Business Continuity Tip of the Month   -  May 2005

Don't panic

The decision to invoke your business continuity plans in the event of a huge, disastrous incident such as a major fire, flood, explosion, earthquake or hurricane is a ‘no-brainer’. It’s pretty obvious that all is not well when your building has flames coming out of every window, or is a smouldering hole in the ground, or is under ten feet of water. 

But many ‘disasters’ aren’t sudden and dramatic. They creep up on the unsuspecting victim. What starts as something seemingly innocuous escalates, often through a combination of events, into something far more serious than first suspected. And these creeping disasters can catch an unprepared incident management team on the hop, so that by the time they’ve convened and invoked their plans the situation has got away from them. And once this has happened it can be extremely difficult to regain the initiative and regain control.  

But if the incident management team is smart and convenes earlier on in the process, before the situation has reached epic proportions, it is far more likely to remain on top of the situation. It’s therefore far better for an incident management team to ‘over-react’ and stand down if they’re not required than under-react and be left high and dry.  

So, although there’s no need to panic at the slightest minor problem, an effective escalation process and an incident management team that’s on the ball will ensure a readiness to react promptly and kick the recovery into action before it’s too late.

 


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