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Business Contingency Planning

Stages of a Business Contingency Plan


  • Do a risk assessment of your workplace(s); its location relative to potential risks; its vulnerabilities and strengths.


  • Form a risk mananagement team.
  • Create a plan with relevant policies and procedures to deal with emergencies.
  • Inform all personnel of the plan.


  • Practice the procedures laid out in your plan.
  • Do simulations on a regular basis.
  • Stick to the scenario you have planned, but be ready to modify procedures as circumstances change.
  • Keep people informed.


  • Debrief everyone after a practice exercise to identify problems and or weak spots in your plan.

Lessons Learned From 9/11

Always think about being prepared to act, even if threats don't materialize. The top executive team must be involved with the planning and implementation of policies.

Assign individuals to roles. Clearly define responsibilities for these roles and practice them. Decide who has overall jurisdiction. Consider using visual identification tags, arm bands, etc.

Business continuity planning involves safeguarding your customers. Keep them informed of your plan and ask for their input.

Set up a communications center with faxes, email, portable phones and land line phones. Plan alternative centers as back-ups.

Keep your people informed. Avoid confusing messages. Agree on the wording of announcements and other signaling systems. Use these in practice runs.

Protect property and data, but protect people first. Invite disabled individuals to be on your planning team. They are experts on the assistance they may need in emergencies.

Think and plan in terms of stages of threat - immediate, moderate and distant. Practice on an unscheduled/unannounced basis.

Multi-location work places need a central coordinator as well as an on-site coordinator.

Educate employees about proven survival responses to various kinds of emergencies and accidents - natural as well as man made.

Encourage individuals to prepare an evacuation kit with items such as the following:

  • Low heeled shoes which tie
  • A spare pair of glasses
  • A map of building exits
  • A working flashlight
  • Essential medications
  • A towel or nose mask
  • A spare set of car and house keys
  • A portable phone
  • A wallet with ID cards and money

Practice evacuation using the kit. Discard nonessentials to keep kit easy to store and carry.