On November 17th in the B.S. Roberts Room at OSU Tulsa, Sustainable Tulsa announced at their B2B (Business 2 Business) workshop a new and improved version of their successful Sustainable Tulsa Scor3card that was first piloted last year. It included a number of items related to resilient and sustainable business practices, including the use of low impact development. This year they have added the following item in the Healthy Work Environment category: Develop an emergency response and continuity of operations plan
Graham Brannin, David Hall and Bob Roberts worked with Tim Lovell on creating guidance for this item in the Scor3card. We want to thank Corey Williams and Matt Newman for meeting with us and discussing this important issue and to the entire Sustainable Tulsa team for allowing the Disaster Resilience Network to participate in the creation of this entry.
To find out more about the Scor3card, visit the Sustainable Tulsa website.
To see what we recommended on business resilience and the business case for doing this tied to the 2007 Ice Storm, see below:
Develop an emergency response and continuity of operations plan
Many businesses are not prepared to respond to man-made or natural disasters. Having the proper insurance coverage in adequate amounts is only part of the solution. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, statistics show that of the businesses that close because of a disaster, at least 1 in 4 never reopens. After the December 2007 Ice Storm, a Tulsa Regional Chamber & Tulsa Partners’ sponsored survey indicated that a total of 80% of businesses reported an interruption, with the median interruption lasting 4.5 days. About 42% reported a significant negative impact from this. Businesses indicated in the same survey that existing contingency plans had a positive impact on weathering the interruption. Tim Lovell, Disaster Resilience Network (formerly Tulsa Partners, Inc.)
• Identify critical supplies essential for staying in business or recovering quickly
• Identify critical hardware, equipment, and vehicles essential to your business
• Protect your vital records (research, blueprints, certifications, contracts, insurance policies, legal documents, historical records, etc.)
• Review back up and securing of electronic information
• Identify alternate sources of critical supplies should your supplier or vendor be unavailable
• Identify sources to replace critical hardware, equipment and vehicles in an emergency
• Consider secondary locations for records, electronic data, inventory and business operations should primary location be unavailable
• Identify how critical financial operations such as payroll and accounts payable/receivable will continue in the event of a business interruption
• Review existing Insurance coverage annually and discuss concerns with your Insurance professional to understand your current coverage and what may be available.
• Ask your phone service and internet providers about alternatives in case of a business interruption (call forwarding, voicemail, internet access at alternate location, etc.)
• Consider setting up a contract with a disaster cleaning/restoration company in the event of a business interruption
• Ask suppliers and vendors if they have their own business continuity plans to meet your needs in the event of a business interruption
• If a larger firm, consider contracting with a business continuity and/or information technology professional for complex business functions
Create and Implement plan
• Identify the risks that are most likely to disrupt your business operations
• Identify the critical functions or activities that are essential for staying in business and recovering quickly
• Identify resources available within your business, including trained personnel (first aid, AED, Community Emergency Response Teams, ham radio operators, etc.)
• Identify resources available from external sources, including Fire Department, Police, EMS, Emergency Management
• Create emergency response plans for evacuation, shelter-in-place, lock-down
• Create an easy-to-use recovery plan tailored to specific needs
• Create a communication plan with your key customers, contacts (including personnel and their families), suppliers and vendors
• Review alternate methods of communication in the event of a loss or overloading of cell/landline service ( text messaging, password protected webpage, designated personnel carrying messages by hand)
• Regularly test your plans through simulated, full scale, or table top exercises and drills before a business interruption or disaster
• Engage senior level executives and employees as part of the planning team as well as vendors and contractors with necessary expertise
• Provide floor warden or emergency response team training to employees
• Discuss emergency and continuity of operations procedures with incoming employees
• Develop a “safety culture” by regularly having exercises and drills on emergency response and continuity of operations procedures
• Encourage employees to develop family and individual preparedness plans
• Conduct exercises and drills that effectively test the plans and identify sources of strength and areas of improvement
• Conduct assessment of exercises and drills on what needs to be changed
• Review plans at least once a year
For more information on emergency response and continuity of operations planning, contact:
Disaster Resilience Network
The Disaster Resilience Network (formerly Tulsa Partners, Inc.) has a Disaster Resilient Business Council that offers annual workshops, tabletop exercises, and training. http://DisasterResilienceNetwork.org
Other Local Resources:
American Red Cross
CPR, First Aid and AED training, and presentations on emergency preparedness.
City of Tulsa
Have a plan to protect your business from flooding or other disasters! To learn more about your location’s risk of flooding and how to be prepared, call the City of Tulsa Customer Care Center at 311, or visit the City of Tulsa website.
Oklahoma Safety Council
Safety training for businesses and organizations.
Free Online Resources:
Free individual training and certification: