Business continuity planning requires thinking about contingencies.

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Business Contingency Planning

From burst pipelines to unexpected fires to medical emergencies, it is impossible to predict exactly what disaster situation your business may face. However, creating a comprehensive contingency plan provides a coherent framework to guide your response to a crisis. Contingency planning requires you to think methodically about your facility, its strengths and its areas for improvement.

What Is Business Contingency Planning

When an emergency occurs and an organization's crisis management function activates and moves to the forefront of operations, the importance of the contingency plan also flashes into relief. The organization's key members should be able to address the crisis using the protocols and lessons that they picked up through contingency planning. Systems should allow a business to fashion an organized response to a crisis, with members of the team understanding their roles. Successful crisis management involves all members of an organization working to limit an emergency's impact and damage and to restore operations back to normal as soon as possible.

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Contingency planning is the act of assessing business risk in various areas and developing primary plans and alternate plans for handling unpredictable situations. Small business contingency plans typically address everything from natural disasters that strike a business to drastic downward shifts in the economy that significantly impact earnings. Contingency planning allows a business to develop workable solutions and directives should a feared event occur.Comprehensive contingency planning helps a business deal with unexpected occurrences and helps them recovery quickly and get back to full operations. Say a small business has contingency communication plans in place for reaching employees and customers if typical business communication tools are compromised. This business positions itself for reconnecting with employees, regrouping efforts and keeping customers apprised of the business’ status. This leads to faster recovery and resumption of regular operations.

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Business Continuity Coordinator (or Contingency Planning Coordinator) - The specific employee or position assigned responsibility for preparing and coordinating the business continuity process. This individual should typically be from a business organization in the agency, not from the IT organization.

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Contingency planning for larger businesses generally deals with unexpected events that affect the financial health, professional image, or market share of the company – things like floods, supplier disruptions, or even a large unexpected order. Large firms have bank accounts that, combined with a solid contingency plan, can facilitate quick recovery.

Contingency Planning: Addressing Critical Business

The identification of vulnerabilities is a vital step in contingency planning and the implementation of countermeasures that prevent an incident or limit its impact if it does occur. A vulnerability is a weakness in a business system, a security procedure or internal controls, which can be exploited by a threat source. Some vulnerabilities can be eliminated or minimized through operational or technical solutions specified in a contingency plan. However, it is not possible to eliminate all risks.