In the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, New York City faced exceptional challenges with flooded tunnels, subway lines, streets and power outages stretching across the city. According to Forbes, the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan was able to keep critical functions running, which included the central coordination of its operations around the world. The UN was able to do this with a durable disaster management plan that had been previously tested in many crisis management exercises.
Businesses have to understand that crisis management can save more than financial losses: it can also protect its employees and its assets. Maintaining operations through a natural disaster can be extremely difficult with factors like power outages, lack of communications and damaged or destroyed infrastructures. According to Forbes, businesses have to have the right resources and tools for their company headquarters as well as assets in the field.
Devise an initial plan
Large corporations or international organizations often have several layers of management, and during a crisis, formulating coherent responses can be a challenge. A business's first step toward an effective disaster management plan is to create a foundation. Companies have to understand what they currently have in place and increase their situational awareness that covers their logistical needs with facilities, people and operations, the source cited.
Understand the chain of command
One of the biggest issues for businesses during an incident is recognizing the proper chain of command. According to Forbes, when departments work collaboratively, businesses can understand the full impact of a disaster by building a solid framework to make decisions in the company.
Businesses should know who their key personnel are, develop a plan for communicating and engaging with these people during a disaster, reported PC World. Communication is critical for businesses and a necessary step in a business continuity plan.
Test the plan and continue to improve
While a business continuity plan can look foolproof on paper, there's no way to be certain until it's tested, reported Forbes. Drills should be performed quarterly, and then the flaws in the plan will be noticeable, and give more time for businesses to improve and alter their strategy.
Business continuity management needs to work as a sensible process that involves the company and keeps business functions running throughout a crisis. Possible incidents change every single day, and businesses should never settle with their plan.