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In our business, we constantly work with clients, converting paper records to electronic images, storing and managing backup media, paper records storage and access, and other facets of records management.
But as Hurricane Isaac slowly heads into Arkansas, the subject of business interruption seems pertinent. Our firm meets every Wednesday for an hour or so to discuss and document and invest in what is called business continuity planning.
The basic framework of our process is as follows. We discuss and write down all possible situations that can impact our business. Natural disasters like winter storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, lightning strikes, etc. are listed. We also list any situation we can think of that would impact Arkansas Records Management. This includes internet service interruption, power failure, computer viruses, employee absenteeism, holidays, and vandalism/theft.
Once we have an extensive list, we scale the threats for likelihood to occur on a scale of 1 to 5. 5 is the most likely and 1 is the least likely. And then we scale the list on impact to our business with 5 having the most impact and 1 having the least impact. We add the two numbers together for each threat, and attack the threats with the highest scores first and the lower scores last. This way we are addressing the most likely threats with the highest potential impact on our business.
Then, with each threat we go through scenarios where this threat occurs and write down how to prepare for it, purchase necessary supplies, and think through the logistics of having the needed supplies and plans where they need to be to be effective during the threat. The solutions for many of the threats overlap, and we list all of these on sheets of papers in binders as well as electronically, and store these documents in different places.
For instance, with Isaac, we filled vans and generator with fuel, re-tested generator, cleared warehouse floor of anything that might be impacted by flooding, called key clients to handle all standard records work prior to threatening weather, made sure client, utility, vendor, and personnel lists are ready to go. We also check to make sure that our key software and hardware is loaded and ready to go on portable devices, and we are ready to service clients during and after storm.
I hope this provides and little food for thought. We pray that Hurricane Isaac comes and goes without loss of life or property.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at Arkansas Records Management if you have any questions or problems.
David Reagler, President