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Are You Ready?

By: Samm Webb

Summer is here! Most of us are eager to enjoy longer days, more sunlight, and warmer weather, but summer also ushers in increased risk of weather related storms and damage.  So my question is:  Are you ready? 

More precisely, is your business ready? Did you know?  Of all businesses that close down following a disaster, more than 30% never open their doors again. (Source: Insurance Information Institute)  However, by knowing your vulnerabilities and what actions you can and should take, you may be able to reduce the effects of a disaster.

With the broad range of threats businesses face today, an easy-to-use business continuity planning solution is now more important than ever. Companies of all sizes need to ensure that in the event of a disruptive incident, operations and vital functions will continue.  Businesses can be impacted by all sorts of issues ranging from natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes to human-caused hazards such as accidents, acts of violence or terrorism.  We also have to consider technology-related hazards like the failure or malfunction of systems, equipment or software that also have the potential to cripple businesses.

This idea of business continuity may be more top of the mind when we consider the impact of recent weather related incidents.  From the devastating tornados that have ravaged the mid-west to the flooding of the Mississippi river impacting many communities, we are reminded that we can feel the effects of these events at a moment’s notice and we should use these as a reminder that we need to be prepared both at home and at work. The Department of Homeland Security, in cooperation with NIST MEP, the Center for Industrial Services at Iowa State University, FEMA’s Private Sector Office of External Affairs and Ready Office, as well as many large U.S. companies, developed Business Continuity Planning (BCP) software to provide businesses with a tool to create, improve, or update their business continuity plans. The software 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.

In addition, the MEP Centers located around the country are available to assist manufacturers in developing a custom Business Continuity Plan to meet each manufacturer’s unique requirements. So, again my question is:  are you ready?  If not, now you have access to a tool to help you get ready and you can start by downloading the free Business Continuity Planning Suite.

About the author

Samm Webb

Ms. Samm Webb is part of National Platforms Division, her primary focus area is supplier scouting, where she manages the supplier scouting process, educates the MEPNN, agencies, and organizations about MEP Supplier Scouting Services, and facilitates collaborations across the MEP National Network™. Samm has been with the MEP Program for 24 years and graduated from the University of Maryland University College.

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