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Assessing Preparedness at Your Organization

After seeing what Ted Sheppard had to say, you probably have some questions for your own experts regarding the vulnerability of your business. Let’s consider a few starting questions that you might ask after taking a good hard look at the environment surrounding your company, inside as well as outside, including the effects of the economy you may be supporting.

  • What are our risk factors?
  • For department heads: What is a priority to you? What is critical to maintaining "business as usual"?
  • Where do these critical items reside? Are they easy to replicate if everything is destroyed?
  • Suppose you’re able to acquire equipment for redundancy, and then you have to move to an emergency location. Will the backup equipment be in parity to what you have now? In other words, if you’re currently running equipment or software on old versions, will your new site be able to run those versions, or will upgraded equipment and software make what you have obsolete and unusable? Which brings up the next question: Do you have a rapport with your vendor so that if disaster happens, you’re taken care of swiftly and reasonably? During a disaster is not the time to find out that your vendor is out to make money from your crisis by offering you inferior equipment, service, or both. You certainly don’t want to be charged double the price because you need something right now.
  • Do our executives need a model to visualize damage before it happens, or do they "just know"? Are they ignoring the facts, or do they have a definite plan?
  • If we have a plan, how stout is it? Do the people in charge know how to implement the plan? Are they willing to do so?
  • Has the plan been tested? If so, what were the results? Were those results documented? Was the plan tested again, and documented again? If it hasn’t been tested, why not? Is it safe to wait until something happens?
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