October 2010: Natural or Manmade… both would be a Disaster for your Business

Businesses that survive a disaster are inevitably those that plan ahead. Developing a disaster recovery plan before a catastrophe occurs will enable your business to:

· minimize loss of revenue
· control recovery costs
· reduce potential for loss of life
· continue productivity during the recovery period
· expedite regulatory compliance
· sustain competitive advantage

An effective plan requires the identification of potential devastating hazards to your business and defining the response required to provide a framework for returning to pre-disaster conditions.

Failing to define these necessary responses exposes your business to loss of life, assets, revenue, reputation, and even the business itself.

Disaster Recovery Program Elements

A Disaster Recovery Program should minimally consist of the following three plans:

Disaster Preparedness Plan
· Assessment of the hazards facing your company (i.e. earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane, tornado/ windstorm, winter storm/cold weather, technological emergencies, hazardous materials, bomb threats, civil unrest, boiler failures, etc.)
· Identification of the necessary steps to reduce or eliminate these hazards

Emergency Response Plan
· Procedures for immediate response to a disaster (i.e. direction and control, emergency services, communications (employee/public), evacuation, security, life safety, property protection, shelter, relocations, facility shutdown, etc.)

Business Continuation Plan
· Procedures for restoring sales, production, and operations to pre-disaster levels

The development of these plans can be accomplished by a partnership between your internal team and a third party resource as needed.

Starting your program…

1. Indentify the individual(s) responsible for program development, implementation, and continual review.

2. Identify resources and investments required to develop and implement an effective program.

3. Develop Disaster Preparedness Plan

4. Develop Emergency Response Plan

5. Develop Business Continuation Plan

6. Submit plans to your insurance advisor and attorney for feedback. Make any necessary revisions.

7. Communicate program to all necessary key personnel.

8. Implement program.

9. Establish a timeline for regular review, testing of program elements via mock disasters or tabletop discussions, and update program as needed.

Developing your plans…

Once you have identified the responsible individuals and resources needed, it is time to start developing each of the three plans. Depending on your staff availability and expertise, you may determine it best to have a different team for each plan as well as possibly partner with a third party.

A great starting point is the loss control division of your insurance carrier. Many carriers offer general guidelines, forms, etc. which you can then adapt to your specific needs. The loss control specialist may even be available for a site visit to review your particulars and offer further advice including third party vendors in your area to either consult with or provide the services needed at the time of a disaster.

Working with a Third Party

Information Technology
At the time of a disaster, staying in contact with employees, partners, vendors, clients, and the media is a vital link to the success of your disaster recovery program.

Power, technology, space and connectivity can be provided by various third-party vendors. With joint pre-planning, many will be able to deliver your tools within 48 hours of a disaster.

Generators · Servers · Tape Drives · Printers · Fax Machines · Office Space · Desks & Chairs · Phones · Internet Access

Physical Operations
Restoration of your physical business assets is more complex than IT restoration due to the uniqueness of each operation. Particularly equipment or parts of may not be readily available requiring identification of various purchase sources and even potentially stock piling.

A third-party vendor can work with you to determine your specific needs and develop a plan to restore or replace your building, property, and equipment.

Dehumidification · Cleaning · Decontamination · Mold Remediation · Corrosion Control · Water Extraction · Emergency Power

How we can help you

At the Toole Insurance Agency client relationships are strategic, not transactional. We address our clients’ unique risk exposures that are often not identified in traditional insurance relationships. This includes assisting our clients with disaster recovery planning. This assistance may include locating a third-party vendor and review of your current insurance program to determine how coverage will respond to events resulting from your identified hazards. Contact us to begin this risk management review. riskmanagement@tooleinsurance.com

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