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Prepare and Anticipate

Document Your Business Functions

Before creating a resiliency plan for your business, make a list of what keeps your business running today.

Inventory List

As a business owner, you know the equipment and machinery that are required to perform critical business functions. Make an inventory list and keep it easily accessible.

Time estimates: Each resource has an estimated amount of time you should set aside to complete the action item. Duration will vary depending on your business’ unique characteristics, including size, industry, location and more. Make sure to review the form ahead of time to gather the documents, employees and equipment you’ll need to complete it.

Essential Business Functions

Create a list of business operations and prioritize from most to least critical to keeping your business running. This step is one of the most important and will require some extra effort on your part, but it’s the foundation of your resiliency plan.

Business Process Dependencies

Now you’ll figure out your business “dependencies” – processes that rely on other components in order to be completed.

An example of a business dependency: Take marketing as an example. What key personnel, equipment, suppliers, and information does your marketing strategy and execution depend on?

Once you map out your business dependencies, you’ll be able to respond quickly if any of them experience a disruption.

Contact List

When a disaster strikes, immediate communication is more important than ever. Update your important contacts.

Identify Impacts of Disruption

Disaster Risk Assessment

Can you identify the biggest threats to your business? Depending on your location, business type, and a range of other factors, each business faces different risks. Once you have a list of these risks and prioritize them, you can develop a resiliency plan that allows you to prepare effectively and invest your time and money wisely.

Use one of the vulnerability assessment tools to assess the threat of different disaster scenarios on your business.

Recovery Needs

Based on your risk assessment, you should now figure out the recovery needs for each of your essential business processes. This will tell you where to invest in recovery capabilities – such as backup communications and power, alternative office space, and emergency computer systems and hardware.

Business Continuity Plan

Your recovery needs will help to guide your business continuity plan. Develop a plan for minimizing the impact of your largest vulnerabilities on customers, employees, and business assets while meeting legal, regulatory, and contractual obligations. Considerations should include impacts of setbacks such as short-term power outage, loss of water, loss of internet, loss of cellular telephones.