An All Hazards Approach to Response and Recovery from Business Continuity Disasters

An “all hazards” approach to response and recovery ensures a flexible and organized framework for handling a diverse range of incidents.

Step-by-step, this is a basic outline of of how to approach a disaster situation to ensure continuity of your business and effectively manage the response to a disaster and the recovery of normal business operations. This is what a good business continuity program is designed to do.

Response and Recovery Steps

  1. Evacuate (or if appropriate, shelter in place) all persons in the hazard impact area. Emergency response teams should only enter a hazardous area when it is safe to do so
  2. Call in external responders as needed
  3. Activate the Incident Management system (protocols and authority)
  4. Stabilize the situation
  5. Analyze the situation
  6. Account for all persons in the facility or hazard area, and all off-duty employees
  7. Control access to the hazard area or physically secure the property
  8. Assess the damage to resources
  9. Conduct an Action Briefing and assign response tasks, as well as actions to:
    • Mitigate further damage
    • Recover from the incident
    • Ensure business continuity
  10. Conduct media relations and public awareness as necessary
  11. Photograph or videotape the hazard impact for insurance documentation
  12. Restore utilities (power, gas, water, communications)
  13. Restore business functions in order of priority
  14. Remove water, smoke, debris, and contaminated materials
  15. Evaluate the business continuity program and conduct corrective actions for any deficiencies found

See also, Hazard Reference Guides to Natural Hazards and Human Caused Hazards