Business Continuity Plan

​​​Public Safety Canada provides a step-by-step guide for business continuity planning. Ensuring that your business has a plan to deliver critical products and services after a natural disaster will help you better manage risk.​

​Why Plan?

A business continuity plan can help ensure that your business’s critical operations are not disrupted after a disaster, such as a fire, hurricane, ice storm, earthquake or catastrophic flooding.

Critical Questions 

To develop and test a business continuity plan, Public Safety Canada recommends you ask the following questions:

  • How severe are potential threats? Which situations require proactive planning? What scenarios require documented follow-up activities?
  • What does your business insurance cover? Are there any loss situations that are over-insured, underinsured or uninsured? 
  • Who will back up your key personnel? Does your triage contact information include landline, email and cellular phone numbers? 
  • How will you notify your staff when you activate the plan? How will you communicate with your employees, customers and suppliers during and after a disaster?
  • Do you have an alternative site to meet your office and/or information technology needs? Are these locations easily accessible by public transit? Are workers able to telecommute?
  • Who will keep your business continuity plan? Do they have a copy of the plan at home?
  • What counselling services will the human resources department be able to access after an emotionally charged event?
  • How frequently does IT test backups and preventive measures?   

5 Elements of a Business Continuity Plan

The Government of Canada recognizes that it is in the best interests of every business to consider that even a low-probability event can occur. The Public Safety Canada publication A Guide To Business Continuity Planning, offers ideas for creating a plan, what to be aware of in the event of a business interruption and links to additional resources. When developing a plan, it encourages business owners to consider:

  1. Governance. Assign individuals the responsibility of maintaining and activating the plan.
  2. Business impact analysis. Know how services are interrelated and be aware of internal and external interdependencies. 
  3. Plans, measures and arrangements for business continuity. Short- and long-term recovery capabilities can help keep critical operations running. 
  4. Readiness procedures. Training and run-through scenario exercises will prepare you and your team members for the event of an emergency. 
  5. Quality assurance techniques. Ensure the plan covers everything from the initial response, to managing an incident, communications and operations management, and recovery and restoration.  

Your insurance representative is a helpful resour​ce when assessing risk management activities that your organization can undertake to reduce or eliminate identified risks.​