A key part of any business continuity plan is documenting what to do in the case of an emergency. This means that, when disaster strikes, there is already a plan in place that can be followed in order to minimise the implications. A disaster could simply be loss of power for a short period of time or it could mean all or part of the business premises are unavailable, damaged or lost. Whatever the case, having a document outlining what to do is vital.

Ideally, this information should be outlined clearly in a document that is stored in both digital and paper formats. The document should also have at least two copies stored off site in secure locations so that the information is still easily accessible even when the premises aren’t. The document should be ‘owned’ by an appointed business continuity representative or manager.

As with all parts of the business continuity plan, the emergency procedures document is a working document and should be regularly updated and tested. Just like you would have a regular fire drill, emergency procedures should be practised so that all parties involved know what to do if a disaster were to actually happen. This also includes involving third parties, such as workplace recovery sites or back-up server hosts.

Businesses come in all shapes, sizes and formats, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It is up to each and every business to design and maintain a plan that works for them. This can be done in-house or with the help of a business continuity consultant.

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