Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Safety at Home

This is the time of year when we produce our annual Safety-at-Home issue. You no doubt have plans for disruptions at work, but have you made a plan for your family and your home? You should think about the same things as you do at work – identifying risk, mitigating risk and responding to emergencies. If you haven’t done this yet, this week we offer some help to get you going. If you have thought about making a plan, maybe these articles will help you refine what you already have.

Protect your employees and their families with the resources, tools and skills to keep them safe and healthy in their homes, on the roads and in their communities. (Item #1) Here’s everything you need to know to keep your kids safe during the holidays.  (Item #2) Use these checklists to make a safety check of your home. (Item #3)

Be smart about fire and electrical safety. (Item #4) Falls are a major problem for older adults; here’s help on how to prevent them. (Item #5) Follow these guidelines for firearm safety in your home. (Item #6)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Testing & Training

While you’re closing out 2013 and getting ready for 2014, make sure you include testing/exercising your business continuity plan on your agenda. There’s no better way to start the new year than by making sure your plan will work and all your people know what they should do if and when a disruption occurs. This week’s articles can provide you with some help.

Do you really want to find out your plan doesn’t work as the building floods or the backup generator fails? (Item #1) Before you know what your testing scenario might be, you need to know a number of other things. (Item #2) Haven’t run a BC test/exercise before? Here’s help. (Item #3)

The success of a Business Continuity Program is dependent on various components working together to achieve a common goal. (Item #4) Testing can be a major challenge to many organizations. (Item #5) Don’t test your plan - Exercise your credit union business continuity plan! (Item #6)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter Weather

As the weather forecasters say, meteorological winter is upon us although actual winter isn’t for a couple of weeks yet. We’ve already seen big storms in some parts of the country, so it makes sense to be sure your organization is prepared for the worst. This week’s articles have good advice for maintaining your operations throughout this difficult season.

Taking these steps will help you prepare your business for winter. (Item #1) Building in accessible? Here’s some help on what to do. (Item #2) Here’s comprehensive advice to businesses on preparing for severe weather. (Item #3)

Advance preparation can help to mitigate winter weather impacts on your operations and business continuity. (Item #4) Although directed at hedge funds, this article has good advice on maintaining communication and remote access during storms. (Item #5) Make sure your home and family are safe as well. (Item #6)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

After the disaster...

We plan and plan for mitigating and dealing with a disaster, but oftentimes we don’t plan enough for what we will do afterwards. Do we reopen? How can we deal with employee stress after an incident? Is cleanup an issue? This week’s articles shed light on the recovery process... read on.

Recovering from a disaster requires help from all stakeholders. (Item #1) Here’s information to help small business owners make post-disaster business decisions. (Item #2) Emotions can run high after a disaster. (Item #3)

How do you pull together after a shooting? (Item #4) What steps do you take after a natural disaster? (Item #5) Determining the financial health of your business is critical to the decision to reopen or not after a disaster. (Item #6) 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Ups and Downs of the Office Holiday Party

While some companies no longer hold office holiday parties, a large number still cling to this tradition as a way of showing appreciation for employees. If you’re having such a party, you may wish to read some of this week’s articles to help avoid legal and other problems. No one wants to start the new year with a lawsuit that could prove financially disastrous. If you’re thinking of dropping the party this year, check item #6 for an alternative idea.

There are certain steps that a company can take to limit liability resulting from holiday parties. (Item #1) A lawyer offers tips to help you avoid holiday lawsuits. (Item #2) Employers may want to consider these court decisions as they begin planning their own holiday parties. (Item #3)

Employer-sponsored parties present certain risks when alcohol is served. (Item #4) You never know when one person's trip to the mistletoe might mean another person's trip to a lawyer. (Item #5) How about a gift instead of a party… one that won’t be taxed and meets IRS guidelines? (Item #6)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Business Continuity Standards and Laws

We've all seen it happen...  a disaster occurs and some businesses make it through but some don't. If your business continuity and disaster recovery plans are aligned with a standard, you're more likely to be among the survivors. This week, we're looking at some existing standards and the legal issues of which you should be aware.

Many laws define minimum requirements for business continuity; here are some you should know about. (Item #1) The legal issues involved in corporate contingency planning are some of the most misunderstood and confusing aspects of the entire process of creating a disaster recovery plan. (Item #2) Here's an overview of US regulations pertaining to business continuity. (Item #3)

Pages 52-61 of this comprehensive document provide information on US business continuity legislation, regulations, standards and good practices. (Item #4) ISO 22301 is a management systems standard for BCM which can be used by organizations of all sizes and types. (Item #5) As a guidance standard, organizations cannot be certified in ISO 27031 like ISO 22301, but the management system follows many of the same steps that experienced preparedness professionals are used to implementing with business continuity planning. (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Worst-case Disasters...

Each year around Halloween, we like to present worst-case disasters that challenge you to think out of the box and maybe even take a new look at your existing plans. This year, instead of looking at disasters of the past, we’re mostly looking at disasters that haven’t or probably won’t happen (except #4 & #6) and asking you to think about how you might handle them, as well as the ones that have already happened.

The CDC helps us figure out how to deal with a zombie pandemic. (Item #1) What do you do if a category 3 hurricane is headed for NYC? (Item #2) These several worst-case disasters of the future could prove challenging. (Item #3)

Food disasters? Really? (Item #4) Here’s advice on surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. (Item #5) Sinkholes have been in the news a lot this year; here’s one that’s ongoing. (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Organizations have typically viewed business continuity plans as insurance against disruptions, but that is not necessarily the case. Even if you have a plan, you still may need business interruption insurance to aid in your recovery.

Since business interruption concepts are intimidating to some involved in crisis management, a good place to start is with an understanding of some of the basics. (Item #1) Business interruption coverage is designed to provide additional money to cover specific kinds of losses and expenses. (Item #2) Before getting interruption insurance, here are some issues to consider. (Item #3)

There are several important points to consider around business interruption coverage and many lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy. (Item #4) What should you do about payroll insurance? (Item #5) Do you have these 13 types of insurance for your business? (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Crisis Communications

If your organization had a crisis today, would you be prepared to handle communications around the event? These articles provide many tips for preparing for and making it through a crisis - with your business and reputation intact.

The basic steps of effective crisis communications are not difficult, but they require advance work in order to minimize damage. (Item #1) When events are unfolding and everyone is searching for information, it is in the organization’s best interest to use as many of its employees as possible to support the crisis communications effort. (Item #2) Here are some crisis communication tips that your brand can take from some experts in disaster relief. (Item #3)

How can you best help your organization communicate effectively in a crisis? (Item #4) The best thing possible is to get in front of a crisis so that you can define the narrative. (Item #5) The short story: ultimately, social media’s role in a PR crisis is a support role to corporate communications. (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Meetings & Events

It has been said that Murphy was a meeting planner. If you are in charge of events for your organization, you know it is true. I am sure you have experienced meetings where anything that could go wrong did; were you prepared enough? It is true you cannot plan for everything, but the more planning you do the better you will be able to handle just about anything that happens. This issue can help you plan for the unthinkable.  

To help insure you stage a successful event, it helps to pay attention to a famous quote. (Item #1) To understand the risk and exposure they and their companies face, experts say, event planners must first understand the fundamental difference between emergency preparedness and security — both of which are critical. (Item #2) What can a planner do in a crisis situation to protect their program? Here are four tips. (Item #3)

Meeting planners who have felt the impact of natural disasters on their events say having a contingency plan is no longer optional—it is a must. (Item #4) One disruption that is often hard to predict is a hotel or convention center strike. (Item #5) This checklist of to-dos gives a framework for dealing with potential crises. Here are the basic steps. (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fire Preparedness

Fire Prevention Week is October 6-12. Since 1925, Fire Prevention Week has been observed in the week containing October 9, to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of October 8-9, 1871, and as a way to inform the public about fire prevention. More recently, October was named Fire Prevention Month. This issue focuses on fire safety in the workplace, but we can not forget safety at home as well (see Item #6).

This five-part article on from offers good information on fire safety. (Item #1) Regardless of its size, a business should identify the most significant fire hazards and determine how to eliminate or reduce them. (Item #2) Fire and safety training empowers workers to create and maintain a safe environment. (Item #3)

If you are wondering about sprinkler systems, read about these myths and whether or not they are true. (Item #4) Here are some tips on developing a fire protection plan for your business. (Item #5) This article will help you create a fire safety plan for your home. (Item #6)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Employee Issues

There are a huge number of employee issues that can impact the continuity of any organization. They can be legal issues, financial issues, bad hiring practices, failure to deal with problem employees, and record handling to name a few. Then, of course, there is the concern about how to handle employees in a disaster and after it is over. This issue discusses many ways you can handle these situations and avoid employee problems.

The human resource part of business recovery is a vital link between the employees that produce the recovery and the plan that guides it. (Item #1) IBHS offers guidance about how to fully integrate the human factor into disaster preparedness. (Item #2) Here are practical tips for managers at all levels of the corporate hierarchy to help ensure effective employee communication during a crisis. (Item #3)

A business disaster is not just about dollars and cents or profit and loss; it is also about the human capital invested in the company. (Item #4) Deal with a problem employee sooner rather than later – before the problem affects your company's performance or reputation. (Item #5) To keep or not to keep (employee records), that is the question. (Item #6)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Reputation Management

In todays social media world, online reputation can be difficult to track and even harder to protect, or change. And how does your online reputation affect your brand? Whether you are selling products, soliciting memberships or charitable contributions, your success may well depend on your reputation, online and off. This issue discusses why reputation is important and what you can do to protect your organizations reputation.

What is reputation and why is it important? (Item #1) There is no way to put a price tag on corporate reputation management. (Item #2) Good online reputation management is not only about reacting well to what people say about you, your brand, or your products and services, but also about whether to react at all and, if so, when. (Item #3)

Do not wait until something goes wrong to see what turns up in a Google search; here is how to stay one step ahead of a reputation crisis. (Item #4) What people are saying online about your brand; the good, the bad and the oftentimes inaccurate; makes all the difference when it comes to winning or losing customers. (Item #5) Here are 10 online reputation management tips to help your business protect its brand. (Item #6)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

National Preparedness Month

Like the bumper sticker says, Emergencies happen; are you ready? September is National Preparedness Month and a good time to focus on making preparedness an integral part of your daily life – and of your familys, employees and everyone else. Share this issue with everyone in your organization, your family, your neighborhood… anyone you think might benefit from it. Be ready… just in case.

Here’s everything you need to observe National Preparedness Month. (Item #1) You can be ready for an emergency in just three steps. (Item #2) This guide from the Department of Homeland Security provides citizens with information to help them be prepared against all types of hazards. (Item #3)

Share this information with your neighbors. (Item #4) Here’s information you can use to prepare a family evacuation plan. (Item #5) The safest locations to seek shelter vary by hazard. Be informed about the sheltering suggestions for each hazard. (Item #6)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Cybercrime becomes more sophisticated and more prevalent every year, and, with the increase in the use of mobile devices, cybercrime is likely to become even more common. Many studies have shown that enterprises are not paying enough attention to protecting themselves from this threat, which costs businesses billions of dollars each year. If you are wondering what you should be doing about cybercrime, this issue will be a good read.

Companies that are not aware of the growing security risks could leave themselves open to cyber attacks and more. (Item #1) Here are five things every small business should know about web threats and cybercrime. (Item #2) Crimeware infiltrating corporate networks, stealing business data and using or trading it for profit, poses a growing business problem for companies and their executive management. (Item #3)

This Q&A with cybercrime experts provides lots of good information about the complex threat of cybercrime. (Item #4) New State of Cybercrime survey finds lack of risk awareness means poor defenses in the enterprise. (Item #5) Follow these steps to investigate a cyber crime in your small business to help find the intruder. (Item #6)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Workplace Violence

While mass shootings make headlines, the majority of workplace violence episodes do not make the news. Each day, employees and managers deal with incidents of assault, domestic violence, harassment, stalking, and threats, as well as physical and emotional abuse that never make the news. Many of these, in fact, are never even reported to company management or to the police. While estimates of the cost of such violence are not exact, estimates run into the billions of dollars. How do you handle workplace violence in your organization? Here is some information that sheds light on workplace violence – what it is and what to do about it.

Workplace violence in America has been on the rise in recent years. (Item #1) What you do post-incident can sow the seeds for preventing workplace violence. (Item #2) A workplace violence policy can go a long way to reducing the risk. (Item #3)

A mediator could help prevent conflict from turning into violence in the workplace. (Item #4) Here are steps employers can take to evaluate risk and prevent workplace violence. (Item #5) As recent workplace homicides indicate, having proactive workplace violence prevention and violence response plans will ensure a better coordination between security and human resources; here are 10 ways to prevent escalation of workplace violence. (Item #6)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Getting Management Buy-In

If you were working in an organization that had no contingency plan or any kind or, at best, only an outdated plan, how could you convince senior management that it is necessary to make a plan or to update the plan you have? This is a problem in many organizations in spite of the plentiful evidence in today's world that such plans are necessary. This week's articles offer help in getting management buy-in.

You need to help management see the value business continuity planning brings to the organization. (Item #1) The first step in your BC strategy is getting management buy-in. (Item #2) Buy-in is enhanced by showing how the bottom line is affected by the BC plan. (Item #3)

Why isn't executive buy-in enough? (Item #4) Here's a unique approach to getting buy-in… and it would work outside law firms also. (Item #5) Management involvement could be as important – or even more so - than buy-in. (Item #6)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Crisis Communications

No organization - big, small, for-profit, not-for-profit, public, or private - is crisis-proof. Regardless of whether you believe it, there is a crisis in your future… perhaps tomorrow, possibly next week or next year, or perhaps not for several years... but it is lurking there. The only real uncertainty is whether you will be ready for it and can prevent it from becoming a full-scale disaster. This issue should help you prepare.

When an emergency occurs, the need to communicate is immediate; here is direction for developing a crisis communications plan. (Item #1) An emergency communications plan must be able to do these eight things. (Item #2) One key way to ensure superior business continuity is to have a clear, well designed plan in place for keeping communications going, not just when an event occurs, but during its duration. (Item #3)

The first step is to establish your crisis communications team and define their roles. (Item #4) Remember, where there is an information vacuum, staff will fill it -- even if they have to make stuff up. (Item #5) If you are new to the new rules of crisis communications, here is a cheat-sheet of sorts, in an attempt to keep the underprepared on the right path. (Item #6)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Business Identity Theft

Identity theft continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, and there are many types of this theft. If your medical insurance information is stolen, someone could be getting care using your information. Or you can be set up to be held responsible for someone elses criminal behavior. Both individuals and businesses can be victims of this crime, and this issue can help you protect your business from identity theft.

The rise in business identity theft puts your business at serious risk. (Item #1) Here is a guide to protecting your business and recovering from business identity theft. (Item #2) Business ID theft can turn your business dream into a personal nightmare. (Item #3)

These suggestions can help businesses and business owners protect customers and employees sensitive personal information. (Item #4) The hard drive of a computer contains all of the data that was on it during the time that you were using it... so how can you safely dispose of it? (Item #5) The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides guidance that can help you make smart, sound decisions. (Item #6)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Meetings and Events

If you have never had a crisis or disruption of a meeting or event, you are obviously very lucky. It happens to everyone – the booth gets to the trade show, but the equipments held up in customs; a blizzard makes it impossible for your speaker to get to the fundraiser; a fire guts the hotel where you are (supposed to be) hosting your conference. Well, all we have to say is: Do not panic! Just remember the five P's -- Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance – and get going on your contingency plans; they will save you.

Good planners need to respond quickly to crises, without losing their cool. (Item #1) What's the probability that a natural disaster will impact your meeting? Planners who have come through a crisis with their meetings and organizations intact have a message for their peers: It can happen to you. (Item #2) You can purchase insurance to finance some aspects of event risk, but damage to your reputation can put you in arrears for years or seal your doors forevermore. (Item #3)

Your investment in planning will help you manage even the largest, long-term incident. (Item #4) Being ethical is just a matter of following a policy. (Item #5) If you’re thinking of undertaking a joint meeting, here is some advice. (Item #6)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cyber & Physical Security

Organizations are focusing more on cyber security, not just physical security. And, increasingly, they are focusing on the convergence of cyber and physical security. How can these two areas reinforce and benefit each other and overall security as well. If you are not familiar with this convergence or if you are considering how to implement a program, this issue may be of help to you.

What is convergence and how will it benefit your organization? (Item #1) The front line in protecting your data and your computer is securing the physical equipment itself. (Item #2) The lack of integration between physical and cyber security creates numerous challenges. (Item #3)

When it comes to cyber security who do you depend on? (Item #4) We need to protect not only our digital assets but also the people for whom those assets were created. (Item #5) This guide can help you determine how to handle cyber and physical security threats. (Item #6)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Safety Month

Each June, the National Safety Council sponsors National Safety Month and encourages organizations to participate in this observance to educate everyone about preventable injuries and deaths. This years NSM theme is Safety Starts with Me. The weekly themes this year include: Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls; Employee Wellness; Emergency Preparedness; and Ergonomics. Bonus topics are summer safety and driving safety. This issue focuses on these six areas.

Slips, trips and falls make up the majority of workplace accidents; here is how to help prevent them. (Item #1) What are the benefits of an employee wellness program? (Item #2) Here is a step-by-step approach to emergency planning, response and recovery for companies of all sizes. (Item #3)

Employers need to pay attention to ergonomics requirements. (Item #4) Share these summer safety tips with your employees so everyone will be safe. (Item #5) Any distractions can endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction. (Item #6)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mass Notification Systems

Mass notification systems (MNS) have become more of a necessity in recent years and should be a part of every business continuity plan. But do you know what you need? How to plan for such a system? If not, this issue could help shed light on this process.

Here is some information on the different types of systems and applications. (Item #1) There are several key steps in planning a mass notification system, described here. (Item #2) Have you included social networks as a channel in your MNS? (Item #3)

Why is redundancy key in an MNS? (Item #4) It is important that you understand the mass notification/emergency communication codes, planning process and available technologies. (Item #5) This information about the new MNS code could be very helpful. (Item #6)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Atlantic Hurricane Season

National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2013 begins May 26th and runs through June 1st. Hurricane hazards take many forms, among them heavy rainfall, high wind, storm surge, shore and inland flooding, tornadoes, and more. The National Weather Service is responsible for protecting life and property by issuing timely watches and warnings, but you have to be ready before a storm approaches. This issue offers readiness help.

Here is what to expect from the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. (Item #1) Are you prepared for the unique HR challenges that result from hurricanes? (Item #2) Are you aware of which if any employment laws come into play when disaster hits? (Item #3)

This brief guide to responding to hurricanes will be helpful in your preparedness planning. (Item #4) This article contains preparedness tips for homes and businesses. (Item #5) What will you do if your office is not available for employees to work from? (Item #6)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Business Continuity Planning

The quote this week reminds us that no matter how much we plan, update, train and test, we will never be done. Most of us know this and are aware that a plan is a dynamic thing... and it only works if it keeps up with changes in the organization and the physical, political, and business environments. We hope that this issue will help you take a new look at your plan and get busy on that all-important updating.

Two companies took different paths; that made all the difference. (Item #1) Here are a few reasons why business continuity plans fail, and how to avoid them. (Item #2) Despite the close attention paid to the details of methodologies and best practices, business continuity plans often are not as successful as they should be. (Item #3)

Here is a business continuity planning checklist that will keep you on track. (Item #4) In a disaster, few people care about the definition of terms, but one sure way to get through the chaos of losing data and facilities is to know the difference between recovery and continuity. (Item #5) This guide will help you to identify potential risks, make preparations for emergencies and test how your business is likely to cope in a disaster. (Item #6)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Employee Issues

Employee Issues

The hiring, firing and retention of employees often can be a minefield of potential problems and liability issues, and it can be difficult to get through these processes without a few explosions. Your best protection against these issues is knowledge of the potential problems and how to avoid them. This issue focuses on several areas of risk and offer insight and expertise on how to avoid them.

There are steps employers can take to help mitigate the risk, or at least help create a defense, if a former or current employee should bring an EPL lawsuit. (Item #1) Potential legal risks are lurking right around the corner when employers make a hiring decision based on information on a social networking website. (Item #2) Employees play an important role in network security; here are five ways you can educate your employees about it. (Item #3)

Is workplace bullying the next big employer liability issue? (Item #4) What is the impact of workplace bullying on your business or department? (Item #5) Based on their experience and observations, experts have observed, over and over, the 10 security gaps identified here and provide advice for addressing them. (Item #6)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Testing, Training & Evaluation of Your Business Continuity Plan

You will never know if your BC plan is really complete and can get the job done, you have to exercise it. Completing the writing/development of the plan is not the finish line; it is really just the start of the process of ensuring the plan will work. This issues focus is on conducting tests and exercises to help ensure you can count on the plan when needed.

Just because it seems to work on paper, who knows if it will work in practice? (Item #1) How do you know how much testing is enough? (Item #2) We will say it again – you do not want to find out the flaws in the plan on the day of the disaster. (Item #3)

The best plan will not work if staff is not aware of their roles and have practiced them. (Item #4) You can increase the value and decrease the cost of effective exercises. (Item #5) Have you considered an audit of your BC plan? (Item #6)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Social Media and Business Continuity

More organizations today are recognizing the benefits of using social media as part of their business continuity strategy. Have you considered using this tool? If so, have you determined what your internal & external communications needs are and a strategy for using the many social networking tools out there? That is the focus of this issue... they shed light of social media and may answer questions you have been wanting to ask.

There are areas of business continuity planning that would certainly be enhanced by applying social media. (Item #1) Social media guidelines are a means to mitigate threats and embrace the opportunities presented by social media. (Item #2) Social media is not going away... we might as well put it to good use. (Item #3)

Social media are most valuable during times of crisis, giving BC planners the opportunity to help educate and lead the deployment of tools such as Twitter in the enterprise. (Item #4) Expert offers tips on assessing your use of social media and creating a strategy. (Item #5) Social media can be an important HR tool. (Item #6) 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Communicating in a Crisis

Communicating in a Crisis

Crises are tricky situations and your crisis communication plan is the best way to navigate a crisis. We have all seen good and bad examples of crisis communication in recent years and can learn from them. We also can learn from these articles covering everything from making the plan to training employees to dealing with the media.

When crisis strikes, remember these seven rules. (Item #1) A well-trained employee will know not to answer any questions posed by the press regarding a crisis unless they have been titled as a spokesperson for that crisis. (Item #2) Releasing important information before it has fully been assessed can come back to bite you. (Item #3)

FEMA provides direction for developing a crisis communications plan. (Item #4) This article goes through all the particulars of how crisis communications plans work. (Item #5) Here are the 12 major principles of crisis communications. (Item #6)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Facility Management

Facilities managers, who usually are responsible for the everyday operations, maintenance and security of the buildings and staff of the company, are tasked with monumental responsibility. Often, this responsibility is added to the other responsibilities of the manager. Whether you have a full or part-time facility manager, this issue can provide him or her with some good ideas and tips.

By involving facility management in the BC planning process, BC professionals can strengthen their programs. (Item #1) Here is the inside scoop on how property professionals have prepared—and learned from—some of the biggest events. (Item#2) Facilities can be the department that identifies and prepares organizations for potential disasters. (Item #3)

Do you know the potential hazards in your facility? (Item #4) The ECT system can help you implement a risk management system. (Item #5) This preparedness planning guide is directed to facility managers and administrators. (Item #6)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Reputation Management

In recent years, occupants of the C-suite are clearly focused on the reputation of their organizations. If your reputation is damaged, your company could be as well... investors won't invest; the most qualified applicants will pass you by; your position among the competition erodes, your top employees could desert you, and you could use customers, members, and other stakeholders. If you haven't been paying close attention to your organization's reputation, this week's articles could guide you on the road to reputation management.

Don't put your good reputation back-of-mind as you deal with day-to-day demands. (Item #1) Managing your organizational reputation online should be a prime consideration. (Item #2) Are you familiar with the six new realities of corporate reputation? (Item #3)

Here is some background on reputation in the digital age plus some basic principles for organizations of all types looking to manage and grow their reputations today. (Item #4) Here are those critical steps to heed to avoid social media crises. (Item #5) Here are some of what's trending in corporate reputation. (Item #6)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Meetings & Events

For meeting and event planners, disruptions usually come as no surprise and many have planned on how to handle them. If you do not have a contingency plan for your meeting or event, it should be an action item on your list. This issue will help you pull things together, whether you are just beginning or updating your plan.

If you do not have a contingency plan for your meetings/events, you should put this at the top of your to-do list. (Item #1) Assessing and managing risk is the best way to begin. (Item #2) We can all learn about contingency plans from the insurance industry. (Item #3)

Here is some advice on various strategies to use if things go awry. (Item #4) Your venue should be just as invested in contingency planning as you are. (Item #5) These tips can help keep everyone safe and secure. (Item #6)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Risk and Business Continuity Planning

The theme for Business Continuity Awareness Week (BCAW) 2013 (March 18—22) is “Business Continuity for the risks you can see and the ones you can’t.” As we’ve mentioned many times, risk awareness and risk management are key components of any business continuity (BC) plan; business continuity helps you address the visible and invisible risks. So, in honor of BCAW, this issue focuses on risk. 

BCAW will be here soon; get ready now. (Item #1) Every organization is at risk and a business continuity plan is a must. (Item #2) Risk assessments are critical to a viable business continuity plan. (Item #3)

What are your risk management priorities for the year? (Item #4) Can your BC plan answer these questions and others specific to you? (Item #5) Risk managers are essential to the process of business continuity planning. (Item #6)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Sheltering in place may become necessary in many types of situations, and every workplace should be prepared to do so. A shelter-in-place incident may not require plastic on the windows and duct tape around the doors; it may be a storm or other disruption in which authorities need people off the streets. This issue discusses many aspects of sheltering in place, including a sample plan that you can adapt to your use.

Knowing what to do under specific circumstances is an important part of being prepared to shelter-in-place. (Item #1) In an emergency, people may not be able to rely on their normal systems of communication. (Item #2) Choosing to take shelter is necessary in many emergencies. (Item #3)

These questions are designed to stimulate thinking about important issues regarding sheltering in place. (Item #4) Sheltering in place in your workplace is similar to sheltering in place at home, but there are some significant differences. (Item #5) You can buy ready-made shelter-in-place kits or make your own… good information here to help. (Item #6)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Exercising your Business Continuity Plan

There are so many things to consider with regard to exercising your business continuity plan. How will you do it? Who should be involved? Did it work? And, of course, Why bother? If you haven’t exercised your plan at least once, completely, in the past year, you can’t know if it will work. Get busy with those exercises!

Why do almost 30 percent of DRPs and BCPs fail when they are activated? (Item #1) If you’re not sure how to exercise your plan, the ABA offers great information. (Item #2) There’s no better way to keep your plan up to date than to exercise it. (Item #3)

Here’s a view of training from the risk management perspective. (Item #4) No matter the scope or complexity of the exercise, several key elements enable the successful outcome of this important component of the business continuity lifecycle. (Item #5) Are your exercises testing or demonstrating? (Item #6)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cyber Issues

For the past 5-10 years, we have seen an increase in cyber crime each and every year. In spite of all the information circulated on the dangers to home and business, not everyone takes sufficient precautions against cyber crime. Take a look at this week’s articles and see if you’re prepared against all possible attacks.

Cyber experts and top government IT security officials have noted a sharp increase in cyber assaults in the past half-decade. (Item #1) Do you know which cyber issues are most prevalent? (Item #2) Here’s a snapshot of data illustrating the imbalance between what cyber criminals actually take and the money spent to protect against digital crime. (Item #3)

Cybercrime increases when the economy is bad, especially among former employees. (Item #4) Increase your business’ likelihood of preventing cybercrime with these five tips. (Item #5) Share these 10 steps with everyone you know to help protect them against cybercrime. (Item #6)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Many organizations consider insurance a necessary evil. Perhaps, however, you should examine your policies and see if you have everything you need to protect yourself and employees - what haven’t you thought about? This week’s articles can lead the way.

Insurance that has great relevance in a business continuity context and that is greatly misunderstood is Business Interruption insurance. (Item #1) Here’s how to use life insurance to secure your business after death. (Item #2) Most continuity plans still overlook the essential question with the most profound impact on long- term financial recovery: Who's going to pay for it all? (Item #3)

Most business owners don’t have interruption insurance; should you be rethinking this? (Item #4) Do all nonprofit organizations need Directors and Officers Liability Insurance? (Item #5) The process of selecting insurance for your business may be tedious, but if calamity strikes you'll be happy that you're properly insured. (Item #6)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


As a result of the 2008 financial crisis and the following worldwide economic difficulties, companies are facing risks that are increasingly unpredictable and challenging. And it’s not just the traditional financial risks that are under scrutiny - so are strategic risk, reputational risk, operational risk, technology risk, and more. This week’s articles may help you reconsider whether you’re managing risk to the greatest degree possible.

The shift to continuity risk management is one that companies and practitioners can ill afford to deny or ignore. (Item #1) Records management can offer protection from many risks. (Item #2) Reduce exposure to loss by managing risk. (Item #3)

In today’s highly connected environment, reputational damage can spread at lightning speed. (Item #4) Risk-based auditing should truly reflect the realities of the risk environment. (Item #5) Businesses consider HCR as having the fourth most significant impact of 11 risks surveyed. (Item #6)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Payroll Continuity

Since payroll is a mission-critical activity, you have to ensure that there is no interruption in it even during a crisis or disaster. Is payroll continuity part of your business continuity plan? If not, it should be. This week's articles provide information on what to do and how. We want to thank Cori Friedrich of Citizens Equity First Credit Union for suggesting this topic.

SHRM takes a look at pay and benefit issues in a disaster. (Item #1) Payroll should be high on the list of preparedness and continuity planning for a small business owner. (Item #2) In a disaster, an employee's need to access their pay is greater than ever. (Item #3)

Issuing employee paychecks on time and accurately are two of the most important tasks a business must handle regularly; are you prepared to do so in a disaster? (Item #4) To pay employees, the company must back up its payroll software and data before disaster takes down the computer system or renders it inaccessible. (Item #5) Employees can't volunteer to work without pay; if the duties they perform benefit the company and are regularly performed by employees, the duties are work and require compensation. (Item #6)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Flu and Business Continuity Concerns

With at least two states already declaring states of emergency due to flu, it's important that you do everything you can to prepare your organization and your employees. While no one is suggesting a pandemic at this point, the fact that the flu has hit so hard and so early means we need to take steps to help keep businesses open if things get worse. This week's articles should help you decide what you need to do... or, if you've a plan already, what else you need to do. Stay healthy!

Take a look at CNN's update on flu conditions across the country. (Item #1) Although we're dealing with a flu epidemic rather than pandemic, there are some good tips in this paper that make sense now. (Item #2) The SBA offers seven steps to take in this flu season. (Item #3)

Educate your employees about the flu… and how to avoid spreading it. (Item #4) Use resources provided by the CDC to help get through the flu season. (Item #5)   Learn how to avoid letting flu season interfere with your business.   (Item #6)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Top Business Continuity Trends for 2013

It is said that knowledge is power, and that certainly is true when it comes to keeping on top of trends that can affect your business continuity/disaster recovery preparedness. The experts offering us tips and information this week make us aware of and make it possible for us to prepare for the emerging risks and trends during the coming year.

Here are some changes that BC professionals see coming in 2013. (Item #1) Cyber attacks on financial services firms have been on the rise. (Item #2) Eleven EMC executives offer their predictions of which technologies and trends will transform cloud computing, Big Data and IT security the most in 2013. (Item #3)

A seasoned risk management professional offers his top picks for emerging crisis issues and high impact risks in 2013. (Item #4) What's in store for 2013? IT professionals need to be prepared. (Item #5) Here are four trends you need to be aware of in 2013. (Item #6)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lessons Learned from Recent Disasters

As we enter 2013, it’s a good time to review your business continuity plans and consider whether you’re doing everything you can to recover from a disaster. This week’s articles look at lessons that have been learned from disasters, especially Hurricane Sandy. Make sure you can survive a disaster by checking out this week’s tips to see if you have to make any revisions to your plans.

Storms like Hurricane Sandy emphasize how important it is to be prepared for anything. (Item #1) One of the most important things is the ability to communicate during a disaster; could you? (Item #2) Joplin’s 2011 tornado taught a lot of important lessons. (Item #3)

People who have lived through natural disasters have a lot to teach us. (Item #4) If social media is part of your BC plan, make sure you know what you’re doing. (Item #5) More lessons from Katrina – we’re still learning. (Item #6)