The Risk is known, Now is the Time to Plan!
Having just returned from working in the Seattle area, the business continuity buzz is all about the impact associated with the “significant chance of flooding in South King County’s Green River Valley.” Check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66Nc0s9XMa8 What’s interesting from a business continuity planning perspective is that all you seem to read and hear about is “flood insurance”? But is flood insurance really the answer? The government guarantees flood damage to $500K for structures on a replacement value basis, and $500K for contents on an actual cash value basis. This means if your equipment has even partially been depreciated, you will not get enough money in flood insurance to pay for new equipment. On top of this, the access to additional flood coverage via normal insurers has dried up, no underwriter wants the risk. The issue is not about the cost of coverage; it is that there is no coverage available. See this Seattle Times article this week. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009961102_floodinsurance26m.html#
Companies in Kent/Auburn/Tukwila and Renton, really only have one answer – A plan to respond to the event, resume critical operations and the resumption of one’s business over time? I saw very little reference for the need to plan to deal with the event. Planning is imperative, if your organization is concerned about the continuance of business following the event.
The direction being given is from the 30 thousand foot level. It needs to be more granular if an organization is to survive the flooding event. Simply identifying essential services, critical functions, establishing resiliency via flood insurance and ensuring one’s staff is personally prepared is NOT going to ensure the continuity of one’s business. It’s bigger than that!
An organization that is truly concerned about their ability to deal with the event, the resumption of their critical processes, and their recovery over time needs to invest the time to “do it right” to ensure their plans viability, and thus continuity. They need to determine – who is going to be involved, what is it they can do (not to mention what resources they are going to need), why does it need to be done, where will it be done (now that’s an interesting question), when does it have to be done and how will they make it happen.
The above level of preparation takes time. It will be time well invested. After the event will be too late. I agree that one should encourage personal preparedness. It is well know that by ensuring your staff is prepared, will ensure their availability to assist in bringing the organization back on line. However, it’s also time to consider, and put in place solutions for addressing technology – critical systems, applications, access to data and work area recovery.
Developing a detailed business continuity plan, documenting and putting into motion policies, practices, solutions and procedures, will hopefully ensure a limited impact on your key operations. Not planning is NOT an option, if continuity of your deliveries is an issue. Every business should plan – Plan to stay in Business!