Proactive Recovery – Part II
Resuming operations is the end-goal of any effective business continuity / disaster preparedness plan. The more resolute the plan, the faster your business can return to its normal operations. In addition to saving your business untold financial losses, an expedient return to normal operations also results in a quicker recovery time for the community at large. We have discussed at length the role the private sector plays in the economic recovery of the communities in which they do business. Therefore business resilience results in community resilience.Here are a few tips to resume operations soon after an emergency or disaster:
- Immediately activate your predetermined recovery team. Brief them on the established priorities you reviewed during practice scenarios and trust them to execute the recovery plan. Also, be sure to brief all employees, even those not directly involved in the recovery efforts.
- Continue to ensure the safety of personnel on the property. Your recovery team is most vulnerable during the immediate recovery process, avoid a secondary disaster by ensuring security at the incident scene at all times.
- Keep detailed records. Audio recording, photograph, and video evidence is of paramount importance towards your insurance claim. Your insurance policy will help you return to normal business operations as soon as possible.
- Account for all damage-related costs. Establish special work-order numbers and change codes for purchases and repair work.
- Follow notification procedures. Notify employees’ families about the status of personnel on the property. Notify off-duty personnel about work status and overall job security. Notify insurance provider and appropriate government agencies.
- Physically secure your facility. Protect undamaged property by restoring power, sealing vulnerable openings to your facilities, removing smoke, water, and other debris, and restoring sprinkler systems.
- Conduct an investigation. Coordinate actions with appropriate government agencies.
- Salvage whatever fixed and mobile assets you can. Segregate damaged fixed and mobile assets from the undamaged property in your fixed and mobile asset inventory. Keep damaged goods on hand until an insurance adjuster has visited the premises.
- Audit your fixed and mobile asset inventory for damaged goods. This is where maintaining total asset visibility is crucial – knowing the number and condition of your fixed and mobile assets prior to a disaster will help you reconcile the damage following an incident. Think of total asset visibility as your baseline from which to compare the current status of your assets against the pre-disaster status. This is how you assess damage and loss.
- Assess the value of damaged property. Assess the impact of business interruption.
- Restore equipment and property. For major repair work, review restoration plans with the insurance adjuster and appropriate government agencies.
- Maintain contact with customers and suppliers.
Employee Support – Your employees are your most vital asset and this is especially true in the days and weeks following a disaster. Take care of your employees by considering these services you can provide or arrange for:
- Cash advances on salary and pay rates
- Guaranteed salary continuation
- Flexible/reduced work hours during recovery efforts
- Crisis counseling
- Care packages
- Day care