Resources

Business continuity

Overview

In this section we provide a range of resources to help you to develop business continuity plans that are useful and relevant, and to ensure your organisation is as responsive as possible to staff, clients and the community in times of disaster.

We will walk you through a series of questions to prompt your thinking about your organisations planning and preparedness for disaster and other significant disruptions, such as natural disasters, technology failure or sudden loss of staff.

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At each step we will provide you with links to resources that to help you be as ready as possible for challenging times.

Business continuity planning is a four step framework – prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

We will use this framework to help you with considering your organisation’s business continuity planning.

Business Continuity Planning Process diagram

Prevention – building a risk management plan

Your office, buildings and other assets

Some questions to ask:

  • What kind of damage does my insurance cover?
  • Are there any other place that we can use to deliver services or manage our business if we cannot get to our current building?
  • Do we have any readily accessible safe storage spaces, that are not prone to flood or damage from cyclone etc.

Your records, IT and other administration

Some questions to ask:

  • What are the core functions of our business that we need to continue, no matter what?
  • How do we process payroll if we cannot access the building or computer systems?
  • How do we contact staff and clients if we do not have access to the building or computer systems?
  • How is our electronic data backed up?
  • How do we access our data offsite? Have we tested this?

Your staff

Some questions to ask:

  • Are our staff’s contact details held anywhere offsite? If so, where?
  • What are the skills our staff need in times of disaster? i.e. first aid training, administering medications etc
  • Have our staff received relevant training?

Your clients

Some questions to ask:

  • Are any of our client’s details held offsite? If so, where are they, and how are they secured?
  • What are the levels of support our clients will likely need in times of disaster? I.e. support with personal care, meals, medications etc.
  • Are there any other organisations that we can link with to help us care for our clients in times of disaster?

Resources to help

This template is produced by the Queensland Government and will you record, analyse, and prioritise the risks to your organisation. It also has useful templates for contact sheets, and other processes for responding to disaster.

A series of checklists to help your organisation prepare for natural disasters.

An American resource the provides a useful, easy-to-follow guide for preparing your workplace.

Preparedness – doing a business impact analysis

Your office, buildings and other assets

Some questions to ask:

  • What would it mean if we couldn’t access the office? Would we still be able to operate?
  • Who owns the premises and who has legal and insurance responsibilities?
  • Do we have a copy of our insurance policy in our emergency kit or located offsite?
  • What would it mean if we could not access the buildings or houses of our clients?
  • Have we rehearsed elements of our business continuity plan i.e. evacuations, offsite backups and payrolls?

Your records, IT and other administration

Some questions to ask:

  • What would it mean if we could not access our IT systems?
  • Do we have an online backup service? Is it encrypted and secure?
  • What would it mean if we couldn’t process payroll?

Your staff

Some questions to ask:

  • What would it mean if we were unable to contact staff?
  • What would it mean if staff were stranded at the office?
  • What would it mean if our staff could not access our clients?

Your clients

Some questions to ask:

  • What would it mean if we were unable to contact our clients?
  • Are any of our clients dependent on health equipment that needs a power source? I.e. ventilators, monitors etc
  • What would it mean if our clients were stranded away from their support networks?
  • What would it mean if our clients could not access support?

Resources to help

This guide has been developed by the Queensland government and provides a useful framework for assessing the potential impacts of disaster and other business disruptions to your organisation.

This template is produced by the Queensland Government and will you record, analyse, and prioritise the risks to your organisation. It also has useful templates for contact sheets, and other processes for responding to disaster.

This portal has significant information for health professionals working with people threatened by, or affected by, disasters.

A two-page guide has been developed by Tourism Queensland. It provides a quick and easy run through of things to consider when trying to understand what the impact of a disaster could be to your organisation.

Response – what happens during an incident?

When a disaster or a significant disruption to your business is occurring, it is often difficult to find the information you need. The following links can help you get your hands on the right information at the right time.

If you, a member of your team, or any of your clients are experiencing a life threatening emergency, dial TRIPLE ZERO (000).

Resources to help

Go to the Disaster Management website for useful information

Provides information around psychological first-aid, guidelines for providing psychosocial support following disasters, and roles for mental health professionals as first responders.

Recovery – looking after ourselves and others

Disasters and other traumatic events can have a significant impact on clients, workers and organisations. Below are some links to information, tools and resources that can help your organisation and community recover.

Resources to help

Links to helpful information for recognising and responding to signs of psychological distress following disasters.

Useful things to consider to get your organisation back on track following disaster or a significant disruption.

Information on vicarious trauma, how it can impact caring professionals and how organisations can manage it.

Resilient Community Organisations

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has developed Resilient Community Organisations, a toolkit for the community sector to help them measure and improve their resilience to disasters and emergencies.

The toolkit includes:

  • A benchmarking system so organisations can access their current state of preparedness for disasters and emergencies and identify areas of improvement.
  • Six Steps to Disaster Resilence, which provide information and resources organisations need to take action.

Disaster resilience is about ‘bouncing back’ from disasters and emergencies. Disaster resilient organisations can continue to provide services to people in the community despite the crisis and protect the wellbeing of staff and volunteers. In these ways, disaster resilient organisations contribute to the overall resilience of people, families and communities.

Useful links

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