A Business Continuity Plan does not replace any other emergency management document. It complements and enhances an organization’s emergency management system. It should be customized for an organization’s specific incident recovery needs. Some say an Emergency Response Plan “stops the bleeding,” while a Business Continuity Plan “heals the patient.” Regarding the distinction between a Business Continuity Plan and a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP), a Business Continuity Plan typically is designed based on a Business Impact Analysis, a process that identifies and evaluates the potential effects (e.g., financial, life safety, regulatory, legal/contractual, reputation) of natural and man-made events on business operations while a COOP, being a more simplified plan, is not.
There are many reasons to invest in a Business Continuity Plan. Here are some of them:
- Address gaps in the existing emergency management system, particularly associated with financial and business functions.
- Provide guidance for any interruption in business, such as power outages or other critical supply interruptions.
- Provide policies and procedures restoring essential business functions after an incident.
- Reduce downtime and associated costs.
- Strengthen an organization’s ability to continue serving critical customers during an emergency.
- Improve resource management.
- Improve reputation management.
- Keep employees engaged and employed.
- Improve an organization’s ability to survive through any emergency event.
Return to normal as quickly and effectively as possible with a Business Continuity Plan.