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General Information:
301-975-5020
mfg@nist.gov

100 Bureau Drive, M/S 4800
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800


Preparedness Planning for your Business

Did You Know?
  • Of all businesses that close down following a disaster, more than 25% never open their doors again. (Source: Insurance Information Institute)
  • Large companies are now evaluating preparedness plans when selecting suppliers to ensure continuity in their supply chains.
  • Local MEP Centers around the country are available to assist manufacturers in developing a custom Business Continuity Plan to meet each manufacturer’s unique requirements.
  • Download the complimentary Business Continuity Planning Suite.

Watch how the Business Continuity Planning Suite Introductory Video: created by the Department of Homeland Security, this video introduces viewers to the concept of business continuity planning and highlights the benefits of having a plan.

Business Continuity Plan
bcpWith the broad range of threats businesses face today, an easy-to-use business continuity planning solution is now more important than ever. Companies ranging from small businesses to large enterprises emphasize the value in ensuring that in the event of a disruptive incident, operations and vital functions will continue without a severe drop in services. Businesses need to prepare for the impact of natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and widespread serious illness such as the H1N1 flu virus pandemic. Human-caused hazards such as accidents, acts of violence or terrorism, and technology-related hazards like the failure or malfunction of systems, equipment or software also have the potential to cripple businesses. 

 

For businesses with the need to create, improve, or update their business continuity plans, a Business Continuity (BCP) Planning Software Suite was developed to help get them prepared. The Suite is scalable for optimal use by organizations of any size and consists of business continuity plan training, automated BCP and disaster recovery plan (DRP) generators, and a self-directed exercise for testing an implemented BCP. Businesses can utilize this solution to maintain normal operations and provide resilience during a disruption.

The Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with NIST MEP and MEP’s Iowa Center (Iowa Center for Industrial Research and Service), FEMA’s Private Sector Office of External Affairs and Ready Office, Boeing, General Electric, Johnson Controls, General Motors, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Caterpillar, U.S. Steel, Smith & Wesson, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, and Zero International partnered to develop Business Continuity Planning (BCP) software for businesses with the need to create, improve, or update their business continuity plans. The Suite is scalable for optimal use by organizations of any size and consists of business continuity plan training, automated BCP and disaster recovery plan (DRP) generators, and a self-directed exercise for testing an implemented BCP. Businesses can utilize this solution to maintain normal operations and provide resilience during a disruption.

Consideration of risk is necessary; however not all risk can be fully avoided and businesses may need to accept partial residual risks. Business continuity planning is the tool used to manage these residual risks. Using the data derived from the process of developing a risk management profile, business continuity planning takes the next step by assuming that a disastrous event will, in fact, occur in the future

Download the Business Continuity Planning Suite.


Suite Components:

I. Business Continuity Training: A 30-minute video-based course examining the importance of business continuity plans and prepares users to write their own plans. It is broken into three main segments:

  1. What is business continuity planning?
  2. Why is business continuity planning important?
  3. What is the planning process?

The training contains an introductory video and interviews with a DHS Sector Coordinating Council member who has successfully implemented a BCP. Upon completion of the training, users should possess a basic understanding of business continuity, the process for completing a business continuity plan, and the motivation to complete their own plan using the Suite’s generator.

II. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan Generators: The Suite’s BCP and DRP Generators were developed to guide businesses through writing their own plans, with functionality similar to automated tax preparation tools. The BCP Generator builds a plan that guides a company through any disruption to a return to normal operations, while the DRP Generator develops a plan specific to a recovery of information technology systems. Both Generators have a “Save and Exit” feature allowing plans to be completed in increments if needed. The “Print” option allows hard copies to be produced and disseminated to appropriate parties.

III. Business Continuity Plan Table Top Exercise: The final component of the Suite is a self-directed exercise that tests an implemented BCP allowing users to gauge the effectiveness of their BCP and DRPs. This Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program compliant table-top exercise focuses on a business’ recovery efforts following selected disruptions intended to represent a broad spectrum of threats, including a hurricane, earthquake, ice storm, or power blackout. The goal of the exercise is to improve a business’ overall recovery capabilities and collective decision-making process. It is designed to be a thought-provoking exchange of ideas to help develop and expand existing knowledge of policies and procedures within the framework of an organization’s BCP implementation.

Local MEP Centers around the country are available to assist manufacturers in developing a custom BCP to meet each manufacturer’s unique requirements. In addition to providing assistance in the area of business preparedness, the nationwide network of MEP Centers is equipped to provide manufacturers with assistance to help them develop new customers expand into new markets and create new products. Subsequently, creating and retaining U.S. jobs, increasing company profits, and saving time and money

For more information about the Business Continuity Plan, please contact:
Samm Bowman
samm@nist.gov
(301) 975-5978