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It pays to expect the worst
By Carly Chynoweth

Terrorist attacks, “mad cow” disease or bird flu epidemics are not everyday events, thankfully. But should they occur the best way to deal with them is to be prepared ARE you bored with bird flu yet? Yeah, me too. While senior executives are all resilience planning this, training day at a plush conference centre that, the rest of us are left to get on with our everyday tasks. But come the revolution (or the radiation attack on the City/alien landing on your building/blooming bird flu), junior and middle managers will have to act. You’d better hope that someone has a plan . . .
1. It’s all about the plan. This is — or should be — detailed and comprehensive. “Business continuity has to be appropriate, which means you have to do the right thing at the right time,” says Andy Tomkinson, a director of the Business Continuity Institute (www.thebci.org). Senior executives and experts will prepare it; your role is to know that it exists, and to know your part in it. If your organisation doesn ’t have a plan, start pushing it to develop one.

2. Find out more. This is your first step when something calamitous happens, says Alan Calder, the chief executive of IT Governance, the information security specialists (www.itgovernance.co.uk). “Before you do anything (other than dealing with any immediate threat) you should find out what’s going on.” The exception: if the plan says that you should be doing something else.

3. Stick to the plan. “The mistake that most people make is to try to come up with a solution on their own,” Calder says. Having ten different people trying to send people down ten different untested evacuation routes when the building catches fire isn’t a good idea.

4. You’re not an official. Your company does not need to buy shotguns so that staff can spend lunchbreaks on the roof culling pigeons, and there’s no point getting your own JCB to clear a path through the rubble if there’s been a bomb in the street outside your building; you won’t be able to do anything until the police say so.

5. Keep your contacts handy. Ideally a wallet card that has the names and contact details of your boss, your boss’s boss and the emergency response team as well as the numbers for your key team members, Tomkinson says.

6. Be prepared to step up. There’s no guarantee that your boss will be available. “Make sure you know what your boss does and what your boss’s boss does,” Calder says. You should have a copy of the plan that delineates their responsibilities as well as your own. Equally, you need people identified to whom you can delegate.

7. Keep something in reserve. You can’t make good decisions when you’re exhausted, Tomkinson says. Work out a rota that includes rest.

8. Inform and reassure staff. Keep calm. Your demeanour will be noticed. “Once you know what’s going on make sure that your people know,” Calder says. If you don’t know the answer to a particular question, don’t guess — say you don’t know, then find out. “And when you are briefing staff the main thing is to give it to them in writing”, as well as face to face, Tomkinson says. It gives the message weight; it also makes it clear that someone is in control.

9. Keep other contacts in the loop. Rather than having ten people from each of your customers ringing ten people at your company, arrange one point of contact with each. With family and friends, speak to one person and ask them to ring everyone you know — it will save you from being disturbed by a hundred concerned calls.

10. Find out more. See www.ukresilience.info.

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trüki see kood alumisse tühja lahtrisse. aitäh :)