Posts Tagged ‘risk assessment’

Emergency Preparedness Vocabulary for Business

Friday, February 1st, 2013

More words to know!

The more you read about Disaster Recovery and Emergency Preparedness, the more abbreviations and acronyms you come across. Many of them are already in use in business – like KISS , or Keep It Simple Stupid. But as in every industry, some words creep in that are not explained, and that you are simply expected to know. If you don’t know them, you feel stupid or confused or both.

Here are some of the common words I’ve come across in dealing with preparedness in the workplace. (It’s a companion piece to our earlier list of emergency preparedness vocabulary.)

This is by no means a complete list, but it’s a good start for talking with or or writing to industry professionals!

Risk Analysis Chart

Simple tool for assessing risks facing the business

Business Acronyms and Definitions

BAU – Business As Usual. If this is the state you want to return to AFTER the emergency, then it’s considered something positive. However, BAU is often used when projecting what the future will be like if we go on with BAU instead of making suggested changes.

BIA – Business Impact Analysis. One step in the process of building an Emergency Preparedness Plan. It describes and measures what would happen to the different business functions in the event of an accident, disaster or emergency. The analysis covers both financial impacts as well as non-financial impacts, such as loss of customer or supplier confidence, etc.

BP — Best Practices. Methods or techniques that have shown the best results over time and around the country (or world) and that have become the standard for the industry.

CBCP – Certified Business Continuity Professional. This is the most well-known certification in the industry. It is offered by DRI International (Originally the Disaster Recovery Institute). The certification requires more than two years of experience, with proven expertise in five different subject areas, and requires continuing education.

DR/BC — Disaster Recovery/Business Continuation. These two expressions are often used together, but DR seems more closely tied to the protection and restoration of data and information technology systems, whereas BC refers to the whole business.

KISS — Keep It Simple Stupid. A classic reminder for educators, salespeople and for those who design Emergency Plans!

RA – Risk Analysis. Risk analysis is one of the first steps to building an Emergency Plan. Risks are identified and rated by likelihood and by likely impact, often using a matrix showing frequency/importance.

RM – Risk Management. This is closely tied to Risk Analysis, and typically covers actions the organization can take to prevent or lessen the risks identified in the analysis.

SME – Subject Matter Expert.  You? Your local Fire Chief? Head of a department? Facilities manager? Whoever knows the most about the topic/risk/equipment/impact under discussion!

SOW – Statement of Work. If your organization decides to hire a consultant to help in developing your Emergency Plan, you’ll likely ask for, or actually provide yourself as part of the consulting contract, a statement of work that outlines exactly what is to be done by the contractor.

Action Item: This is a list that can easily be shared with co-workers or with your boss. It will give everyone a sense of confidence in dealing with Emergency Preparedness, particularly if it is a new subject.

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team





Survival in Condominiums and Apartments — Special Risks

Sunday, April 1st, 2012
high-rise apartment building

Where are the exits?

A more complex planning challenge for neighborhood CERT teams

It’s one thing to divide up a residential community made up of single family homes or duplexes into workable groups or “divisions.”

Apartment complexes are yet another matter. The construction variables, layout of the building, number of units per structure and more all have to be taken into consideration. How many units per floor, natural or man-made separations or barriers are there? Are elevators the main source for access? What is the general demographic makeup of the units . . . elderly, children, singles, etc.?

Laying out Emergency Planning Guidelines 

Multi-family buildings have advantages and disadvantages and have to be
thoroughly analyzed when establishing the emergency planning guidelines.

  • “Block Captains,” for example, may really be Floor or Wing Captains.
  • Depending on the number of units, a building may only have one Captain and one assistant.
  • Larger buildings will likely require more volunteers.

Whatever the ultimate designation, the number of residences one person can handle to check up (and report) on are limited by the distances and obstacles between units.

Action Item:  If you live in a multi-family setting, and are building an emergency plan for your own safety, you will need to consider the layout and quality of your building.   Do a property assessment to determine potential risks, evacuation routes, etc.  You will also need to consider the readiness of your neighbors. . . but that’s subject for the next few posts!

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

This is such an important topic that we have written a full report on Apartment Survival, and then added even more details in the Apartment Guide, part of our Survival Series. Please check them out.