A continuity plan is a written document that outlines how your business will continue to operate in the event of a natural or manmade disaster.
Assuming your organization has a good continuity plan, how do you know when, how and who will activate it? Depending on the nature of the disaster or emergency, there will come a time when the team must decide to resume normal operations.
HR Matters is a trusted resource for expert human resource management tips, techniques, explanations, compliance-related information and more. This webpage provides guidance and direction to local, state, federal agencies, tribal governments, the private sector and other non-government organizations as it relates to continuity planning. State Continuity Program GuidanceThe updated California Continuity Planning Guidance and Plan Template (December 2009) provides direction to the State executive branch agencies for developing continuity plans and programs. 32 page MS Word template and 7 Excel spreadsheets as well as Business Impact Analysis, Damage Assessment Report and Test Report templates.
Disaster Recovery Template: Benefits This Disaster Recovery Plan will help you establish procedures to recover systems following a disruption.
Whether a hurricane or tornado strikes your town or a terrorist threat disrupts service, having this type of plan ensures operations can even though your physical location is damaged or threatened. The following steps may be used as a guideline for your company's activation procedures, though the will need to be adapted to your organization. The company's leaders as well as the continuity plan leadership team should be ready at a moment's notice to monitor the impending disaster, if it is known in advance. If the company's physical location must close, use the contact list in the disaster plan to activate a phone tree or a series of people to call, who in turn call others, to notify them of the disaster.
Most plans call for critical services to be established at a separate facility, data restoration, and disaster monitoring. Be sure that the monitoring steps in the activation plan include frequent reports back to the core team on the status of the facilities and normal operation.
Continuity planning facilitates the performance of executive branch essential functions during all-hazards emergencies or other situations that may disrupt normal operations.

It describes the IT framework and procedures to be activated in the event of a disaster occurring. Once a written plan is in place, make sure all your employees know what is in it and the procedures for activation. For example, a hurricane provides ample warning; the weather service usually warns of hurricanes up to a week in advance, and many other natural disasters also have some warning time, such as snowstorms and ice storms. Each team should implement the appropriate steps in the plan to get their respective work areas up and running. For example, in the event of a hurricane, building damage needs to be repaired and perhaps electricity restored to the office building where the company is housed.
In order to ensure that baseline of capability in all the key planning element areas, a Continuity Plan Evaluation Checklist has been created and included in the Continuity Planning Guide.
The ultimate goal of Continuity Planning is to ensure that the State of California is able to continue its vital governmental services and operations under all conditions.
Three or more people ensure that even if someone is out sick or on vacation, you have someone ready to step up and take the lead to activate the plan.
If the disaster has already occurred, you will still need to monitor the situation to understand the potential delays, long-term consequences, and other variables. During the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, the organization may need to relocate employees and critical facilities to a safe and intact facility. Continuity cannot occur without the commitment and dedication of many partners who play integral roles in providing critical business functions and vital services throughout California.
The Continuity Plan Evaluation Checklist is a self-certification that an agency has developed and is maintaining a continuity plan that reflects the most current state and federal continuity planning standards and best practices.
For this to take place, state agencies must have plans in place to carry out their departmental essential functions without interruption. This old organizational framework has changed and the new emphasis is reflected throughout the updated California Continuity Planning Guide. As soon as authorities say it is safe to return to the office building, however, the plan must conclude.

The Governor, through Executive Order S-04-06, expressed his commitment to ensuring that the Executive Branch agencies and departments are ready to respond and recover from natural and man-made incidents. As recommended in the updated federal continuity directives, California now uses the reference to “Continuity Planning” as an overlapping integration of continuity of operations and continuity of government concepts.• Risk Management, as an essential tool in continuity planning, has been incorporated.
The core leadership team must make the call to move everyone back to the original location. In the face of multiple and diverse catastrophic possibilities, it is accepted that risk-a function of threats, vulnerabilities, consequences-is a permanent condition. Applying a disciplined approach to managing risk will help to achieve best progress, long term success, and overall effectiveness and efficiency.
The Checklist should then be mailed to CAL OES according to the Continuity Planning Guidance Document. The planning resources and tools included in this program can be used whether an organization is starting from the very beginning of the planning process or merely updating plans already in place.
Schedule for submission is contained within the guidance and provided for quick reference below. If there are agencies that are not listed on the Schedule, please contact Cal OES at (916) 845-8777. Recommendations for addressing the similar planning requirements of Continuity Planning and Technology Recovery Planning (TRP), formerly known as Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP).
A discussion of the similarities between government and business models of continuity.An introduction of the new Continuity Planning Self-Certification Program (explained below), which promotes the regular update of state agency Continuity Plans.

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