Building a Plan B Mindset for Business Continuity
Does everything in your life work out exactly as you planned? Mine neither. Seems that life is nothing but Plan B—or something nearer the end of the alphabet. There are professionals who make a living planning for events other than the Perfect Day. I got to deliver a presentation on the Florida insurance market and business preparedness to a group of them recently, the Tampa chapter of the Association of Contingency Planners (ACP).
These professionals are crisis management experts and know all about disaster recovery and resuming business as usual after unexpected events. And, like many of us, they continually learn new things about being better prepared for disasters. One of the chapter officers had an interesting tale to relay about best-laid plans and how the pros keep learning.
Last month, several counties around Tampa Bay were under a tornado warning, and it looked like the twister was heading toward this individual’s place of employment. So, the tornado response plan was activated. Employees were directed to the stairwells to wait for the all-clear signal, while the executive team went to the conference room to keep tabs on the weather and be ready for the worst. That was part of the plan. Then they noticed a couple of things. There was no weather radio in the conference room; the radio was located in another part of the building. There was also no TV in the room, so they still couldn’t monitor breaking weather alerts. That practice drill proved valuable.
Does your company wait until a real threat to test its disaster response plan? A plan on paper is a good thing, and putting it into practice—before you need to—is a brilliant move. The first step is to get the plan on paper. If it’s only in your head, it’s not a plan. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety has an Open for Business tool to create a business continuity plan. It’s free, easy to use, and vitally important to help every business stay in business after a disaster.
Sometime, even the smallest oversight can present a big obstacle to disaster recovery. And, you won’t know what the obstacle it until you run a drill.