and water are purchased and made available in the event employees have to shelter-in-place.
- Consult an insurance company to determine whether special riders are needed to cover valuable property and equipment, business continuity, or terrorism insurance. See if you can get deductions for having a Business Continuity Plan in place
- Communication is essential in all emergencies. It is likely phone service to be disrupted during a region-wide incident.
- Create and maintain an out-of-state hotline.
- Establish procedures for how employees report an emergency
- Establish a system to warn employees of an incident.
- Plan out how to notify families of employees in the event of loss of life or injury
- Designate at least one employee to make decisions if the owner/shift manager is not available. Make sure these employees are adequately briefed on this Business Continuity Plan.
- Practice evacuation and shelter-in-place methods in advance to ensure everyone knows what to do in an emergency.
- Set a timetable to complete required actions before the disaster strikes and ensure someone is assigned to complete each task.
- Notify suppliers and customers when the company expects to open after the disaster. Check with equipment suppliers to determine the availability of service and replacements.
- Make sure insurance papers will be available after the disaster passes
After creating the plan, then what?
- You also need to communicate the contents of the plan to your employees so they know what they are expected to do in an emergency.
- "Walk throughs" or "Functional Drills" allow employees to physically act out their roles and responsibilities. Test the concepts in the plan. What is written on paper may not actually work in real life. The best way to be sure your responses work, is to validate it with those who will be involved in as realistically as possible.
- How would employees respond if the premises had a fire?
- How would employees respond if only 10% of staff were available?
- How would employees respond if our cell phones died?
- What if the business lost power to the air conditioning?
- What additional activities would pre-occupy our attention immediately after an incident?
- How are business needs prioritized?
Is your data accessible, up-to-date and safe?
- When was the last time your system was backed up?
- When was the last time your backup tape was tested?
- Is the media on which backups are stored encrypted?
- Who has access to your most critical data?
Additional Information is available: