Washington D.C. Earthquake! HR Managers at ‘Epicenter’ of Emergency Planning, Response

August 23, 2011 – 4:06 pm | By Todd Leeuwenburgh | Post a Comment

As the earthquake that shook Washington, D.C., area today demonstrates, damage to your primary place of business can occur suddenly and without warning. Having a crisis management plan on the ready is essential to minimizing the interruption to your business.

The business continuity plan improves the company’s capacity to return to business, thereby minimizing financial losses and preserving customer relationships. A plan can help reduce insurance premiums. And it can reduce the company’s exposure to civil or criminal liability.

The HR manager is an integral member of the crisis management planning team. The HR manager fulfills the company’s moral responsibility to protect employees while they are at work.

Here are a set of basic recovery steps business will want to plan in advance to get back on its feet.

1)      Use your company’s specific response, recovery and resumption plan

2)      Coordinate efforts to respond and recover through organization amd administration; random efforts will not benefit anyone

3)      Establish a command center for response and recovery on-site or nearby if possible

4)      Initiate your business resumption timeline to provide benchmarks in response and recovery

5)      Ensure primary backup records at another location are not allowed to be damaged or accessible to potential theft.

6)      Communicate with all individuals involved with the disaster response recovery

7)      Monitor critical community relations avoid too much information or wrong information that may have to be retracted.

8)      Record the response, recovery and resumption process for liability purpose and insurance claims.

These tips and a lot more are in the HR Guide to Business Continuity, a comprehensive instructional volume on how to keep your organization functioning in the event of a catastrophic event, including power failures, flooding, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, workplace violence and pandemic outbreaks.


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  1. [...] should have in place not  just a disaster plan before a crisis hits (see here, here and here) but also a “business recovery” plan for a post-crisis response that: (1) assesses damage to [...]

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