The Multi Purpose Emergency Tool at DRIE Ottawa Conference

 

Thank-you to everyone who provided us with new idea’s for our multi purpose tool at DRIE Ottawa June 2014. Vanguard EMC Inc recommends including equipment within your emergency operations centre or recovery kit(s) that can be used for a variety of purposes.  This will often make your kit smaller, lighter and easier to store.  As part of our promotional items, Vanguard gives away a free multipurpose item. These six ideas were suggested to us today:

  • Rain Gauge: Place outside on the ground to collect rain.
  • Gopher hole cover: To keep the critters in.
  • Wheel for my little red wagon?
  • Automotive oil catcher: Drip, drip, drip…
  • Bright Bird Bath:
  • Flower pot dish:
  • Vanguardspring2012 017

If you think of more uses for this item, please let us know below. To obtain your free multipurpose tool speak with us at the DRIE Ottawa annual conference in June or at any of the quarterly meetings.

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Vanguard EMC endorses the Reaching Resilience BC/EM conference 2013

There is a lot of choice when it comes to quality business continuity and emergency management conference style educational opportunities in Canada and the US.

The WCDM in Toronto in June is always a big attraction and has provided our profession with many years of sessions to reinforce our knowledge and provoke our thought. EPICC in Vancouver is another venue that has been available for professionals in the Western provinces.

The 2013 Reaching Resilience Conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Center on May 27, 28, 2013 is a focused learning event that is organized by Malcolm Smeaton who in his previous role with the Ontario government chaired a similar event for six years from 2007 to 2012. Each year that conference was a great success, thanks primarily to the support of delegates and presenters. Reaching Resilience includes speakers on security, business continuity, cyber security, life safety, workplace violence, privacy and crisis management. Speakers came from the public service, academia, police, military, business, industry and the legal community. They also hail from all across Canada and the United States.

This year, three members of our Vanguard EMC team will be presenting at Reaching Resilience on the topic of Getting the Best Value from Exercises. In our practice, Lisa Maddock, Cynthia Wenn and I participate in the detailed planning, facilitation and report creation for many medium and large scale exercises including multiple rooms and simulation cells. While providing our clients with methodology, advice and experience we have also garnered a significant amount of exposure to the subtleties regarding what works and what does not. In addition, we have developed some unique methods of simulating communication and social media that will be helpful to the Reaching Resilience conference delegates.

We believe there is good value in this conference and encourage you to look at the program on their web site 2013 Reaching Resilience Conference

Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

Improve your Business Continuity Strategies tip 10 – Implementation

These ten tips will hone your skills at devising business continuity strategies for your organization.

Tip# 10 Determine who will manage the implementation

A separate project manager may be needed for each of the large initiatives.  The business continuity professional may or may not be involved in the implementation. Where the business units are leading, regular progress reports need to be made to the business continuity team. The business continuity professional is than free to move on to the next stage in the BCM process.

A review to ensure that the appropriate continuity options have been selected for each activity should be carried out at least every 12 months. However, re-examine the BCM Strategy when a BIA revision identifies significant changes in business priorities or processes including:

  • key technology, telecommunications, accommodation, staffing, service suppliers
  • new products or services
  • regulatory or legislative requirements
  • or after an acquisition or merger.

Choose the business continuity strategy that is right for your organization at this time. As BCM continues, exercising may show that new strategies are needed to bring your organization resiliency in line with the BIA expectations. Remember that you will never develop the perfect strategy on the first try.  Following these tips should help you to improve your techniques for devising business continuity strategies for your organization.

(For more information on DRI’s professional practices please read Professional Practice One – Program Initiation and Management DRII Professional Practices  June 1, 2012 Version 1)

‘When planning for war, I have always found plans to be useless, but planning to be invaluable.’ General Eisenhower

Improve your Business Continuity Strategies tip 9 – Contract Wording

These ten tips will hone your skills at devising business continuity strategies for your organization.

Tip# 9 Ensure contracts are tightly worded

Ensure contracts have clearly defined technical specifications and service requirements and are supplemented by a service level agreement. Understand your vendor’s business continuity plans and risk of being impacted by the same event.

Return tomorrow for our final tip on Business Continuity Strategies.

(For more information on DRI’s professional practices please read Professional Practice One – Program Initiation and Management DRII Professional Practices  June 1, 2012 Version 1)

‘When planning for war, I have always found plans to be useless, but planning to be invaluable.’ General Eisenhower

Improve your Business Continuity Strategies tip 8 – Funding Approval

‘When planning for war, I have always found plans to be useless, but planning to be invaluable.’ General Eisenhower

Your program is now moving along smoothly. The risk evaluation and the business impact analysis (BIA) have produced valuable information and senior management has signed off on your recovery time and return point objectives.  Now you must establish how your organization will meet these objectives. These ten tips will hone your skills at devising business continuity strategies for your organization.

Tip# 8 Seek approvals for funding

Senior management should not see any surprises at this stage. If your research was sound, quotes should come in within your estimates.

Return tomorrow for our next tip on Business Continuity Strategies.

(For more information on DRI’s professional practices please read Professional Practice One – Program Initiation and Management DRII Professional Practices  June 1, 2012 Version 1)

Improve your Business Continuity Strategies tip 7 – Know your Vendors

These ten tips will hone your skills at devising business continuity strategies for your organization.

Tip# 7 Be exhaustive in checking out vendors of business continuity services

Understand any risks associated with your vendors.  Begin your research by reviewing the press releases usually readily available on their websites. Explore the financial stability, management team, focus, and technology claims of prospective vendors.

Check references and try to determine whether they have experience providing these services during an actual emergency.

Avoid the gimmicks! Select a service provider you can trust by eliminating those who use questionable sales tactics.

Return tomorrow for our next tip on Business Continuity Strategies.

(For more information on DRI’s professional practices please read Professional Practice One – Program Initiation and Management DRII Professional Practices  June 1, 2012 Version 1)

‘When planning for war, I have always found plans to be useless, but planning to be invaluable.’ General Eisenhower

Improve your Business Continuity Strategies tip 6 – RFP’s

‘When planning for war, I have always found plans to be useless, but planning to be invaluable.’ General Eisenhower

Your program is now moving along smoothly. The risk evaluation and the business impact analysis (BIA) have produced valuable information and senior management has signed off on your recovery time and return point objectives.  Now you must establish how your organization will meet these objectives. These ten tips will hone your skills at devising business continuity strategies for your organization.

Tip# 6  Develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) if warranted

Preparing an RFP for large procurements is often required in organizations.  When preparing your business continuity strategies, it is essential.  Clearly specify your objectives.  Develop an RFP which includes:

  • Redundancy capabilities
  • Alternate staff
  • Workarounds
  • Surge capacities (ie: cross training of critical resources, stockpiling of critical supplies)
  • Minimum hardware requirements
  • Networking requirements (from alternate locations to home site)
  • Plan exercise options

Your request must include a confidentiality clause, a priority clause and a guarantee of delivery clause.

Return tomorrow for our next tip on Business Continuity Strategies.

(For more information on DRI’s professional practices please read Professional Practice One – Program Initiation and Management DRII Professional Practices  June 1, 2012 Version 1)

Prepare your business for Hurricane Sandy

The perfect storm is moving slowly up the eastern seaboard today.  All businesses within its path should be activating their business continuity plans or at least reviewing them.  Your business, even if it does not sustain direct damage from the storm, could be impacted by prolonged power failures. I have a few simple reminders to include on your list today.

  1. Check your back-up generator to ensure it has enough fuel to last you through three or four days
  2. Review with your staff any critical staffing requirements – provide clear instructions to those who are not required
  3. Gasoline – remind staff to fill up their vehicles and fill the tanks of the corporate fleet
  4. Communication is key – look into renting or purchasing a Satellite phone – the most reliable during a storm
  5. Meet with key incident response players remind them of their role in the incident
  6. Update your go bags and Emergency operations centre equipment (often things disappear over time)
  7. Use up or clear out perishable foods wherever possible

We do not often have days to prepare before an emergency. Take full advantage of it.

Improve your Business Continuity Strategies tip 2 – Examine alternate strategies

‘When planning for war, I have always found plans to be useless, but planning to be invaluable.’ General Eisenhower

Your program is now moving along smoothly. The risk evaluation and the business impact analysis (BIA) have produced valuable information and senior management has signed off on your recovery time and return point objectives.  Now you must establish how your organization will meet these objectives. These ten tips will hone your skills at devising business continuity strategies for your organization.

Tip # 2 Examine alternate strategies that could meet the BIA requirements

Prepare to make recommendations by reviewing the various types of recovery alternatives. Begin by examining the following traditional recovery methods:

  • Alternative site or business facility
  • Cold, Warm or Hot Sites
  • Drop Ship/Quick ship agreements
  • Manual Procedures
  • Mitigation
  • Mobile Trailer
  • Reciprocal agreements
  • Work from Home

This list is not exhaustive and your search should not be limited by it. Review internal assets for use in the recovery.  Search out external business resources using tactics such as Requests for Information (RFI), queries and professional organization reviews.  Validate your understanding with other business continuity professionals.

Discuss business continuity strategies with vendors that provide critical goods and services to your business. How do they plan to service you? Can you leverage their continuity strategies?

Return tomorrow for our next tip on Business Continuity Strategies.

(For more information on DRI’s professional practices please read Professional Practice One – Program Initiation and Management DRII Professional Practices  June 1, 2012 Version 1)

Improve Your Business Impact Analysis tip 10 – Participant Review

These tips will help the business continuity management professional focus their efforts on collecting valid data from credible sources.

Tip #10 Give participants a chance to review your analysis of the BIA results before submission

Participants need to verify the report. With additional time to think, people may have changed their mind on key conclusions, information could have been misconstrued, or simply overlooked.

Do not publish the entire BIA report in the business continuity plan.  A prioritized list of your business functions should be available somewhere in your plan; typically an appendix.

A business continuity plan based on a poorly researched or a phantom BIA will not have any relevance to the way that your organization operates.  A strong and focused business impact analysis will provide the data needed to evaluate business continuity strategies and build a credible plan.

Return tomorrow for discussion on Business Continuity Planning and the Incident Management System.

(For more information on DRI’s professional practices please read Professional Practice One – Program Initiation and Management DRII Professional Practices  June 1, 2012 Version 1)

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