Preparing for the Unexpected: Developing a Business Emergency Continuity Plan

Does your business have a plan in place that enables it to continue running in an emergency? If your employees are dispersed, do they have instructions on where to go or how to report to work? No matter if your business is a remote company or you have your employees in the office, it’s essential to have a business continuity plan (BCP) to keep your business up and running. 

What is a Business Emergency Continuity Plan? 

A business emergency continuity plan (BECP) outlines how business operations will continue running in a disaster or disruption; before, during, and after. Developing a BCP is essential for any business that wants to ensure minimal disruption in case of unplanned downtime. 

What are the Steps to Take to Develop a Business Emergency Continuity Plan? 

The following five steps can help you create a business emergency continuity plan. Be sure not to skip out on the last step, as it is one of the most important.  

Step 1: Assess Your Risks 

The first step you should take in creating a business emergency continuity plan is to assess the risks your business faces. This includes recognizing the hazards around you: 

  • Are you susceptible to natural disasters? 
  • How likely are power outages? 
  • Are you at risk for cyber-attacks? 

Once you assess and potential for each risk, use the information to prioritize the risks and address them in your plan. 

Step 2: Develop a Continuity Strategy 

Once the risks have been recognized and prioritized, the next step is to develop a strategy surrounding the risks. You should identify the critical business functions and decide who and what processes are needed to keep them running. This helps outline what is needed to keep the business running during and after an emergency. If additional resources are necessary, it can be budgeted for. 

Step 3: The Action Plan 

Once the risks and strategy have been developed, it’s time to put an action plan in place. This should be detailed and document the steps to take to implement the strategy. 

  • How the company responds to emergency within the first hours 
  • Relocation steps. Is there an alternate office or remote work policies put in place? 
  • Assessment of any damage and business recovery process 
  • Restore and rebuild 

Excel Telecom has resources available to help with your business continuity. They will work hard to keep your communications up and running.  

Step 4: Training and Communication 

Once the continuity plan is developed and ready to be put in place, it’s time to communicate the plan and train all employees. Leadership will need to know their roles in the event of a disruption and contributors will need to know how to contact their managers to continue operations. Communication and transparency are essential. 

Step 5: Conduct Test Runs 

Regular testing and reviewing of the business emergency continuity plan is essential to make sure it’s effective and current to today’s standards. This should include simulated scenarios and exercises where the test is conducted in real-time. This pokes holes in the plan and finds weaknesses and holes where improvements can be made. 

What’s the Difference Between a Business Emergency Continuity Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan? 

A business emergency continuity plan is a document that details how business operations will run in case of an emergency. It outlines the business-critical functions, resources needed, and how to resume business operations back to normal. 

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is part of the overall BCP that deals with technology systems and data used by the company. It documents the steps needed to restore damaged technology, infrastructure, and data and how to get them up and running quickly. 

Excel Telecom Can Help with Your Business Emergency Continuity Plan 

By following the steps outlined above, you can help ensure your business remains operational during an emergency. Excel Telecom can help with your business continuity, whether it’s implementing technology to support teleworking or consulting on your plan, Excel has the experts and know-how. Contact us today and let’s start the conversation on a BCEP.