Mike McClain, Senior Web Designer & Site Manager
Recorded: March 27, 2013 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT
Amid all the human devastation caused when Hurricane Sandy hit the North-east United States there was a stark realization that many of the plans put in place by “Business Continuity” specialists had been unable to withstand the force of the disaster. As a result, in this vitally important economic region it was anything but business as usual in the aftermath of the storm.
As a company supporting more than 50,000 businesses across the NE of America Regus gained a unique insight into the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the local business community especially with regards to business continuity. As such Regus is going to be presenting an interesting ‘lessons learned’ session answering to what were the reasons for the failure of traditional BC strategies. Having 150 of their own locations affected Regus adopted a “dynamic recovery” strategy itself. Whilst affected in many areas the majority of the Regus business center network was able to keep on working – enabling its customers to carry on running their businesses and even accommodating new customers on a temporary basis. The presentation will be packed with real examples of the experiences described.
Bob Gaudreau is a sales and marketing expert with true global expertise. As Executive VP at the Regus, he’s been instrumental in the company’s global expansion.
|Social Media in a Crisis: Friend or Foe?|
|Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST
By adopting business continuity management, organizations are better equipped to meet the challenges they face when a disruption occurs. ISO 22301:2012 specifies the requirements for setting up and managing an effective business continuity management system (BCMS) for any organization, regardless of type or size. Using and compiling with the standard can help your organization gain confidence in its ability to manage any disruption effectively and demonstrate that you are equipped should the unexpected hit the business. Learn the best practices contained within ISO 22301 and how the standard can lead you through setting up, managing and improving a BCMS.
John DiMaria is a management system professional, responsible for overseeing product roll-out and client/sales education. He is the product expertise spokesperson for BSI Group Americas.
We are very happy to announce that the Disaster Recovery Journal is now available in a mobile version. Our mobile version is just like the hard-copy print edition that you read and enjoy.
Available for Android and Apple devices, Disaster Recovery Journal mobile gives you:
- Relevant articles written by some of the industry's best
- Articles on continuity, enterprise resiliency, records management, IT concerns and more
- Regular columns, surveys and other popular features
Thanks to the technology from Godengo+Texterity, this new app gives you a mobile magazine that is highly readable, portable (download and read offline), searchable, and the articles are formatted specifically for mobile reading.
To download the Android app, visit the Google Play website. This app runs on Android 2.1 and up. This app is free - so go download it now.
Please remember to log in and give us your feedback.
To download the Apple app, visit the iTunes Store. This app runs on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The Disaster Recovery Journal mobile runs on iOS 4.0 or later and is free.
Make sure you give us a review and a rating on the iTunes Store.
You can easily download our magazine from Amazon. Enjoy reading on your Kindle that is running a minimum of Android 2.1. Our mobile magazine is free - so get going and download it. Be sure to write a review of our new app.
We look forward to receiving your feedback on our new mobile app. Don't be shy - tell us what you like and don't like. Happy reading and learning!
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
ISO 22301 details a quality, globally accepted, auditable BCMS standard Like all ISO's, it results from expert work and blessed by 160+ countries.
Organizations can benefit from global acceptance, good practices, and management experience.
This webinar covers the overall need for automation to support ISO 22301, with an exploration of six major program management areas where software can be exceptionally helpful for the new standard, as follows:
- BIA and RA analysis (8.2.2, 8.2.3)
- Resources and planning (8.3.2, 8.4.4)
- Testing and exercise management (8.5)
- Incident response/communications (8.4.2, 8.4.3)
- Audit reporting (9.2)
- Corrective actions (10.1)
Additional areas for potential automation will also be covered.
As we welcome 2013, plans for the 2nd Annual BCI Awards – North America are in full swing. Final plans for the events’ arrival back at DRJ Spring World 2013 in Orlando, Fla., are beginning to hit the airwaves and the 2013 list of award categories have been announced and opened up for initial nominations. The BCI North America Awards were set up by the BCI to recognize and celebrate unparalleled achievement in 10 critical areas of the BCM discipline. Open to all BCM professionals regardless of professional membership and/or certification, the BCI Awards – North America are recognized as the de-facto standard for business continuity professional recognition of achievement in the region. The 2012 inaugural event held true to its billing as a first-class celebration of the “Who’s Who” of the business continuity and disaster recovery space. Playing to a packed house of more than 300 industry professionals, the ceremony exploded
Construction , law questions to consider
Than Just "Staying Inside"
Certified Business Continuity Planner
Most of our business continuity plans include evacuation procedures of some sort.
Many are simply "get out and gather in the parking lot." Only a few organizations have true "shelter-in-place" options.
I use the term "options" deliberately, because "shelter-in-place" is more than just staying inside a building.
Shelter-in-place demands a safe environment.
For many planners considering a shelter-in-place option, the risk comes from hazardous materials. If the organization is located along a busy highway, railway, canal or seaway, if it is near a sea or airport, or if it is situated near chemical plants or other operations which emit dangerous gases, the hazmat risk must be considered the primary reason to include a shelter-in-place option.
But there are other reasons. Two near the top of my list are tornados and earthquakes.
Unfortunately, there still are other reasons, such as bombs. The bomb may not be intended for your facility, but if your facility is in close proximity to it … bombs are non-discriminatory.
An occasional correspondent told me of two "shelter-in-place" incidents which occurred with his organization, a large insurance company.
One incident goes back to Sept. 21, 2006 and a "fire down below" event in Philadelphia. A fire and related gas buildup caused explosions in the sewer lines beneath the city's streets. The explosions were so powerful that they sent man hole covers flying into the air and shook nearby buildings.
My correspondent's organization has offices in two adjacent high-rise buildings. Each building apparently has independent management; one building was evacuated, the other was not.
The evacuees left the relative safety of the buildings for the dangers of the street and flying "maintenance hole" covers, each weighing more than 100 pounds (55 kilo).
On the other hand, since at the time no one knew what was going on, those who remained in the building could have been killed had the building collapsed. (This seems to make a good case for identifying the danger before making a move; rather like touching a door to see if it is cool before opening it to an area that may be engulfed by fire.)
The second incident happened in another town when someone placed a bomb across the street from my correspondent's facility.
It wasn't much of a bomb – he said the folks in the office reported it looked like a small gasoline can – and it was not intended for this organization, but it was a threat and the people of the office did go to a safe room.
The first consideration of any shelter-in-place option is to determine the safe room specifications.
From what risks is the "safe room" supposed to provide safety?
In most parts of the United States and Canada, the most common threat is a tornado. Tornado-proof rooms have been around for some time and their value is proven.
In California and, actually, many other places in North America, earthquakes are a concern. Perhaps not as high on the probability scale as tornados, but requiring consideration. Earthquake-resistant structures are commonplace in Japan and are gaining acceptance in parts of North America.
Elsewhere, along rivers, railroad tracks, major highways, and near ports of all types, hazardous material accidents are a threat. Locations near chemical plants must be considered at risk for a hazmat accident.
The best time to plan for a safe room – regardless of threat – is before a structure is designed. Unfortunately, business continuity planners rarely are invited to express their thoughts at this stage. (Perhaps we should make ourselves available to architects as a "value-added service.")
Creating a "safe room" in a low-rise building - according to the U.S. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a building less than 75 feet/25 meters high - as the building is being designed should be a simple and relatively low-cost option. Retro-fitting a safe room into an existing structure is another matter.
"Safe rooms can be included in the design of high-rise structures,” according to Janice Olshesky at the Olshesky Design Group in Alexandria, Va. “The effectiveness of the shelter will depend on the ability of the building in which the safe room is located to withstand damage and remain standing. While the shelter must be able to resist debris impact, it is not reasonable to expect the safe room to withstand the weight of the building crashing down upon it.
"There are many ways the building can be structurally strengthened in new design. These ways would include incorporating continuity, redundancy and ductility into the design which would allow a damaged building to bridge over a failed element and redistribute loads. This will limit the debris that might otherwise fall down upon the hardened safe room," Olshesky explained.
As far as retrofitting an existing structure, she said that safe rooms can be retrofitted into existing low-rise and high-rise buildings. An existing area that is retrofitted to serve as a shelter is unlikely to provide the same degree of protection as a shelter designed as new construction.
"While retrofitting existing buildings to include a shelter can be expensive and disruptive to users, it may be the only available option. When retrofitting existing space within a building is considered, interior conference rooms, stairwells and other areas that can be structurally and mechanically isolated provide the best options.
“I do not know what the cost would be" she added.
Is it Legal?
Can you force someone to stay inside when they want to leave?
What happens if Jane Doe needs to go pick up little Susie at day care while the building is locked down? Of if Frank of Finance needs to take Frank Jr. to hockey practice? Or simply that according to Mabel, "it's time to go home, so I'm going."
Can an employer or employer's agent – a business continuity planner, for example – force a person to say inside when the person may be injured by going outside? How about preventing a person from leaving because in the process of going out, the risk – chemical, human, something we can't foresee – will enter the safe area? For that matter, can someone be obliged to stay with the group during an evacuation?
I am not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV, but I will make one suggestion: if your organization anticipates having a safe room, have policies and procedures in place spelling out - in simple, unambiguous language – what is expected of all personnel and make certain that all personnel acknowledge that they have read, understood, and accept the policies and procedures.
And hope there are no claustrophobic clients or vendors in the building when the lockdown commences.
Something to consider when creating the policies and procedures to allow or deny a person to endanger themselves and others by leaving the safe room: if people have to stay inside past their normal shift, do they get paid? Can they make personal calls? What about food – will the junk food machines be unlocked and staff allowed to raid them? And, by the way, what about people with special diets?
Evacuating to the Parking Lot
At the beginning of this exercise I hinted that having people stroll out to the packing lot may not be the best way to design an evacuation plan.
First, there needs to be a buddy system to help assure that everyone exits the facility. There also needs to be "hall monitors" or "fire wardens" who have the authority to "clear the halls" of lingerers. Very senior management must sign up for evacuation exercises and join the peons in filing outside. If the boss can stay inside on an inclement day, why not me? Right?
Second, people need to have something between them and the building they just abandoned.
If there is a fire, there could be an explosion. If there is an explosion, there could be flying debris. The evacuees need to put some protection between them and the flying debris (even if it "only" is glass from a broken window).
Congregating in a parking lot adjacent to the evacuated building probably is congregating too close to danger. On the other hand, the cars in the lot might provide some protection from projectiles. Other things sometimes found in/near parking lots also may be helpful – dumpsters are fine, but generators are "iffy" since where you have generators you usually have fuel and that is a hazard on several levels.
Congregating in a parking lot has an additional disadvantage – emergency responders (fire, police) will be coming with their equipment and having the building's occupants blocking the way will prove counter-productive.
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a
publication which recommends ways out of a high-rise building (75
feet/25 meters or higher). As with most U.S. government publications,
the 2-page Evacuating High-Rise Buildings Fact Sheet is available to
download for free from the Internet at
John Glenn, MBCI, has been helping organizations of all types avoid or mitigate risks to their operations since 1994. Comments about this article, or others at http://JohnGlennMBCI.com/ may be sent to JohnGlennMBCI@gmail.com.