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September 9, 2014

Include These 10 Elements in Your Emergency Preparedness Plan

You've heard that September is National Preparedness Month, but if you're wondering how to make a "Preparedness Plan," a new report from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and RLE Technologies offers some help. High Stakes Business: People, Property and Services, identifies 10 key areas your plan should address, and also provides step-by-step guidance.

The 10 areas to consider:
  1. Define Roles. Determine who is responsible for formation and execution of the plan (typically a facility management team).
  2. Define Mission-critical Functions. Prioritize which functions to protect and which to address first in an emergency.
  3. Define Risks. Assess vulnerabilities, especially to mission-critical functions, and determine their likelihood.
  4. Calculate Costs. Estimate the cost of down-time as well as the cost of preparation and planning.
  5. Monitor Activity. Catch disasters before they occur.
  6. Communicate. Your post-emergency communications plan must be  thorough and adaptable.
  7. Test. You should be confident in your plan and its implementation.
  8. Practice. Conduct drills and exercises to ensure your plan is adequate and familiar to all.
  9. Adapt and Adjust Your Plan. Make adjustments based on regular testing, practice and your changing situations and priorities. Don't just file your plan away.
  10. Crowd source. Develop a network of strategic partners and professionals for good advice when disaster strikes.
According to the study, organizations with an up-to-date plan are better able to handle identified risks and also recover more quickly from unplanned events.

The report is based on discussions and results from the IFMA Emergency Planning and Business Continuity Research Forums, along with the IFMA 2014 Business Continuity Survey.

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