Emergency mgt

Crisis and Emergency Management and Business Continuity Planning

Organizations today face heightened threats to their businesses, such as unauthorized access to information and physical assets, theft, fraud, vandalism, fire, natural disasters, terrorist threats, damage and equipment failure. Further, federal government departments, as a minimum, must ensure a business continuity planning program is in place to ensure that an acceptable level of critical services can be provided in the event of a service disruption that affects the health, safety, security and economic well-being of Canadians, and the effective functioning of government.

Crisis management relates to executive managements’ responsibility to deal with situations that challenge one’s sense of appropriateness, tradition, values, safety, security or the integrity of the organization. Crisis management generally relates to and is seen as communications with stakeholders: clients, staff, suppliers shareholders etc. on what the situation is, how it came about, how it is being handled and what will be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Emergency management is how an organization deals with an abnormal situation that requires prompt action, beyond normal procedures to limit damage to persons, property or the environment. For some organizations, handing emergencies is what they do. Fire departments, health agencies and organizations such as the Red Cross are in the business of planning for and responding to emergencies and the challenge for these organizations is handling the surge in activity. For most other organizations, emergencies are things that happen to them: fires, burst water pipes, power outages etc. that affect the health, safety or security of staff and building occupants. In these cases, emergency management relates to ensuring systems and procedures are in place.

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) generally relates to the ability of an organization to prepare for and respond to service disruptions or situations that result in an interruption in the provision of critical services, whether that is the denial or limitations to accessing people, the workplace or systems/processes.

The four elements of a successful business continuity program include:

1. The establishment of a BCP governance structure
2. The conduct of a business impact analysis
3. The development of business continuity plans and arrangements
4. The maintenance of BCP program readiness
5. Competitive Insights has extensive experience in established governance structures; conducting impact and vulnerability assessments; assisting federal government departments develop and refine their business continuity plans and strategies and has assisted programs prepare to manage high risk security events and business interruptions.