Disaster Has Struck: First, Take Care of your Employees

Over the past many years, there has been a trend for all business executives, not just technology leaders, to sponsor and act as stakeholders in improving or re-establishing effective disaster recovery and business continuity plans for their organizations.

The first question that’s asked is “how long can we be down?”

This is a difficult question to answer and is best determined on a case by case, company by company situation.  In most industries, it may be acceptable for operations, even mission-critical to experience an outage for a period of time.  Although most organizations strive to maintain their operations with limited disruption during a disaster event, there’s an industry segment of service organizations including emergency responder, roadside assistance and healthcare such as hospitals that must actually increase their service level.  The needs of stranded motorists or injury accidents requiring EMT and ambulance or mercy flight transportation with patients requiring critical care will exponentially test these organizations’ business continuity preparedness and ability to increase service levels and response times.

At the same time, employees of these service organizations may need to tend to personal matters during disaster events such as caring for their family or coping with damage to their homes.  How these crucial service organizations develop their business continuity and disaster recovery plans is essential in considering the human element and ensure realistic anticipations of their employees’ availability.

On-call employees may simply not have the means or ability to arrive at a roadside assistance or ambulance dispatch center where they work and are desperately needed. Employees who are at work may have an urgent situation at home that requires their immediate attention and must leave the office. Both situations dramatically impact an organization to maintain operations let alone escalate service.

Imagine being in the Carolina region this last fall with the heavy floods. First thing is first, and it is usually focused on family and self, first.

Effective BC/DR Plans can also be built upon sub-plans, including:

  • Continuity of Operations Plan
  • Business Resumption Plan
  • Incident Management Plan
  • Employee Emergency Plan
  • Disaster Recovery Plan

Smaller organizations usually lack proper plans

If the organization is large enough, having redundant operations geographically-separated is in most cases, standard practice with most corporations.  However, for smaller, regionally-centric service providers, effective cross training of duties and responsibilities is one proactive way to mitigate a reduced workforce.  Enabling remote access to company systems (given there is power at employees’ homes) is another.  The “people” aspect of your BC/DR plan is essential to take into consideration, whether you are a critical service provider or not.  Similar to when you board an airplane and the flight attendant advises that “in the case of a drop in air pressure, put your oxygen mask on first, then your child’s.”  It’s import that your employees’ emergency needs are tended to with the support of your organization, which will then allow them to focus on their duties.

Don’t be stranded when disaster strikes. Disaster recovery is essential because it could happen at any time and everyone needs to be prepared for it. Learn how you can protect your company, employees and customers with CloudSmartz CloudSuite Solutions.

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