Business Continuity in an Emergency

10 Minute Assessment

This is a quick assessment for you to see how far you have got with business continuity planning.
The assessment has been split into sections for ease of reference; ideally you should have all of these criteria fulfilled. Answer Yes, No or Don't Know

1. Policy

  1. Do you have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)?
  2. If yes, have you tested your plan within the last 12 months?
  3. Do you have a policy for when to activate your plan?
  4. Do you regularly review your plan?
  5. Are your staff trained in activating your plan?
  6. Has the idea of Business Continuity Planning been approved?
  7. Is there someone in your organisation who will have responsibility for looking after the plan?
  8. Is the plan documented clearly and easily accessible?

2. General Assessment

  1. Have you made a list of all key contacts’ telephone numbers?
  2. Have you got a list of all employees’ telephone numbers?
  3. Do you have vital information stored on back up discs held off site?
  4. Have you familiarised yourself and your staff with the location of the mains switches (ie electricity, gas, water, etc)?
  5. Have you checked that all plumbing is in working order?
  6. Do you check that the heating and air conditioning is working on a regular basis?
  7. Have you prepared an emergency pack?

3. What do you do on a day-to-day basis

  1. Do you carry out end of day inspections? i.e. to check everybody has left
  2. Do you make sure that all appliances are switched off?
  3. Do you check all doors and windows are locked?
  4. Do you make sure that you have a clear desk policy?

4. Building Facilities

  1. Do you have evacuation procedures for your building?
  2. Are the fire exists clearly marked?
  3. Do you regularly practice fire drills?
  4. Do you have primary and secondary evacuation points?
  5. Do you have a plan of your building?
  6. Does your building(s) require 24 hour 7 day access?
  7. Do you have fire safety procedures in place?
  8. Do you have generator back up systems in place?
  9. Do you have an alternative building to use in an emergency?

5. Personnel

  1. Do you have an up to date and regularly reviewed job description and hierarchy chart for your organisation? (include temporary and contract workers)
  2. Do you have staff personnel information on file? i.e. communication with next of kin (include temporary and contract workers)
  3. Do you and your staff know what to do in an incident?
  4. Do you know where to go for advice and information?
  5. Do your staff know who is in charge in the time of a crisis?
  6. Has you staff been given specific roles to do in the event of a crisis?
  7. Have you thought about dealing with people issues – relocation arrangements, etc?
  8. Do you have members of staff with first aid or medical training?
  9. Do you have any staff trained in evacuation?
  10. Do you have any particular staff with critical and unique skills?

6. Paper and Electronic Documents

  1. Do you copy / back up your information?
  2. Do you store your paper documents in reinforced containers?
  3. Have these plans been reviewed within the last 12 months?
  4. Do you have copies of your files and accounts in a separate location?
  5. Is someone responsible for the upkeep of your files and accounts?

7. Security

  1. Is there a security system installed?
  2. Do you have a security policy?
  3. Do you give any advice or training on security?
  4. Do you check references fully?
  5. Are contractors checked fully? (ie company as well as individual)
  6. Do you regularly check the integrity of external fences and doors?

8. Equipment

  1. Do you have someone accountable for the assets of your organisation?
  2. Do you have controls over the movements of your equipment?
  3. Have you completed a recent inventory of your equipment?
  4. If yes, is your inventory stored electronically?

9. IT

  1. Are your IT systems critical to the running of your business?
  2. Do you have a tested IT disaster recovery plan?
  3. Is your computer anti virus software up to date?
  4. Are computer errors and logs adequately monitored?
  5. Are documented IT security policies and procedures in place?
  6. Are all computer users fully aware of email and internet usage policies?
  7. Do you know how many platforms / servers / applications or operating systems support critical business functions?
  8. Is your company system part of a larger network?
  9. Do you know how long it would take to recover IT functions?

10. Suppliers / Stakeholders

  1. Do your key suppliers / stakeholders have a Business Continuity Plan?

11. Customers

  1. Do you have the correct contact details for all your customers?
  2. Do you have any key customers who you will need to be in constant contact with during a crisis?
  3. Would it affect your business if one of your key customers went out of business?
  4. Do your customers require that you have a BCP?
  5. Do your customers have a BCP?

12. Location

  1. Have you thought about the types of risk that might occur due to the actions/operations of other businesses near to you? Ie sewage works and risk of pollution
  2. Have you thought about the types of risk associated with the environment? ie water, climate, etc.

13. Insurance

  1. Do you have sufficient insurance to pay for disruption to business, cost of repairs, hiring temporary employees, leasing temporary accommodation and equipment?
  2. Do you have your insurance company’s details in order to contact them immediately at the time of the incident?

14. If you have prepared an emergency pack have you included the following essential items

  1. Business Continuity/Recovery Plan
  2. List of employees with contact details
  3. Details of IT providers
  4. Contact details for clients and suppliers
  5. Building site plan
  6. Spare keys
  7. Computer back up discs
  8. First aid kit
  9. Stationery

15. If you haven’t already, you might want to include these useful items

  1. Torch
  2. Megaphone
  3. Spare batteries
  4. Tape
  5. Message pad and flip chart
  6. Coloured pens and pencils
  7. Mobile phones (with credit)
  8. Dust and toxic fume masks
  9. Disposable cameras

Where you have answered “DON’T KNOW” this may indicate that further enquiries need to be made. If you have answered “NO” to any of the questions this may indicate that you need to consider the specific issues when undertaking Business Continuity Planning.