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These standards represent only the tip of the iceberg, but they should give you an idea of what a standards document should contain and who it should address. The actual document probably won’t contain bulleted lists, but rather detailed information. Then again, depending on the level of documentation your company expects to see, maybe bulleted lists are the best way to go. The typical documents I’ve seen contain phraseology like the following:

Within 30 minutes of declaration of a disaster, the public relations department will provide a knowledgeable employee, director level or higher (preferably a vice president) at the site of the affected facility. This individual will secure a prepared statement from the EMT via fax, or, if fax is not available, via email or Blackberry. Absent such a statement being available, the responsible individual will read the generic prepared statement in the public relations standards document (stating that the company has implemented its disaster recovery plan and that the situation is under control, etc.) and await a more detailed statement and further instructions from the EMT.

The important thing is to think about these situations beforehand, and then integrate the planning into your day-to-day business. That’s why they’re called operating standards.

To recap and summarize:

  • Look carefully at your notification procedures and make sure that if something happens when you or your subordinates are not around, you’ll be notified properly.
  • Pay attention to how you’re notified. You should be included in the procedures for security personnel.
  • Set up support that’s appropriate to the type of disaster you’re evaluating—whether it’s confined to a specific department or building-wide, as this will directly affect your response in the opening hours following a disruption.
  • Define responsibilities by team or department. Involve all relevant departments.
  • Run your final standards by your auditors, legal and regulatory group(s), facilities department, and executive management for final benediction and to ensure that the standards coordinate well with the company’s overall plan.

I hope that these tips help you. Good luck in your pursuits!

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