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‘East Kentucky Flood,’ an original documentary by the Center for Rural Strategies, is available for streaming at the link below.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.“
The actions taken in the initial minutes of an emergency are critical. The correct response at the correct time will save lives, minimize damage, and assure the continuity of business operations. Having a well established Emergency Action Plan (Business Continuity Plan) is vital to the ongoing success of our collective efforts to serve The People of Appalachia to the best of our ability.
This page aims to assist our Members in all aspects of disaster response, continuity planning, and resource preparedness. Here you will find links, resources, stories, and templates that are freely available for use.
1. Preform Risk Assessment & Business Impact Assessment
The first step to constructing an Emergency Action Plan(EAP) is to conduct a Risk Assessment (RA) and Business Impact Assessment (BIA). Generally, both assessments work in tandem to determine the most likely disasters that threaten the efficacy of your organization. This will help you to see any outstanding areas of focus. This process can be as simple or as complicated as necessary to allocate the most accurate and appropriate information for your organization. Listed below are links to various examples of RA and BIA that are free to use for your own preparedness efforts.
Risk Assessment (RA)
Business Impact Assessment (BIA)
2. Develop Business Continuity Strategies
Following the RA and BIA is the development of continuity strategies. These strategies are a direct result of the information gathered during the previous assessments, and aim to find solutions before, during, and following operational disasters. The primary goals of your continuity strategies are to soften the initial impact by planning ahead, reduce the duration of the disaster as it occurs, and expedite the recovery process. Below is a collection of examples for development of your continuity strategies.
- Ready.gov – Disaster Strategies Quick Reference Guides
- Kentucky SBDC – Navigating a Business Crisis
- FEMA – Insurance and Documentation Rundown
- Kentucky SBDC – Re-Opening Checklist
3. Document Business Continuity Plans
Based on the continuity strategies that have been developed, the Emergency Action Plan (EAP)/Business Continuity Plan (BCP) itself will be organized, constructed, and implemented. Review the continuity strategies, decide on an appropriate template, and begin laying out the reaction and recovery process of all likely disaster events. The continuity plans themselves must clearly and concisely state the immediate and specific steps to be taken during and after a disaster or disruption. Specificity is required for step-by-step processes (such as recovering data or shutting off valves) yet some may require more flexibility (dangerous person or inclement weather). In addition to the disaster plans themselves, you are highly encouraged to include the following:
- Disaster Response Teams – groups or individuals tasked with specific roles during emergencies or disasters.
- Contact information for all employees
- Contact information for all adjacent organizations and individuals (plumbers, electricians, police, attorneys)
- Floor plans for all locations (noting areas of high importance such as shut off valves, pilot lights, and exits)
- Roles and responsibilities of management
- templates for quick and accurate data collection and note taking
Listed below are examples of EAP/BCP for use as a template or idea in constructing your own. Note that although these plans are comprehensive for their respective businesses, your plan may appear vastly different depending on priority, size of your organization, and the number of likely disasters. Remember, the choice of content and how much information to include in the plan is yours. For some businesses this plan may consist of a simple two or three pages, for other organizations the plan may run twenty or more pages in length. The key is to individualize the plan to the needs of your organization, which only you and your team can do.
- Kapnick – Sample Business Continuity Plan
- CDC – Emergency Action Plan Template
- Yale university – Business Continuity Plan Quick Start Guide
- Eastern Kentucky university – Building Emergency Action Plan
- Yale University – Guided Business Continuity Plan
Trainings and Webinars
- FEMA – IS-235 Emergency Planning
- FEMA – IS-271 Anticipating Hazardous Weather & Community Risk
- FEMA – IS-1300: Introduction to Continuity of Operations
- FEMA – National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Insurance Agent Training Course
- National Housing Conference – Disaster Resilience: Preparation, Mitigation, and Recovery
- HUD Exchange – Housing Counseling Webinar: Delivering Group Education on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness
- HUD Exchange – Housing Counseling Webinar: Flood Insurance with FEMA
- HUD Exchange – Housing Counseling Webinar: How to Support Disaster Housing Counseling Clients
- HUD Exchange – Housing Counseling Webinar: Disaster Recovery Through an Equity Lens
At The Office
- US Chamber Foundation – Small Business Disaster Preparedness
- Red Cross – Employee Evacuation Procedures
- FEMA – 100 Person Sheltering Item Catalog / Mass Care Contract and Agreement
- Ready.gov – Personal Workplace Preparedness Kit
- Ready.gov – Emergency Contact Card Template
- FEMA – Quick Reference Supply Checklist
- FEMA – Commuter Emergency Plan
- Red Cross – Preparing For Disaster
- WHO – Boiling Water Microbial Inactivation Chart
- Safe Smart Living – Preparedness Kit (Bug out bag)
- OSHA – Regulation 1910.38 – Emergency Action Plans
- Yale University – Business Continuity for General Audiences
- Ready.gov – Crisis Communication Do and Don’t
- FEMA – Flood Map Open House (mapping and FEMA representative contact)
Articles & Media
Points of Interest
Johns Hopkins University – Worldwide COVID-19 Tracker
US Air Quality Index – National Fire and Smoke Map
HRSA – Active Grants Map
- FEMA – Disaster Relief Fund Congressional Report (January 2022)
- Geneva Humanitarian Charter and Standards – The Sphere Handbook (latest; 2018)
- DRI – International Continuity Professional Certification
- Verizon – Frontline (responders, non-profit, emergency lines)
- KJTechnology – Failed Business Continuity Plans
- American Rivers – America’s Most Endangered Rivers (Annual Publication)