Don't Let Terrorism Strike Your Disaster and Business Continuity Plans
By Bill Olson
Chief Marketing Officer
United Benefit Advisors
Corporate disaster plans used to be just weather-related, but in today’s world these plans should include acts of terrorism. The recent bomb explosions in the Brussels, Belgium, airport caused more than just death and destruction. It caused fear, travel delays, and a general feeling of helplessness.
In an article on The Society For Human Resources website titled, “Businesses Move to Protect Employees After Brussels Bombings,” they revealed that aerospace manufacturer Boeing already has security measures in place for such events. For example, any Boeing worker in an affected area would receive a security alert with information about what happened along with precautions to take for their safety. In addition, if transportation is affected, then Boeing tries to find other ways to get them safely to their destination.
While Boeing is a large, global company, this could just as easily be scaled down to a smaller company with employees who only work in the United States. Terrorism can happen anywhere and at any time, so companies should be just as vigilant in having a plan in place to communicate with all their employees even if normal lines of communication (phone, text, email) are not available or have been overloaded. They also, like Boeing, need to find ways to ensure their employees get home safely.
Regardless of the disaster, but especially if it’s terror-related, companies need to be able to continue doing business. A continuity plan is essential to ensure smooth operation as well as calming the fears of employees. Counseling and other psychological help should be made available if needed so that employees can continue working at peak efficiency without having other concerns.
Finally, whatever plans are put in place should be tested. Simply having a plan in place doesn’t mean that it’s going to work. Everyone in the company should be familiar with this plan, know how to access it in times of emergency, and carry out their specific function. Companies may not be able to fight terrorism, but they can and should be prepared when it happens.