An official website of the United States government
Here’s how you know
Official websites use .gov A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.
Secure .gov websites use HTTPS A lock ( Lock A locked padlock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.
Business Continuity Plan
Business Continuity Planning Process Diagram - Text Version
When business is disrupted, it can cost money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses means reduced profits. Insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. A business continuity plan to continue business is essential. Development of a business continuity plan includes four steps:
- Conduct a business impact analysis to identify time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes and the resources that support them.
- Identify, document, and implement to recover critical business functions and processes.
- Organize a business continuity team and compile a business continuity plan to manage a business disruption.
- Conduct training for the business continuity team and testing and exercises to evaluate recovery strategies and the plan.
Information technology (IT) includes many components such as networks, servers, desktop and laptop computers and wireless devices. The ability to run both office productivity and enterprise software is critical. Therefore, recovery strategies for information technology should be developed so technology can be restored in time to meet the needs of the business. Manual workarounds should be part of the IT plan so business can continue while computer systems are being restored.
Resources for Business Continuity Planning
- Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs - National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1600
- Professional Practices for Business Continuity Professionals - DRI International (non-profit business continuity education and certification body)
- Continuity Guidance Circular - Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Open for Business® Toolkit - Institute for Business & Home Safety
Business Continuity Impact Analysis
Business continuity impact analysis identifies the effects resulting from disruption of business functions and processes. It also uses information to make decisions about recovery priorities and strategies.
The Operational & Financial Impacts worksheet can be used to capture this information as discussed in Business Impact Analysis . The worksheet should be completed by business function and process managers with sufficient knowledge of the business. Once all worksheets are completed, the worksheets can be tabulated to summarize:
- the operational and financial impacts resulting from the loss of individual business functions and process
- the point in time when loss of a function or process would result in the identified business impacts
Those functions or processes with the highest potential operational and financial impacts become priorities for restoration. The point in time when a function or process must be recovered, before unacceptable consequences could occur, is often referred to as the “Recovery Time Objective.”
Resource Required to Support Recovery Strategies
Recovery of a critical or time-sensitive process requires resources. The Business Continuity Resource Requirements worksheet should be completed by business function and process managers. Completed worksheets are used to determine the resource requirements for recovery strategies.
Following an incident that disrupts business operations, resources will be needed to carry out recovery strategies and to restore normal business operations. Resources can come from within the business or be provided by third parties. Resources include:
- Office space, furniture and equipment
- Technology (computers, peripherals, communication equipment, software and data)
- Vital records (electronic and hard copy)
- Production facilities, machinery and equipment
- Inventory including raw materials, finished goods and goods in production.
- Utilities (power, natural gas, water, sewer, telephone, internet, wireless)
- Third party services
Since all resources cannot be replaced immediately following a loss, managers should estimate the resources that will be needed in the hours, days and weeks following an incident.
Conducting the Business Continuity Impact Analysis
The worksheets Operational and Financial Impacts and Business Continuity Resource Requirements should be distributed to business process managers along with instructions about the process and how the information will be used. After all managers have completed their worksheets, information should be reviewed. Gaps or inconsistencies should be identified. Meetings with individual managers should be held to clarify information and obtain missing information.
After all worksheets have been completed and validated, the priorities for restoration of business processes should be identified. Primary and dependent resource requirements should also be identified. This information will be used to develop recovery strategies.
If a facility is damaged, production machinery breaks down, a supplier fails to deliver or information technology is disrupted, business is impacted and the financial losses can begin to grow. Recovery strategies are alternate means to restore business operations to a minimum acceptable level following a business disruption and are prioritized by the recovery time objectives (RTO) developed during the business impact analysis .
Recovery strategies require resources including people, facilities, equipment, materials and information technology. An analysis of the resources required to execute recovery strategies should be conducted to identify gaps. For example, if a machine fails but other machines are readily available to make up lost production, then there is no resource gap. However, if all machines are lost due to a flood, and insufficient undamaged inventory is available to meet customer demand until production is restored, production might be made up by machines at another facility—whether owned or contracted.
Strategies may involve contracting with third parties, entering into partnership or reciprocal agreements or displacing other activities within the company. Staff with in-depth knowledge of business functions and processes are in the best position to determine what will work. Possible alternatives should be explored and presented to management for approval and to decide how much to spend.
Depending upon the size of the company and resources available, there may be many recovery strategies that can be explored.
Utilization of other owned or controlled facilities performing similar work is one option. Operations may be relocated to an alternate site - assuming both are not impacted by the same incident. This strategy also assumes that the surviving site has the resources and capacity to assume the work of the impacted site. Prioritization of production or service levels, providing additional staff and resources and other action would be needed if capacity at the second site is inadequate.
Telecommuting is a strategy employed when staff can work from home through remote connectivity. It can be used in combination with other strategies to reduce alternate site requirements. This strategy requires ensuring telecommuters have a suitable home work environment and are equipped with or have access to a computer with required applications and data, peripherals, and a secure broadband connection.
In an emergency, space at another facility can be put to use. Cafeterias, conference rooms and training rooms can be converted to office space or to other uses when needed. Equipping converted space with furnishings, equipment, power, connectivity and other resources would be required to meet the needs of workers.
Partnership or reciprocal agreements can be arranged with other businesses or organizations that can support each other in the event of a disaster. Assuming space is available, issues such as the capacity and connectivity of telecommunications and information technology, protection of privacy and intellectual property, the impacts to each other’s operation and allocating expenses must be addressed. Agreements should be negotiated in writing and documented in the business continuity plan. Periodic review of the agreement is needed to determine if there is a change in the ability of each party to support the other.
There are many vendors that support business continuity and information technology recovery strategies. External suppliers can provide a full business environment including office space and live data centers ready to be occupied. Other options include provision of technology equipped office trailers, replacement machinery and other equipment. The availability and cost of these options can be affected when a regional disaster results in competition for these resources.
There are multiple strategies for recovery of manufacturing operations. Many of these strategies include use of existing owned or leased facilities. Manufacturing strategies include:
- Shifting production from one facility to another
- Increasing manufacturing output at operational facilities
- Retooling production from one item to another
- Prioritization of production—by profit margin or customer relationship
- Maintaining higher raw materials or finished goods inventory
- Reallocating existing inventory, repurchase or buyback of inventory
- Limiting orders (e.g., maximum order size or unit quantity)
- Contracting with third parties
- Purchasing business interruption insurance
There are many factors to consider in manufacturing recovery strategies:
- Will a facility be available when needed?
- How much time will it take to shift production from one product to another?
- How much will it cost to shift production from one product to another?
- How much revenue would be lost when displacing other production?
- How much extra time will it take to receive raw materials or ship finished goods to customers? Will the extra time impact customer relationships?
- Are there any regulations that would restrict shifting production?
- What quality issues could arise if production is shifted or outsourced?
- Are there any long-term consequences associated with a strategy?
Resources for Developing Recovery Strategies
- The Telework Coalition (America’s leading nonprofit telework education and advocacy organization)
Telephones are ringing and customer service staff is busy talking with customers and keying orders into the computer system. The electronic order entry system checks available inventory, processes payments and routes orders to the distribution center for fulfillment. Suddenly the order entry system goes down. What should the customer service staff do now? If the staff is equipped with paper order forms, order processing can continue until the electronic system comes back up and no phone orders will be lost.
The order forms and procedures for using them are examples of “manual workarounds.” These workarounds are recovery strategies for use when information technology resources are not available.
Developing Manual Workarounds
Identify the steps in the automated process - creating a diagram of the process can help. Consider the following aspects of information and work flow:
Internal Interfaces (department, person, activity and resource requirements)
- External Interfaces (company, contact person, activity and resource requirements)
- Tasks (in sequential order)
- Manual intervention points
Create data collection forms to capture information and define processes for manual handling of the information collected. Establish control logs to document transactions and track their progress through the manual system.
Manual workarounds require manual labor, so you may need to reassign staff or bring in temporary assistance.
Last Updated: 05/26/2021
Return to top
- Platform overview
- Perform Inspections
- Create reports
- Capture Issues
- Assign actions
- Workplace communications
- Insights and data
- Build workflows
- Integrate your tools
- Automated Monitoring
- SafetyCulture Marketplace
- Transport & Logistics
- Facilities Management
- Incident Management
- Risk Management
- ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management
- ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management
- ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health & Safety Management
- Partner Program
- Help Center
- Digitize your form
- Product updates
- Getting started with SafetyCulture Platform
- Getting started with Issues
- Getting started with Heads up
- Events & Webinars
- Checklist Library
- ROI Calculator
- Checklist guides
- Topic guides
- About SafetyCulture
- Brand Partnerships
- Customer stories
Business Continuity Plan
Power through business disruptions and ascertain operational stability with a practical and effective business continuity plan
Published 15 Feb 2023
What is a Business Continuity Plan?
A business continuity plan is a practical guide developed by companies to enable continuous operations in the event of major business disruptions like natural disasters and global lockdowns. Business continuity planning usually involves analyzing the impact of disrupted business processes and determining recovery strategies with management. Business continuity plans should also be properly documented and tested through exercises for optimal effectiveness.
Business Continuity Plan | View Sample PDF
The goal of a business continuity plan is to strengthen the defense of businesses against a number of potential disruptions. It also aims to maintain critical business functions during unforeseen disasters. With a comprehensive business continuity plan, leaders can ensure that despite restrictions, there would be a reduced impact on the company, its employees, and operations.
- Why Is It Important?
With economies impaired by the COVID-19 pandemic , business continuity has increasingly become a top priority for organizations around the world. A business continuity plan (BCP) is important because it helps companies maintain essential functions amid or after emergency situations, protecting their reputation and minimizing financial losses. Moreover, it helps employers stay on top of disruptive incidents and empower workers to complete job tasks with confidence.
- Business Continuity Plan vs. Disaster Recovery Plan
The main difference between a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan is that the former encompasses the latter—that is, business continuity planning includes disaster recovery planning. I SO 22301:2019 is the international standard for business continuity management (BCM) systems, and it outlines how specific plans for disaster recovery, incident preparedness, and emergency response may be needed rather than just one large plan for business continuity.
- How to Write a Business Continuity Plan
Creating a business continuity plan seems to be a daunting task at first, especially for managers of operations, information technology, and human resources as they are often designated with this duty. As recommended by the International Labour Organization (ILO), listed below are general steps in developing a business continuity plan for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs):
- Step 1: Determine the risk profile through a self-assessment using the 4Ps framework—People, Processes, Profits, and Partnerships
- Step 2: Identify key products, services, or functions
- Step 3: Establish the business continuity plan objectives
- Step 4: Evaluate the potential impact of disruptions to the business and its workers
- Step 5: List actions to protect the business
- Step 6: Organize contact lists
- Step 7: Maintain, review, and continuously update the business continuity plan
Digitize the way you Work
Empower your team with SafetyCulture to perform checks, train staff, report issues, and automate tasks with our digital platform.
When planning for business continuity, it helps to break down its elements into quickly-understood segments. Keeping the plan user-focused can also help ensure usability and promote transferability. The following is a brief ILO example of how a small business owner developed a business continuity plan to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 :
COVID-19 Risk Assessment: high-risk profile
Key Products: different types of canned sardines
- Maximize the physical and emotional safety of the owner and workers
- Resume operations as quickly as possible following disruptions
- Make sure that key products are resilient to disruptions associated with COVID-19
- Safeguard supply chain
- Ensure that the enterprise fulfils its contractual commitments with clients
Potential Impact of Disruptions:
- Workers falling sick (owner’s/suppliers’/support services’)
- Government restrictions on freedom of movement could affect the owner’s (and the suppliers’) ability to get to work
- Government restrictions on accessing the port could affect the customers’ ability to get the products to market
- Inability of government utilities to provide services (water and electricity were of chief concern)
- Drop in demand for products
4Ps Framework Action Points:
- People (lives of workers and family members) Limit the contact points to a single one in the business and set up a sanitation point to lessen the exposure there. Review the standard ways of working and adapt to physical distancing criteria . This would require new shift arrangements to be discussed with the workers. Moreover, prepare for increased absenteeism.
- Processes (business operations) Ask workers to volunteer for ensuring sanitation points are well-stocked daily, establishing a temperature checking station at entrance for all workers/suppliers/customers/visitors, daily consultation with suppliers and customers to assess their situation and any changes that have occurred, and making sure everybody is familiar with ways to stay safe at home .
- Profits (revenue generation) Work out daily operational costs (payroll, rent, supplies, etc.) and make simulations based on the financial needs if key disruptions occurred. Notice opportunities for increased sales as well. Discuss with main suppliers about the availability of alternative sources and put agreements in place to enable this.
- Partnerships (enabling environment to carry out business activities) Strike an agreement with other SME owners to share safety measures and practices for each of their businesses. Agree to a common set of procedures to keep workers safe and share the cost of getting information on how to handle workplace issues like changes to working time, possible redundancies, and other HR issues.
- Contact numbers of authorities and third parties (police, emergency services, firefighters, nearest hospitals, insurance company)
- List of workers, their positions and contact details (mobile phone and email address) as well as worker’s emergency contact details
- List of clients, suppliers, contractors and government agencies the owner worked with, including the contact person and details (mobile phone, email address, and street address)
- Communication methods to connect with workers during the COVID-19 crisis (Facebook, WhatsApp, etc.)
- Staff emergency call tree
- Review the business continuity plan every week to improve its effectiveness
- Update risk assessments, strategies for business continuity, and other procedures
- Ensure continual improvement of all the process included in the business continuity plan
Even when disruptions can force businesses to shut down, yours doesn’t have to. Aim for operational stability by developing and implementing a business continuity plan with the help of a simple tool like SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) . SafetyCulture is a digital platform that empowers people to work safely and efficiently through mobile checklists, actions, and reporting.
Using SafetyCulture as a business continuity software , here’s how different companies around the world reached business continuity amid COVID-19 :
Coming Out Strong as the Pandemic Unfolded
Footasylum is a sports fashion retailer in the UK with 70 stores and over 2,700 employees nationwide. Because of the emerging novel coronavirus outbreak, they knew it was inevitable for retail stores to close without an idea when they could safely reopen.
They used SafetyCulture to safely reopen stores by conducting a preliminary COVID-19 store opening check which provided incredibly quick insight on the current state of the stores and created actions for what needed to be done to control health and safety risks.
Now that stores are open, the team uses SafetyCulture to monitor daily activity through a retail COVID-19 daily requirements check , giving the management confidence that they are doing everything that is reasonably practicable to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.
“We have come out of this as a really strong team, and pride is really high,” said Jane Buck, Head of Human Resources and Health and Safety.
Acting at Lightning Speed to Protect Hundreds of Staff and Thousands of Customers
Statewide Independent Wholesalers (SIW) is a grocery wholesaler that holds and delivers goods for most of the major supermarkets in Tasmania, Australia . When COVID-19 hit, they needed to make decisions quickly due to the risk which was significantly high.
The grocer giant stayed completely focused on meeting COVID-19 hygiene and distancing requirements , as they do around 75 checks every week. Health, Safety, and Environmental Manager Courtney Newman shared, “SafetyCulture is a really valuable tool to do that. It’s made a huge difference to our data collection, and our behavior observation space, too.”
They managed to minimize 6.5 hours of admin time which was useful when they needed that time to keep themselves informed on the latest news and guidance. Courtney continued, “I took the SafetyCulture program and used it the way I wanted to. This means if any of our teams are doing anything of risk, we work with them to make sure they adhere to the guidelines.”
Navigating the Pandemic and Beyond with Safety, Consistency, and Quality
Snooze Eatery is a popular chain of restaurants with 43 locations in the US. During one of the most uncertain periods for hospitality businesses, they used SafetyCulture to build up a culture of safety, consistency, and quality.
During reopening, the team created the brand new role, ‘Safety Dancers’, who are in charge of cleaning, sanitizing, and managing the capacity of the eatery. This meant that guests could trust the safety and cleanliness standards of the restaurant, and enjoy a cup of coffee in bliss.
SafetyCulture has allowed them to reassure their employees and guests during a time where trust in public spaces is low because of the potential health and safety risks. They also don’t just implement COVID-19 protocols with SafetyCulture —it’s a safeguard for food and service quality across all their locations.
“It’s a unique tool. The inspections and templates make you go through a checklist, but it also makes you give proof in the form of photos and notes, and to take care of things on the spot. It holds you to the utmost perfect standard in every way.”
—Katie Birner, Snooze Eatery Assistant General Manager
Business Continuity Plan Templates
Get started with your business continuity plan by using pre-made industry templates you can customize and use on SafetyCulture. This free collection of BCP templates includes audit checklists to help you assess the effectiveness of your business continuity plan, keep it updated, and take action on areas for improvement.
- View Business Continuity Plan Templates
SafetyCulture Content Specialist
Jona Tarlengco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. She usually writes about safety and quality topics, contributing to the creation of well-researched articles. Her 5-year experience in one of the world’s leading business news organisations helps enrich the quality of the information in her work.
In this article
Relevant articles, employee engagement.
Employee engagement may be influenced by various factors such as workplace culture, leadership, and ...
In this guide, you will learn what journey management is, why it’s important, and the most ...
- Process Analysis
Benefits Business process analysis is consequential to a company’s growth. Whether you work as a ...
- Contingency Plan Template
- Project Execution Plan Template
- Project Plan Template
- Project Initiation Document Template
- PDSA Template
- Work Instruction
- Supply Chain Sustainability
- Data Management
- Process Management
- Task Management Software
- Corporate Social Responsibility Software
- GRC Software
- 10 Team Management Apps
- Product Management Software
Free Business Continuity Plan Templates
Smartsheet Contributor Andy Marker
October 23, 2018
In this article, you’ll find the most useful free, downloadable business continuity plan (BCP) templates, in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats. Customize the templates to fit the needs of your business, ensuring you maintain critical operations at all times.
Included on this page, you’ll find a business continuity plan template , a small business continuity plan template , a business continuity framework template , and more.
Business Continuity Plan Template
Download Business Continuity Plan Template
Word | PowerPoint | PDF | Smartsheet
Use this template to document and track your business operations in the event of a disruption or disaster to maintain critical processes. With space to record business function recovery priorities, recovery plans, and alternate site locations, this template allows you to plan efficiently for disruption and minimize downtime, so your business maintains optimal efficiency. This template is available for download in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats.
Additionally, you can learn the definition of a business continuity plan, the steps involved in business continuity planning, as well as about the business continuity lifecycle in our article about business continuity planning .
See how Smartsheet can help you be more effective
Watch the demo to see how you can more effectively manage your team, projects, and processes with real-time work management in Smartsheet.
Watch a free demo
IT Service Continuity Plan Template
Download IT Service Continuity Plan Template
This template is geared specifically to IT business operations and aims to maintain IT processes despite any possible harmful disruption. Use this template to document recovery objectives, teams, and strategies in order to accurately capture all facets of the continuity plan needed for an IT team. This template is available in both Word and PDF formats.
Business Continuity Framework Template
Download Business Continuity Framework Template
Word | PowerPoint | PDF
This template outlines the structure involved in creating a business continuity plan. It provides an easy, comprehensive way to detail the steps that will comprise your unique BCP. Use this template to plan each phase of a typical BCP, including the business impact analysis, recovery strategies, and plan development. This template can serve as an overall framework for your larger BCP plan.
Business Continuity Program Template
Download Business Continuity Program Template
Similar to the business continuity plan template, this template documents the steps involved in maintaining normal business operations during an unplanned disruption or disaster. Using this template, you can plan out the critical elements needed to continue business as usual, including recovery priorities, backup and restoration plans, and alternate site locations. This template is available for download in both Microsoft Word and PDF formats.
Business Continuity Procedure Template
Download Business Continuity Procedure Template
Much like the business continuity framework template, this template helps users create a thorough, streamlined BCP by detailing the procedure involved in creating and maintaining a plan, as well as implementing one. Use this template to document everything from a business impact analysis to plan development, plan testing, and exercises. Download this template in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or PDF to get started.
Business Continuity Plan Template for Nonprofits
Download Business Continuity Plan Template for Nonprofits
In the event of a disruption in business that affects your nonprofit organization, use this template to document a business recovery strategy, identify alternate business locations, and effectively plan for inevitable business downtime. This template is available for download in Microsoft Word and PDF formats.
School Business Continuity Plan Template
Download School Business Continuity Plan Template
Plan for disruptions in regular school activities and operations in the event of emergency or crisis with this helpful template. This template, designed with schools, colleges, and universities in mind, allows you to prioritize operations and responses, identify important phases of recovery, design a restoration plan, and more.
Small Business Continuity Plan Template
Download Small Business Continuity Plan Template
Record your business recovery priorities, identify alternate site locations to conduct business, create recovery teams, and assign recovery responsibilities to specific team members with this continuity plan for small businesses. Ensure that you are able to maintain critical processes and minimize downtime so your business can keep moving forward.
SaaS Business Continuity Plan Template
Download SaaS Business Continuity Plan Template
Use this business continuity plan template to keep your SaaS business productive and efficient, despite any unforeseen events or disruptions. With space to record everything from recovery procedures and strategies to relocation strategies and alternate site locations, you’ll be able to keep business moving and remain productive during a crisis or disruption.
Business Continuity Plan Template for Medical Practices
Download Business Continuity Plan Template for Medical Practices
Identify risk strategies for specific areas of business, like clinical, finance and operations, and IT, designate specific recovery strategies, and prioritize the most important, mission-critical operations for your medical practice with this complete business continuity plan template.
Business Continuity Plan Template for Healthcare Organizations
Download Business Continuity Plan Template for Healthcare Organizations
Some businesses, like healthcare organizations, rely on critical processes and procedures to maintain productivity and keep both patients and staff safe. To ensure these processes are followed — even during a business disruption — use this business continuity plan template to identify all potential risks, create mitigation plans, and assign tasks to key team members.
Activities to Complete Before Writing the Business Continuity Plan
Certain steps can help you prepare to write a business continuity plan. See our article on how to write a business continuity plan to learn more.
Common Structure of a Business Continuity Plan
Every business continuity plan should include certain common elements. See our article on how to write a business continuity plan to learn more.
Tips For Writing Your Business Continuity Plan
Business continuity experts have gathered time-tested tips for business continuity planning. See our article on how to write a business continuity plan to learn more.
Make Better Decisions, Faster with Smartsheet Dashboards
Empower your people to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change.
The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed.
When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time. Try Smartsheet for free, today.
Discover why over 90% of Fortune 100 companies trust Smartsheet to get work done.
Official websites use .mass.gov
Secure websites use HTTPS certificate
A lock icon ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the official website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.
- This page, Continuity and Safety Planning Guidance, is offered by
- Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Continuity and Safety Planning Guidance
Table of contents, coop planning guidance and documents.
A Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP Plan) identifies mission-critical organizational functions which must continue when normal operations are, or may be disrupted, and provides a framework for the continued operation of these mission essential functions under all threats and conditions. The Plan also helps to identify lines of succession, alternate facilities, critical systems, essential records, and delegations of authority.
State Agency COOP Program Template
Continuity of Operations Program Guidance V0.6
FEMA Continuity Guidance Circular (CGC)
State Agency Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Submission to MEMA
In accordance with Executive Order #490, all Executive Branch agencies are required to provide MEMA with an electronic copy of their Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). To submit a plan to MEMA, please use the following link: State Agency COOP Plan Submission .
Federal Continuity Guidance
Federal Continuity Directive 1 (FCD 1)
Federal Continuity Directive 2 (FCD 2)
Business Continuity Planning
For Business Continuity planning resources, see FEMA’s Business Continuity Plan webpage: https://www.ready.gov/business/implementation/continuity
Safety and Emergency Action Planning
This Emergency Action Plan Template was developed by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), to be used by Executive Branch Agency partners in the development of their Facility Emergency Action Plan. It is designed to be used in accordance with requirements set forth in Executive Order 511, and relevant OSHA standards. The contents within are able to be customized by any agency, and can be expanded or contracted as necessary.
Help us improve mass.gov with your feedback.
The feedback will only be used for improving the website. If you need assistance, please contact the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency . Please limit your input to 500 characters.
Thank you for your website feedback! We will use this information to improve this page.
If you would like to continue helping us improve Mass.gov, join our user panel to test new features for the site.
- What is a Business Continuity Plan?
- How to Test Documentation Usability
- What is Knowledge Base Documentation?
- What is Product Documentation?
- What is Process Documentation?
12 Best Business Continuity Plan Templates
Become a Certified Technical Writer
Table of contents.
Business continuity managers and IT teams use a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) document to lay out plans for operating enterprises in the face of calamities like severe weather, forced building evacuations, power outages, etc. It identifies operational areas, resources, and recovery plans with assigned individuals that have a significant business effect.
To make your own, use the free business continuity plan template . You can never be too prepared for a crisis, so provide your business with the resources it needs to function well despite any setbacks.
When Should You Use a Business Continuity Plan Template?
Writing a business continuity strategy is critical to ensure your organization remains a going concern in spite of disruptions. You should have a strategy in place before responding to a calamity. Planning for business continuity is essential for a successful disaster recovery plan when dealing with emergency situations such as:
- Data breaches
- Internet or major IT outage due to an earthquake
- Equipment failure
- Injury, death, or sudden exit of key staff
Your organization needs a business continuity plan as much as a business strategy for normal operations.
These business continuity plan templates may offer a little more motivation to get going, depending on your requirements. If you’re having a problem writing an effective BCP, you can use any of the following templates depending on your business vertical.
12 Business Continuity Plan Templates
We are sharing with you 12 business continuity templates to reduce your time and effort in writing one. Here these are:
1. IT Service Business Continuity Plan Template
This IT Service Business Continuity Plan Template is suitable for IT companies such as software houses and design agencies. It highlights essential steps to undertake and ensure IT processes running in the event of a major disruption. Use the template to record all aspects of the continuity plan required for an IT team by identifying recovery objectives, teams, and tactics.
A good IT service business continuity plan template ensures that critical network systems remain operational despite outages. As we live in a digital-first world, businesses cannot survive without an IT service continuity plan template.
2. School Business Continuity Plan Template
With the aid of a useful template, have a solid backup plan for routine school activities and operations in case of emergency or crisis. You may prioritize responses, and operations, identify crucial recovery stages and create a restoration plan using the BCP template.
When a crisis happens, the most important asset that any school must safeguard against rapid loss is its critical data. We have seen how educational institutes have been a victim of ransomware attacks wiping out important data from different departments.
In any case, schools must be able to continue operating, regardless of any disruption. Schools may improve their degree of preparation by developing a business continuity plan.
3. Small Business Continuity Plan Template
With the help of this continuity plan for small businesses, you may list your goals for company recovery, select alternative site locations for operations, form recovery teams, and designate recovery duties to certain team members.
The provides a framework and guidance of operations for small businesses to restore their critical functions in the event of unforeseen events. This template includes work processes and lays out clear responsibilities of recovery teams and essential staff members. This is a FEMA-approved business continuity plan template that lists continuity plans to business disruptions due to three primary reasons:
- Fire, a sudden storm, or flooding
- Reduction in workforce
- System failure such as IT or electricity grid
In order for your organization to continue to grow, be sure you can maintain crucial procedures and reduce downtime.
4. SaaS Business Continuity Plan Template
To maintain productivity and efficiency throughout any unanticipated events or disruptions, use the SaaS (Software as a Business) business continuity plan template.
Unlike any other BCP, the SaaS continuity plan focuses more on systems and IT infrastructure than HR and other departments. That’s because SaaS businesses have a cloud-based business model such as selling subscriptions to a web or mobile app. Since these businesses sell software as a service, there is a recurring free every month or year.
In the event of a disaster, the critical functions of a SaaS business are equipment and systems. Some prominent SaaS are Google Drive and Dropbox.
The main emphasis is on getting the IT systems back online as soon as possible following a major disruption that could happen for loss of internet connectivity, floods, fire, or a cyberattack.
5. Healthcare Business Continuity Plan Template
Healthcare businesses like clinics and hospitals cannot afford disruption as it can be life-threatening for staff and patients.
These templates are great resources to assist healthcare facilities in developing their continuity plans and ensuring an effective and efficient return to normalcy.
With the help of a comprehensive business continuity plan template, you can identify risk strategies for certain business areas like clinical, finance, operations, and IT, specify disaster recovery plans and rank the most crucial processes for your medical practice.
To sustain productivity and ensure the safety of both patients and employees, healthcare institutions depend on essential processes and procedures. This template will help healthcare providers to identify all possible risks, design mitigation measures, and allocate duties to important team members. During the business disruption, this template will act as your Hospital Preparedness Program.
6. Law Firm Business Continuity Plan Template
A robust business continuity plan for legal firms involves more than data backups. Every law firm has clients with sensitive and confidential data. Ongoing cases and litigation support will not be possible when the law firm ceases to function.
Law firms can put in place corporate-wide procedures to equip your whole team for a variety of crises. Avoiding liabilities that can occur as a result of an obsolete or insufficient continuity plan is the goal.
7. Construction Company Business Continuity Plan Template
There are additional situations than major disasters that might endanger your business operations.
Your business’s essential machinery, tools, and technology might malfunction or get infected with dangerous ransomware. Or, essential employees may quit your business, leaving you rushing to hire extra staff since they lack the specialized abilities needed to finish the project.
These are common scenarios among construction companies. Construction equipment is quite costly and often upwards of millions of dollars. Without a backup disaster recovery plan, construction companies may not be able to complete their clients’ work on time.
This template is excellent for architects and construction firms regarding business continuity. It outlines in detail how the construction company will continue its normal business operations in different scenarios:
- Premises incidents including flood, fire, or storm
- Infrastructure incidents including power failure, loss of computers, and equipment, and internet outage
- Staff incidents such as sudden injury or death
8. Bank Business Continuity Plan Template
We live in an interconnected world where the provision of services such as finance and banking are now digital. Other than the developed nations, many emerging economies are now digitizing their financial institutions.
A Business Continuity Plan for financial institutions ensures swift recovery of operations, including services to customers, occurring as a result of natural disasters, power outages, cyberattacks, or human error.
The objectives of a BCP are to minimize financial loss, continue to serve customers, and mitigate disruptions on reputation, operations, liquidity, credit quality, and compliance with federal laws and regulations.
For financial institutions such as banks, a business continuity plan is an essential part of their strategic planning process. Governments around the world regulate financial institutions, and any disruptions can have far-reaching consequences for the company, its customers, and the economy as a whole.
As such, a financial institution’s business continuity plan must be comprehensive and well-researched. It should address everything from how the company will maintain customer confidence in the event of a major disruption to how it will keep critical systems up and running. Millions of people rely on mobile apps to transfer funds, pay bills and make online purchases.
9. Business Continuity Plan Template For Manufacturing Industry
Given the importance of manufacturing to the economy, any significant disruption to production can have severe consequences. A business continuity plan is therefore essential. We have already seen how supply chain bottlenecks have hampered growth and increased prices of essential items in most countries around the world.
The plan should outline how the business will continue to operate in the event of an interruption and should cover everything from alternative sources of raw materials to new manufacturing locations. You can use this template to minize the risks of disruptions and ensure that the business can continue to meet customer demand. In today’s global market, a business continuity plan is essential for any manufacturing company that wants to stay competitive.
Tech giants and enterprises always have business disaster recovery plans to ensure incidents such as supply chain bottlenecks, equipment failure, injury, or loss of human life have minimum impact on the business.
Critical events pose a threat to financial loss for individuals in the manufacturing sector because of unanticipated downtime, lower plant utilization rates, lost income, and even personnel who are in danger.
For the manufacturing sector, having a business continuity strategy is crucial to both mitigating a catastrophic event as it occurs and maintaining operations for networks dependent on the manufacturer’s company.
10. Cloud Computing Business Continuity Plan Template
By switching to cloud-based solutions, your company may become more productive, flexible, and lucrative. Planning is essential before taking this action, especially when considering business continuity in the cloud.
SaaS and IaaS models are, in many respects, victims of their own success since it is far too simple for companies to ignore their offerings. Cloud service companies compete in a very crowded industry. Because of this, suppliers promise to handle every facet of the system and data administration at a minimal cost.
It seems sensible that this might cause companies to overlook important components of their business continuity planning and assume their cloud provider would take care of them.
68 percent of businesses outline cloud misconfiguration as their top concern about the security of their infrastructure and data. You need the finest security procedures for dealing with cloud systems since 52 percent of firms ranked disasters.
A business continuity plan is to safeguard your application’s uptime in case anything happens to one of the data centers. You can always fall back on running a clone in AWS, for example.
11. Business Continuity Plan Template For Warehouse
Unfortunate occurrences like a global pandemic may result due to planned or unexpected reasons. Any effective Business Continuity Plan must include preparations for such a disaster.
Any crisis may have devastating repercussions on businesses with warehouses since they are an essential part of their infrastructure and necessary to provide customer service.
This is true with companies relying on rapid commerce or quick commerce, where the need to set up and manage multiple warehouses close to customers’ locations is vital.
By using this template, you can perform risk assessment, test out emergency situations and come up with viable solutions to ensure your warehouse continues operating as a normal business operation.
Planning entails collaborating with professionals and third parties to provide a suitable answer. To promote a speedy recovery from the crisis, a contingency plan should be well thought out.
With business continuity planning, you gain a thorough understanding of the security of your assets, operations, facilities, and personnel. Priority hazards and the assessment of the appropriate course of action in response to recognized risks are both included in the detection of warehouse contamination. Planning can proceed with the knowledge that an adequate response is already in place.
12. Business Continuity Plan Template for Oil and Gas Companies
For every hour of IT downtime, oil and gas companies lose $1 million. In the unfortunate event of power failure, it can go as high as $10 million in lost production and possible equipment damage.
A well-crafted plan will take into account all potential hazards and establish procedures for dealing with them, including evacuation plans, communication protocols, and backup power supplies.
Oil and gas companies attribute their success to insulating themselves from business interruption risk. With ongoing price fluctuation, companies strive to convert effective risk management into business opportunities. This in turn helps them in gaining a competitive edge in the global markets.
The price for not assessing risk is operational downtime. Profitability in the oil and gas field is proportional to large upfront investments alongside calculations of oil and gas prices, oil field output, and configuration of refineries. Oil and gas is a high-risk business and not having a BCP will lead to severe financial losses.
You can use this template to minimize your losses and ensure your oil and gas company remains a going concern despite major setbacks.
Write a Business Continuity Plan with Your New Template
It is imperative for companies to prepare business continuity plans with well-documented recovery strategies and a complete business impact analysis. There are more benefits than costs in implementing a BCP. The strategy challenges you to consider the potential dangers to your company from new angles. You can then adjust your route as appropriate, improving your prospects of long-term survival.
Analyzing your company’s existing situation and level of readiness for unforeseen dangers is the main goal of business continuity plan templates. With it, senior management may locate any areas of the company that need improvement and discover answers to issues that can impede your progress toward your objectives.
With a strong BCP template, minimize the impact of potential disruptions to your business. These templates serve as a guide to developing your own plans, which will vary depending on the type and size of the company.
Leverage any business continuity plan template that fits your requirements and makes your business successful.
Published in What is a Business Continuity Plan?
Please check your email for a confirmation message shortly.
Join 5000+ Technical Writers
Get our #1 industry rated weekly technical writing reads newsletter.
Your syllabus has been sent to your email
An official website of the United States government
Here’s how you know
Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.
Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( Lock A locked padlock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites..
Brochures and Templates
Continuity Planning for Pandemics and Widespread Infectious Diseases Brochures
Continuity Planning for Pandemics and Widespread Infectious Diseases demands a different set of continuity planning considerations because pandemic influenza may be widely dispersed geographically and will potentially arrive in waves that could last months at a time.
- August 29, 2018
- Download Document
National Continuity Programs Brochure
National Continuity Programs serves the public by coordinating the Federal programs and activities that preserve our nation's essential functions across a wide range of potential threats and emergencies.
- May 7, 2020
Telework: An Essential Component of Continuity Planning Brochure
Telework: An Essential Component of Continuity Planning in order to accomplish essential functions under all conditions. Telework and continuity share the basic objective of performing and maintaining an organization’s functions in an alternative location and method.
Federal Continuity Brochure
Federal Continuity as mandated by FCD, requires all federal agencies to incorporate continuity requirements into their daily operations to ensure seamless and immediate continuation of essential functions.
- August 23, 2018
Continuity Essential Records Management Brochure
Continuity Essential Records Management is the identification, protection and ready availability of essential records, databases, and hardcopy documents needed to support essential functions under the full spectrum of all-hazards emergencies.
- August 24, 2018
Whole Community Continuity Brochure
Whole Community Continuity ensures that organizations, communities and governments are able to support citizens in need. Whole community is a focus on enabling the participation in national preparedness activities of a wider range of players from the private and nonprofit sectors in order to foster better coordination and working relationships.
Continuity Plan Template and Instructions for Non-Federal Entities and Community-Based Organizations
- August 31, 2018
Devolution Planning Template
The devolution planning template introduces the organization’s Devolution of Operations Plan and establishes the rationale for creating the Plan.
- August 23, 2019
Continuity of Operations Planning Template for Federal Departments/Agencies
The purpose of this template is to provide instructions, guidance, and sample text for the development of Continuity plans and programs in accordance with Federal Continuity Directives (FCDs) 1 and 2 for the Federal Executive Branch.
- October 15, 2020
Department and Agencies Telework Player Handbook Template
Telework Player Handbook template serves as an exercise player handbook.
- May 31, 2013
Reconstitution Plan template
Reconstitution Plan template provides a structure and recommended content for developing a reconstitution plan in accordance with FCD 1. This template is based on Federal Continuity Directive 1, Federal Executive Branch National Continuity Program and Requirements, January 2017, and provides structure and recommended content for developing a reconstitution plan. Reconstitution is the process by which surviving and/or replacement organization personnel resume normal organization operations from the original or replacement primary operating facility.
- October 22, 2019
Continuity Plan Template and Instructions for Non-Federal Entities and Community-Based Organizations (Word Template)
- April 1, 2022
Continuity Plan (non-federal) template provides instructions, guidance, and sample text for the development of continuity plans and programs in accordance with the Continuity Guidance Circular. This template is designed for non-federal entities, and may be useful for all levels of state, local, territorial and tribal governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations.
Circular de Guias de Continuidad
La Circular de Guías de Continuidad (CGC) sirve de como guía a entidades federales y no federales para desarrollar, mantener y asegurar la continuidad de operaciones y continuidad de gobierno durante una emergencia que interrumpa las operaciones regulares.
- August 28, 2019
Programa de Continuidad de Operaciones (COOP)
La Continuidad de Operaciones (COOP) asegura que las organizaciones puedan llevar a cabo sus funciones esenciales, proveer servicios esenciales y capacidades básicas durante la interrupción de operaciones regulares.
- Skip to main content
- Skip to primary sidebar
- Skip to footer
Home Business Documents Business Continuity Plan
Free Business Continuity Plan Template
Use a business continuity plan to outline how your business will continue to operate in a range of disaster scenarios.
Updated February 15, 2023 | Legally reviewed by Brooke Davis
A business continuity plan outlines the instructions and procedures a business should follow after some type of disaster. Disruptive events like floods and fires can interrupt your business practices. You need to have a plan in place to handle these situations and effectively get back to work.
You can use a free business continuity plan template to create your own. Give your organization the tools it needs to operate effectively despite any disruptions – you never know when a disaster can strike, but you can be prepared.
What is a Business Continuity Plan?
Key components of a business continuity plan, different types of business continuity plans, how to write a business continuity plan, business continuity plan sample, benefits of a business continuity plan, how often should a business continuity plan be tested, business continuity plan faqs.
A business continuity plan is a document that sets forth your organization’s plans for dealing with a disaster. These procedures help you to resume business quickly and reduce downtime and lost revenue. It covers important processes like asset protection, human resources issues, and how to deal with business partners.
Other names for a business continuity plan include:
- Disaster Recovery Plan
- Business Contingency Policy
- Business Continuity Procedures
- Disaster Plan
- Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP Plan)
When to Use a Business Continuity Plan?
You want to create a business continuity plan before you actually need it . The point of this document is to be ahead of the game. You do not want to be responding to a disaster without a set plan in place. Business continuity planning is key to a successful response to a disaster.
Once your continuity plan is in place, you may need to use it in disasters such as:
- Major Storms
- Major IT or internet disruption
A business continuity plan is as crucial to your company as a business plan .
You’ll need to incorporate several elements into each business continuity plan. For example, begin with assessing risks that can interrupt your business. You also must clearly define how your organization will communicate in a crisis and define roles and responsibilities. Additionally, continuous testing and training will help staff members prepare for emergencies.
Risk and Potential Business Impact
For a business continuity and disaster plan to work, you must start with the business impact analysis. This section will list potential internal and external risks. This might include a disruption due to a flood or storm, an IT breach, or the loss of a major supplier. You can use this analysis to estimate the time and cost associated with business recovery.
Planning an Effective Response
Hold meetings between leaders and key staff members to think through any disruptions your business could face. Don’t leave anything out. Ask participants to assume the worst and think about ways to recover from each scenario. Once you have a comprehensive list, rank business priorities such as revenue, customer protection, regulatory adherence, and other concerns that matter most to your company.
Once you have a completed list, link each item to applications, facilities, and resources needed to keep them up and running. Next, you can begin to identify recovery strategies and estimate costs. In particular, IT will depend on the list of critical applications to prioritize recovery following an emergency.
Roles and Responsibilities
The last thing you want to do in an emergency is have everyone wondering who’s in charge. By creating a business continuity team, you define the point person for every location and department in your company. The business continuity management team should meet regularly to update the plan and discuss ongoing training and testing. Additionally, high-level leaders must champion a business continuity plan for it to be effective.
Clear, effective communication can reassure team members across the organization. This will give everyone the confidence to step up and respond appropriately. You also need a communication strategy to coordinate suppliers and minimize customer dissatisfaction. Include key contacts, so your business partners and customers know who to contact in case of a disruption.
Having a prewritten press release and social media posts for various scenarios can take the pressure off the BCP team and allow them to concentrate on executing the plan. If needed, create a separate communication plan on how to keep everyone in the loop during a crisis.
Uninterrupted Access to Business Resources and IT Operations
In an interconnected world, remote technology can enhance your business continuity plan. Adopt software and solutions that facilitate remote work. This will allow team members to work from a hotel room, home, or other location.
You’re already ahead of the game if your organization espouses a hybrid work environment. Chances are your people already work from different locations.
As well as uninterrupted access to business resources, your business continuity plan should include how to access IT systems. For example, do you have a backup data center for redundancy? How easily can IT or other team members switch to the backup site for various apps? As part of the business continuity planning process, it’s important to gauge how your infrastructure can respond to a rapid hardware failure, network disruption, or data loss.
Testing and Training
As you write various plans using a business continuity plan template, there’s one thing to remember. Your organization will rely heavily on this document in case of an internal or external threat. Therefore, you need a robust plan with detailed guidance on communication protocols, disaster recovery, and accessing data and applications remotely.
Conduct rigorous testing and training to avoid issues and catch any gaps in your BCP. If you want your staff to respond effectively during a disruption, you must train them in all facets of the BCP pertaining to their role.
You can use a business continuity plan template to define how your organization will handle crisis management and communication in an emergency. It’s important to account for emergency response instructions and capture essential information to get your IT resources up and running quickly since they’re essential to all recovery efforts.
You’ll also need a business continuity plan (BCP) that addresses how to create, maintain, and execute your business continuity strategies. You can get business continuity plans dedicated to each of the below, but our template can cover each:
Crisis management defines how your organization will respond to an emergency. Your business continuity plan for this function should contain policies that minimize loss and focus on mitigating damage to profitability and reputation. The executive team will spearhead the crisis management plan executed by operational teams. Meanwhile, the business continuity management team will facilitate the smooth operation of the plan from a tactical perspective.
There are 5Cs in crisis communications: care, commitment, continuity, competency, and community. A crisis communications business continuity plan should identify leaders and provide important details about staying connected when normal communication channels close. Drafting emergency messages ahead of time will facilitate social media updates and press releases, as well as internal instructions.
Account for several phases of emergency management, including preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery. You may need to relocate when your organization faces a business disruption or natural disaster. So, include procedural information such as where, when, and how leadership and key staff will access alternate resources. The finished document should integrate with your emergency action plan .
IT disaster recovery
An IT disaster recovery business continuity plan isn’t just for software companies. Every corporation and organization should have a detailed IT business continuity plan. Include running essential systems during and after a major disruption, target IT business operations, and document recovery objectives, roles, and responsibilities.
This document outlines how to create and maintain your business continuity plan. Include the business analysis impact, plan development, leadership, and project management for your overall BCP framework. Overall, focus on risk mitigation and recovery efforts.
Writing your plan can seem daunting, but it does not have to be. You can create your document easily with a free business continuity plan template. You can even use our document builder to create your plan in minutes. Your business continuity plan should include the following:
Step 1 – Purpose of the plan
The plan should address the scope of its effect. Does the plan cover your entire business? Is it for certain departments?
Your employees and managers need to know how this plan will be applied. It should clearly state over whom the policy applies, so everyone knows what is expected of them after a disaster.
Step 2 – Identify Key Business Areas
After a disaster, it will be difficult or impossible to go back to normal immediately. Identify the critical aspects of your business.
What do you absolutely need to function? What operations are critical, and what can wait until later? What are your main revenue-generating products and services, and how would they be impacted if you could not deliver them? Would this significantly impact your revenue or customer base if these things were undeliverable for a period of time?
This section is not about convenience but necessity. Hone in on these critical functions to determine a priority list for your business continuity plan.
Step 3 – Define the Crisis Team
During an emergency, people need to know who is in charge and their contact information. There should be no doubt about who will call the shots about important business decisions. These individuals will lead the local response and may be in charge of a wider response strategy outside the disaster’s immediate area.
The crisis team should be identified by role and title. This ensures that everyone knows who is in charge if there is a personnel change. Training these key team members and letting them know their roles should a disaster occur is critically important.
Step 4 – Create a Crisis Communication Plan
In addition to identifying the team in charge, the business continuity plan should outline how individuals communicate with one another. Normal methods of communication may be inaccessible. If you are without email, how will you handle communication? How will you handle customer ordering and order fulfillment if your computer system is down? Ensure you include the name of who is in charge of customer communications and their contact information.
To test your processes, you should draft sample emergency messages before an actual crisis. This could include press releases, interviews, or even social media updates.
Step 5 – Relocation and Recovery Operations
In the event of a natural disaster or business disruption, you may need to relocate to an alternative worksite. Include the procedure information and what resources will be required.
Step 6 – Review and Testing
It’s critical to ensure that your business continuity plan is effective and stays up to date. Ensure you include who is in charge of this and how often the plan will be reviewed and tested.
Step 7 – Plan Deactivation
You should also include who is responsible for the deactivation of the business continuity plan and what the procedure is. This ensures that someone can decide to get the company back to normal workings.
Below you can find a business continuity plan sample to help you start drafting your own plan:
Business Continuity Plan
A business continuity plan defines leadership roles in a disaster and focuses on employee and customer safety. It also enables your company to recover more quickly in case of a disaster. Here’s a closer look at the major advantages of writing and maintaining a business continuity plan.
A Well-Defined Leadership Protocol For a Disaster
Senior leadership directs the business continuity plan and sanctions communication protocols for the entire company. Individual department leaders create their own continuity plans for IT, security, HR, payroll, legal, and other functions.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to assign a project manager dedicated to maintaining the BCP and setting up training for new and current staff members.
A More Efficient Return to Normal Business Operations
A BCP could be the difference between continued operations and financial disaster in an emergency. Returning to business operations as quickly as possible can prevent customers from defecting to competitors. A business continuity plan template makes it easy to plan for contingencies in various scenarios and addresses the most important roles and responsibilities needed to keep your company running. Above all, having a business continuity plan minimizes downtime and limits confusion during critical situations.
Increased Employee Safety
The BCP should always consider the health and safety of employees above business objectives. Remember that the safety and wellness of loved ones will be at the top of everyone’s minds. With remote access to key systems, leaders and other team members can balance the needs of their families, coworkers, and customers.
Reduction in Lost Time and Lost Revenue
Unmitigated disruptions can financially cripple an organization quickly. Business continuity plans account for all factors needed for continued operations. The more effort you put into the planning process, the more time and money you can save.
So, ensure a reliable backup plan for essential IT systems and enable remote access to customer, product, and company data needed to keep the revenue stream flowing.
Ability to Quickly Implement IT Fixes
Natural and man-made disasters typically involve system disruptions. To remain functional, build redundancy into your critical systems. This will allow you to implement essential fixes to hardware and software assets.
A business continuity plan should be constantly reviewed and updated to keep it in line with current business processes. You should look at reviewing your business continuity plan at least twice a year, but this could be more dependent on the size of your business and how often your systems and processes change. For most businesses, you’ll want to follow the below sample schedule:
Review Your Checklist – Twice a Year
You should review your business continuity plan twice a year to ensure it is still relevant to your current business processes and status. You should also ensure the plan aligns with your business goals and objectives.
Put It Into Practice – Once a Year
Test your plan by putting it into practice. You should make sure that your plan is solid when put into action, and the best way to do this is by conducting emergency drills at least once a year. Think of it like practicing fire drills at school.
Formal Review – Every Other Year
Gather relevant teams and stakeholders of your business and sit down to review the business continuity plan every other year. This doesn’t have to be overly time-consuming, but it should help you identify any weaknesses or red flags in your plan.
Comprehensive Review – Every Other Year
Separate from the formal review, this one fully delves into the plan. It should look closely at every aspect and ensure everything is up to date with current business processes.
Mock Recovery Test – Every Two or Three Years
This is an in-depth test of your business continuity plan and is the best way to ensure your plan not only works but doesn’t have any potential failings. As this is time-consuming, it doesn’t have to happen frequently but should ensure that all stakeholders sign off on the continuity plan.
You need to consider all disaster scenarios and if you’re able to manage them effectively. Ensure your plan is ready to tackle any difficult or surprising situations.
What is the difference between a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan?
A disaster recovery plan focuses mainly on restoring IT operations and infrastructure following the disaster. It is more limited in scope but is often part of a larger business continuity plan.
What is the primary goal of business continuity planning?
The primary goal of business continuity planning is to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible. It will help reduce downtime and reduce lost revenue.
What should be included in a business continuity plan?
A business continuity plan should include key sections like:
- Scope of the plan
- Crisis team
- Communication Ssrategies
- Relocation and recovery operations
- Review and testing
- Plan deactivation
What is the purpose of a business continuity plan?
The purpose of a business continuity plan is to minimize disruption to normal business processes in the event of a disaster. It outlines how the organization will deal with a disaster. Business continuity plans help you reduce disruption to your business and reduce lost revenue.
What are the four p’s of business continuity planning?
There are four p’s you need to keep in mind when creating a business continuity plan, they are:
- People – employees and customers
- Processes – the technology and processes required to keep everything running
- Premises – the buildings and spaces from which your company operates
- Providers – supplies and partners that your business relies on for resources
Related Business Operations Documents
- One-Page Business Plan : A simplified version of a traditional business plan that outlines the basics of your business.
- LLC Operating Agreement : An internal written document among members of a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”).
- Articles of Incorporation : A set of formal documents that contain the basic information needed to form an incorporated business (or corporation).
- Social Media Policy : A document detailing the guidelines and requirements for your company's social media use.
- Emergency Action Plan : Outline a standard process that your company can use in the event of an emergency.
- All Legal Forms
- Business Forms
- Real Estate Forms
- Personal and Family Forms
- Lease Agreements
- Power of Attorney Forms
- Eviction Notice
- Living Will
- Non-Disclosure Agreement
- Legal Resources
- Real Estate
- Personal & Family
- Estate Planning
- Covid-19 Resources
- Partner With Us
- Legal Dictionary
- Do Not Sell My Personal Information
The Government is investing considerable resource in contingency planning for a potential flu pandemic in the UK.
Department of Health
- Department of Health pandemic flu guidance includes key facts, FAQs, the National Framework for responding to a Pandemic Influenza, infection control guidance as well as the Chief Medical Officer's guide for health professionals and the public.
Health and Safety Executive
HSE has developed general guidance for employers and employees to use if the Chief Medical Officer declares a pandemic flu within the UK.
- Pandemic Flu: Workplace Guidance
Health and social care influenza pandemic preparedness and response' has been developed by Department of Health (DH) and the Public Health England (PHE), in consultation with HSE to facilitate planning by NHS Trusts in advance of the emergence of the next influenza pandemic. This guidance, below, includes advice on preparedness planning, occupational health, infection control precautions (including the use of personal protective equipment), and environmental infection control.
Health and social care influenza pandemic preparedness and response' (Pandemic influenza: guidance for infection control in hospitals and primary care settings)
The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) has issued guidance for laboratory workers handling flu viruses, including avian, animal and human influenza viruses. This covers routine work with the viruses, both intentional and diagnostic.
Advice on working with influenza viruses
Business continuity planning
For the purposes of business continuity planning, local authorities and all businesses will wish to consider the likely effects, including any health and safety effects, of a pandemic on their organisations and the measures that may need to be taken to manage these.
General advice can be found at
The UK Influenza Preparedness Strategy 2011 (Pandemic flu: A national framework for responding to an influenza pandemic)
Is this page useful?
- Get started for free
- CRM and Sales
- Project management
- Software development
- Finance & Accounting
- Product updates
- monday apps
- monday workdocs
- monday news
- Task management
- Remote work
How to write a business continuity plan template
To avoid the common pitfalls associated with growing a successful business, you’ll need to come up with a long-term plan. A business continuity plan template can help you anticipate and avoid disruptions to your company.
Unanticipated threats can wipe out your assets, while risky courses of action can lead to disastrous results. Take the pandemic as an example, which wrought havoc on companies’ plans for growth. In the first year, 43% of businesses temporarily closed , something few could have anticipated.
In this article, we’ll explore why you need a business continuity plan template to help you stay on steady footing, even if the ground beneath you shakes.
Get the template
What is a business continuity plan template?
A business continuity plan (BCP) is a roadmap for long-term success that factors in common pitfalls and risks. A business continuity plan template ensures that you dot your Is and cross your Ts, and craft a reliable plan to handle unexpected events or disasters.
The template will include fields for filling in information on your current resources, recovery procedures when you face critical setbacks, and a list of personnel responsible for addressing such issues.
The primary purpose of business continuity management is to analyze the current status of your company and its state of preparedness for unexpected threats. With it, senior management can find any weak spots in the business and proactively identify solutions to problems that could hinder progress toward your goals. Of course, there are other reasons you’d benefit from this template.
Why use a business continuity plan template?
Reiterating on the above, the main function of the business continuity plans template is to provide a framework for addressing any problems that may arise in various departments and areas of the business.
Without a plan for dealing with roadblocks, your business’s growth can be stunted, or worse, screech to a halt. All it takes is a few missteps or misguided risks to steer your company off course. 90% of small businesses fail within a single year if they can’t resume full operations following an unexpected disaster.
Don’t confuse a BCP with a disaster recovery plan. A BCP doesn’t just outline what to do in case of emergencies, but it presents ideas for recovering full functionality within the business to minimize the impact on growth.
Take your company’s sensitive data as an example. Relying solely on backups to external servers or hard drives could be risky. In your BCP template, you’ll want to detail how you can protect and manage your data in the event of a breach or severe weather conditions. For instance, a hybrid approach, using both a cloud-based solution and a private server, could afford you extra data security and safety.
There were 3,950 confirmed data breaches in 2020 alone, which highlights the dangers of ignoring your data security. The faster you can get back on your feet and recover from cyberthreats or unforeseen events, the easier it’ll be to hold onto your cutting edge and stay a step ahead of the competition.
Those are the benefits in theory, but let’s take a look at specific cases where BCP templates can help.
What are examples of business continuity plan templates?
Depending on your needs, these business continuity templates can provide a little extra inspiration to get started.
Risk assessment template for business continuity
Use a risk assessment table to calculate whether various weather conditions or other events could impact your day-to-day operations. Your business continuity management team could use resources such as this to identify potential threats—however unlikely —to make sure that the company isn’t caught off guard.
( Image Source )
While nobody could have predicted the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina, a rigorous risk assessment system ensures that you have most bases covered, including natural disasters.
Even if your headquarters is sheltered from severe weather conditions, there may be secondary offices or physical data servers in high-risk areas. As such, it’s important to factor in all of your infrastructure to avoid getting blindsided.
Alternate site evaluation template
If you have employees working from home or away from your primary place of work, you can use an alternate site evaluation table to evaluate the possible risks. Have your employees fill out a table like this one so that you have all the relevant contact information on your books in case of an emergency.
This information can help you better understand your employees’ work arrangements and troubleshoot any issues should they come up.
BCP committee table template
Use a simple BCP committee table to determine member’s roles and responsibilities. For each member, you can fill out contact information, along with a list of the main duties they are required to carry out.
This will make it easy for the committee members to coordinate for meetings and have a clear action plan for what to do next.
Want a template that lets you do all of this in one document? monday.com has just what the doctor ordered.
monday.com’s business continuity plan template
On the monday.com business continuity plan template, you’ll be able to enter data such as committee member contact details, disaster recovery action plans, and evacuation information.
The template covers all bases regarding potential threats you could encounter as you grow your business. With it, you’ll be able to keep all the information in a single place and enter it in an easy-to-digest way to share with your employees.
And that’s not all. With monday.com Work OS, your employees can easily share and collaborate on tables and forms, so you can ask for input regarding secondary places of work and contact information. Plus, managers can access this information from anywhere, allowing them to see crucial details at a glance for better preparation.
Part of business continuity planning is ensuring your sensitive data is secure, so you’ll appreciate that monday.com protects your information with permission-based access. Only those in the BCP committee will be privy to the plans unless you wish to grant access to other employees.
If you want to expand beyond the BCP and really detail how you’ll deal with potential disasters and risks, we’ve got a few templates for you.
Related templates from monday.com
Let’s take a look at a few templates that are related to a business continuity plan template.
Disaster recovery template
A Disaster Recovery Template falls under the scope of the business continuity plan committee. It’s just what it sounds like: a comprehensive plan for necessary actions if disaster strikes. More specifically, the plan should inform your approach for getting systems back online when they go down.
In this disaster recovery template, you can include everything from cyber-attacks and data breaches to worldwide pandemics or natural disasters. You can integrate these reports into your overall BCP to get a comprehensive overview of your recovery plans.
Operating functions template
An operating functions template gives you an idea of how you can cut costs in various processes and workflows. It can also inform how you can implement more sustainable business practices and initiatives.
Check out these different operations templates from monday.com that can be used with the BCP template to outline potential risks associated with new initiatives and suggested changes to work processes.
Program risk register
The Program Risk Register Template is for the early-stage process of identifying and evaluating potential risks to your business. It complements the business continuity plan template well — you can focus on valid, severe, likely risks in your BCP, and have a separate table for risks of all likelihoods and potential levels of impact.
FAQs about business continuity plan templates
How do you write a business continuity plan.
You can write a business continuity plan by first listing the various departments of your company and what risks or threats they might face. From there, you can assess the likelihood of these threats coming to fruition. Once you have an idea of the probability of the various threats to your company, you can prioritize them.
With a prioritized list, you can start with the most pressing threat and proactively brainstorm what actions you could take if it were to arise. The purpose of the BCP is to shield your company against anything that could hinder your progress. Coming up with potential solutions for addressing hypothetical problems can prepare you for real ones in the future.
What is a small business continuity plan?
A small business continuity plan is a document that details potential risks and threats to a small business. It’s well worth creating such a document as a small business owner, as it can save you from disaster as you strive to scale the company.
For small businesses, any hitch can prove disastrous. 38.8% of US-based small businesses were affected by supply chain issues in 2021, which, for some, would have impeded growth significantly. Over-reliance on foreign suppliers could be an example of an unnecessary risk that, without being addressed, could spell disaster for a small business.
With the business continuity plan in place, you can protect your business in its most vulnerable state of growth. The plan forces you to think laterally about the threats that could sink your business. That way, you can make necessary course corrections and increase your chances of long-term survival.
What is an example of a business continuity plan?
An example of a business continuity plan is to plan out how you’ll protect your app’s uptime in the event something happens to one data center: for example, running a clone in AWS you can always fall back on.
What are the 3 elements of business continuity?
The three most vital elements within business continuity are resilience, recovery, and contingency.
- Resilience: how you’ll make it as hard as possible for critical functions to fail.
- Recovery: how you’ll get back to normal operations if disaster strikes.
- Contingency: what you’ll do if plan A for recovery fails.
One platform for better teamwork
With monday.com work os.
Home PowerPoint Templates Strategy Business Continuity Plan PowerPoint Templates
Business Continuity Plan PowerPoint Templates
Business Continuity Plan PowerPoint Templates is a corporate presentation slide deck. It is a disaster management and prevention strategy concept. The business continuity planning or BCP involves methods of risk prevention, mitigation, and recovery from threats. These plans help organizations to protect businesses from potential threats. BCP identifies potential risks in advance by taking inputs from key stakeholders and past experiences.
The business continuity management and IT professionals outline strategies to keep company operational during emergency situations. These risky situations could be power outages, social & political, or environmental. The most recent health crises and global warming bring new strategic discussions on the table. To prepare companies for such situations, business continuity planning covers following risk management components:
Identify potential risk factors and how they could affect operations across all boards Define and implement safety measures or procedures to mitigate risks beforehand Test safety procedures to ensure they work Review all processes are up-to-date
The Business Continuity Plan PowerPoint Templates are a collection of business diagrams, charts, and models. There are 15 slides that will help you demonstrate a business continuity plan with supporting visual content. The business continuity plan template could be used in all types of industries for IT disaster recovery. These plans will help businesses to continuously provide services and have backup on different operations. The PowerPoint templates of business continuity management are also useful for training sessions. For example, the importance of BCP, testing of software and tools, emergency backups, security protocols, etc.
The 15 slides of Business Continuity Plan PowerPoint Templates capture following risk management topics:
- Presentation agenda – It includes risk management factors, business impact analysis, and policy framework
- Management Oversight – Organization structure in three levels i.e. Strategic, Tactical, and Operational
- Risk Identification – Data table for a list of potential risks
- Risk Evaluation – Analyze risks, their likelihood, consequences, and levels
- Risk Assessment – 7 column risk impact assessment
- Risk control matrix – Controls available to manage risks
- Business Impact Analysis – Analyze the impact of risks on business sections
- Business Continuity Policy Framework – Define various policy elements
- Risk Response Matrix – probability and business response
- Mitigation Plan – Guideline to mitigate the impact of risks
- BCP Plan Oversight – BCP system including policy, processes, suppliers, and customers
- BCP Process – 5 steps process cycle diagram and 5 steps horizontal timeline diagram
The Business Continuity Plan is a time invested in pre-planning for when disaster strikes. A well-documented plan communicates how businesses will respond during disruption to mitigate risks. Since frequency of disruptive events is increasing. Businesses need to be prepared for existing and emerging risks. Business Continuity Plan PowerPoint Templates will enable organizations to develop and showcase their survival through business continuity strategy.
You must be logged in to download this file.
Favorite Add to Collection
Details (15 slides)
Subscribe today and get immediate access to download our PowerPoint templates.
Related PowerPoint Templates
The Resilience Gap PowerPoint Template
Lean Thinking Diagram Template for PowerPoint
Startup Risk Factors PowerPoint Template
Business Risks Diagram PowerPoint Template
Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Template
Prepare emergency procedures for risks using this business continuity plan template. Identify the scope, business functions at risk and outline roles and responsibilities of key personnel.
Free Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Template Checklist
Go digital today, convert your paper checklists into digital forms.
Scan this QR code to use this paper checklist on your smartphone or tablet or visit https://safetyculture.com/
- Location Address
Scope & Objectives
Purpose of the BCP including which business functions are prioritized for recovery during an emergency
Operations at Risk and Recovery Plan
Add operational area at risk
Description of operation
Rate impact on business continuity
Roles & Responsibilities
Add BCP committee member
Description of responsibilities
Full Name & Signature
- Operations software by SafetyCulture
- Sensors & monitoring by SafetyCulture
- Training by EdApp
- Insurance by Mitti
- SWMS by SafetyDocs
- Integrate with my tools
- SafetyCulture Pricing
- EdApp Course Library
- Customer Stories
- Checklist guides
- Topic guides
- Events & Webinars
- App & software guides
- API developer documentation
- Support center
- Getting started
- Book a demo
- Product updates
- Leadership team
- Disaster recovery planning and management
- A free business continuity plan template and guide
A business continuity plan is critical for an organization when an unplanned event occurs. Follow this template and BC planning guidelines to get on the right path to resilience.
- Paul Kirvan
- Paul Crocetti, Senior Site Editor
The business continuity planning process contains several steps. These include project initiation, risk assessment,...
Continue Reading This Article
Enjoy this article as well as all of our content, including E-Guides, news, tips and more.
You forgot to provide an Email Address.
This email address doesn’t appear to be valid.
This email address is already registered. Please log in .
You have exceeded the maximum character limit.
Please provide a Corporate Email Address.
Please check the box if you want to proceed.
- I agree to my information being processed by TechTarget and its Partners to contact me via phone, email, or other means regarding information relevant to my professional interests. I may unsubscribe at any time.
business impact analysis, strategy development, plan development, plan exercising and maintenance, emergency communications, awareness and training, and coordination with public authorities.
For many professionals, these steps present a formidable challenge. To make the business continuity management process easier, people seek out alternatives, such as software, templates, checklists or consultants. While each of these options can build a plan and its associated program elements, too often these tools are used to get something done quickly. Typically, the process involves some data gathering and interviewing, followed by a fill-in-the-blanks business process that somehow magically creates a finished product.
SearchDisasterRecovery has created a free business continuity plan template to assist you in your BC planning. Download and print out our template, and then, read the step-by-step guide below to create a successful business continuity plan (BCP) .
Why you need a business continuity plan
A BCP helps an organization continue to operate during a service interruption. It should state the key functions of the organization and have all the information necessary to keep business functions running .
A business must have a BC plan that tackles a variety of events, including natural disasters, workplace violence, failures in infrastructure and staff disruptions. In an age of cyberthreats, the plan should also take into account the possibility of such unplanned incidents as ransomware attacks and data breaches. Protecting data is paramount, as it is the lifeblood of many companies today.
If a business does not have a continuity plan when an interruption occurs, it risks financial, reputational and personal loss. With a small business especially, an extended service interruption can be catastrophic.
A business may require a continuity plan for compliance or insurance reasons. Proper business continuity planning also improves communications and helps the organization discover areas where it may be lacking.
This article is part of
What is BCDR? Business continuity and disaster recovery guide
- Which also includes:
- Business resilience vs. business continuity: Key differences
- Preparing an annual schedule of business continuity activities
Download this entire guide for FREE now!
General business continuity planning tips
The following checklist should be top of mind during BC planning.
Take the process seriously. If you want to protect your business from unplanned events that could disrupt operations, create a plan. It doesn't have to be hundreds of pages long. It just needs the right information, which should be current and accurate.
Use BC and disaster recovery (BC/DR) standards as a starting point. Almost two dozen BC standards are available worldwide. In the U.S., several options are currently in use:
- National Fire Protection Association 1600;
- International Organization for Standardization 22301; and
- Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council BC handbook used by the banking and finance sectors.
Keep it simple. Less can definitely be more in this situation, unless the user is primarily a technology-based group, such as IT.
Limit content to actual disaster response actions. If you are creating a plan to respond to specific incidents, include only the information needed for the response and subsequent recovery.
Make it happen. Once the BCP is complete, exercise it to ensure that the documented procedures make sense in the sequence indicated.
Be flexible. A single template may not be universally applicable to all departments or locations in your organization; consider other templates, software or consultants.
The keys to a creating a successful business continuity plan are to define step-by-step procedures for response and recovery, validate these activities through periodic exercising and maintain the plan and its various components.
Who should be involved in BCP planning
It is often the job of the IT administrator to create the BCP, but participation by executive staff and other employees can help make the document more comprehensive.
One of the key pieces of any BCP creation, the business impact analysis (BIA), requires input from employees. The BIA includes what employees do, what they need and the impact on the business if they can't do their work.
Gathering information through a BIA and risk assessment (RA) is critical because it helps to inform the business continuity plan. When the organization has enough information, it can fill out the free business continuity plan template found on this page.
When an organization has finished its BCP, employees should be thoroughly trained on the document to make sure they know what's required of them during an incident. Some employees, for example, will be part of the emergency response team. Training also provides guidance on how employees can implement BC principles into their daily work.
A guide to using our business continuity template
Here's a look at the structure and content of our free business continuity plan template, indicating key issues to address and activities to perform.
- Initial data: If you have identified various people to contact during a business disruption, locate their contact information at the front of the plan so you won't have to waste valuable seconds paging through a lengthy document.
- Revision management: Have a page that reflects your change management process.
- Purpose and scope (Sections 1.1 through 1.6): Provide details on these attributes, as well as assumptions, team descriptions, a list of terms and other background information.
- How to use the plan (Sections 1.7.1 through 1.7.4): Provide information on circumstances under which the plan will be activated, including outage time frames, who declares a disaster and who should be contacted in this situation.
- Provide policy information (Section 1.7.5): This is a good place to use standards documents as references.
- Emergency management and response (Section 1.7.6): Specify situations in which the plan is to be activated and response procedures.
- Use step-by-step procedures (Sections 1.7.7 through 1.7.10): These are easier to follow than broad general statements, such as "relocate to alternate building," that require considerable details to work properly.
- Plan review and maintenance (Section 1.8): Describe how often the plan is to be reviewed and updated and by whom.
- Alert/verification/declaration phase (Section 2): Assuming a situation has occurred, this provides steps to take to address it. These can be in the form of checklists (useful to keep track of scheduled and completed tasks) and flow diagrams that provide a high-level view of response and recovery. Information needs to be gathered before officially declaring a disaster. This includes damage assessment data and firsthand reports from staff and first responders. Convene meetings as needed with key emergency management team members to evaluate the facts before proceeding to a declaration.
- Disaster declared (Section 3): Address actions to take when it becomes obvious that management needs to declare a disaster. A damage assessment can be initiated either before or after the declaration; it is up to company management.
- Business recovery (Section 4): Provide detailed instructions on recovery operations, relocating to an alternate site and related activities.
- Detailed appendices (Section 5): These include lists and contact details on all emergency teams, primary and alternate vendors, alternate work space locations and other relevant information. It is very important to keep this information up to date.
- Additional forms (Appendix 5.7): These should be developed in advance, validated by exercising (as is the entire plan) and kept in a ready-to-use format.
Elements to consider when filling out the template
Remember that this free business continuity plan template is just that -- a template. Some sections may not apply as much to your business as others. Don't just fill out a section for the sake of filling it out if it's not going to help you during a business disruption.
Make sure you have the correct information, from contacts to procedures. Having the wrong phone number in a crisis situation can lead to even bigger problems.
Make sure you have the right amount of information to continue running your business. A plan that's two pages long may be more efficient than one that's 100 pages long.
Keep in mind how the minimum amount of staff and resources can keep the business functions running, and go from there. During an incident, there may not be a lot of time and resources at your disposal.
Remember to use the data and information you have accumulated in the RA and BIA. These two documents are valuable resources for BC planning.
Be specific in your directions. You don't want anything left up in the air during an unplanned incident.
Make sure your plan starts at the beginning and ends at the end -- as in, don't leave anything out across the entire business continuity process.
Testing the plan
After the organization completes its BCP, which includes getting approval from the management team, it should circulate the document and make sure employees know how to view it. For redundancy, the document should be available as a hard copy in multiple places and also online, perhaps through a company intranet site.
The BCP shouldn't sit on a shelf; it should be a living document. An organization should keep its plan updated through testing, review and maintenance.
Testing ranges from talking about the plan to doing a full-scale run-through of what the business will do in the event of an incident. Testing can be planned, but unplanned tests are also important to better mimic an unforeseen event. The organization then reviews the test and makes sure all the information is correct. During the maintenance phase, the organization corrects any issues that came up in testing and review. An internal or external audit of the BCP is also helpful for improvement.
Review of the BCP doesn't need to happen all at once. However, remember to constantly review areas that are most likely to change frequently, such as contact information. Having a schedule is another way to ensure the completion of important business continuity plan exercises.
Continual improvement is a key to an updated, comprehensive BCP.
An organization can perform BCP exercises at the same time as other similar tasks, such as DR testing.
A guide to business continuity and disaster recovery planning
Continually improve your business continuity
Using BC/DR templates
Dig Deeper on Disaster recovery planning and management
Use ISO/TS 22317:2021 to shape your business impact analysis
business impact analysis (BIA)
business continuity plan (BCP)
A new SaaS backup specialist emerges from stealth to protect data in apps such as Trello, GitHub and GitLab, which CEO Rob ...
A growing number of enterprise Kubernetes users presents an opportunity for CloudCasa, currently a division of Catalogic, with ...
Organizations with SaaS-based applications are still relying on the providers for data protection, even though the vendors are ...
Pure Storage expanded its storage offerings with FlashBlade//E designed for the unstructured data market with an acquisition cost...
Data governance manages the availability, usability, integrity and security of data. Follow these best practices for governance ...
Vast Data Universal Storage brought out data services, including set performance, metadata cataloging, better security, container...
An incident response program ensures security events are addressed quickly and effectively as soon as they occur. These best ...
The Biden-Harris administration's 39-page National Cybersecurity Strategy covers multiple areas, including disrupting ransomware ...
While ransomware incidents appear to be decreasing, several high-profile organizations, including Dole, Dish Network and the U.S....
Policymakers want federal data privacy legislation limiting businesses' ability to collect data on individuals and banning ...
Public, private, hybrid or consortium, each blockchain network has distinct pluses and minuses that largely drive its ideal uses ...
Get the lowdown on the major features, differentiators, strengths and weaknesses of the blockchain platforms getting the most ...
- Articles and tools
- Business strategy and planning
- Manage your business
- 8 steps for planning your emergency and disaster plan
Whether it's a natural disaster such as an ice storm, or a serious accident in an industrial plant, an unforeseen event can disrupt business operations at any company.
After all, in an emergency situation, your employees may not be able to come to work. Your suppliers may face a shortage of the materials you need to continue your business activities, or demand for your services may simply decline.
The key benefits of a business continuity plan
No one can predict the future; however, you can be ready with a sound business continuity plan. Getting a plan in place shows your employees, shareholders and customers that you are a proactive organization; it improves overall efficiency in your company and helps you allocate the right financial and human resources to keep your firm up and running during a serious disruption.
Here are 8 basic steps to keep in mind when putting together your plan. Click on the link in each step to find more information and useful templates from BDC's complete Business Continuity Guide .
It is a good idea to clearly assign the responsibility for emergency preparedness to a team. Select a few managers/individuals or an existing committee to take charge of the project.
It is advisable to assign one person to lead the planning process. You should also ensure that this "emergency manager" has the authority to get things done.
As with other business aspects, planning for an emergency relies on the following:
- An understanding of the organizational objectives
- Solid research on the risks
- Creative alternatives to unique challenges
- Reliable decision-making process.
What are the key roles and responsibilities for your Emergency Preparedness team?
Planning and implementation.
- Develop the Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
- Establish alert levels and monitor
- Develop training and cross-training plans
- Identify key business partners such as suppliers and clients and determine if they have a BCP
- Assess potential financial impact of an emergency on the business
- Ensure adequate amount of supplies. (emergency safety equipment, such as personal protective equipment, or in the event of a pandemic, hygiene supplies like hand sanitizers, cleaning products, masks, protective barriers, etc.)
- Local site manager(s) implements the plan
- Perform trial run of the plan
Policies, procedures, organization
- Establish policies such as compensation and absences, return to work procedures, telecommuting, flexible work hours, travel restrictions
- Define chain of command for plan implementation
- Establish authorities' trigger points and when to implement BCP
- Establish emergency safety policies for the workplace. For example, in the event of a pandemic, policies that will help prevent the spread of influenza, such as promoting respiratory/ hygiene/cough etiquette, and prompt exclusion of people with influenza symptoms.
- Establish policies for employees who are directly affected by the emergency. For example, in the event of a pandemic, policies for employees who have been exposed.
- Maintain good communications and manage relations with all staff levels
- Advise senior management
- Instil importance of the BCP throughout the organization
- Liaison with local government agencies such as Health Canada and Public Safety Canada
- Prepare and disseminate timely and accurate information to all employees
- Educate staff about possible emergencies. For example, in the event of a pandemic, give information on signs and symptoms of influenza, modes of transmission, personal and family protection, and response strategies
- Evaluate using various forms of technology to maintain communications
- Help prepare training on the subject
- Local site managers implement the plan
- Setup systems to monitor employees for an emergency.
Use the Planning Team for Business Continuity in an Emergency form (DOC) to clearly identify the team members and coordinator who will create your BCP for emergencies, along with their respective contact information.
During an emergency, your business may experience a disruption in your operations due to:
- High staff absenteeism
- Unavailability of supplies and materials
- Interruptions to services like power, transportation and communications.
Objective of the business continuity planning process
Determine how your organization will maintain essential services/functions in the event of an emergency.
What are essential services
- A service when not delivered, creates an impact on the health and safety of individuals.
- A service that may lead to the failure of a business unit if activities are not performed in a specified time period.
- In some organizations, services that must be performed to satisfy regulatory requirements.
- A service where if not performed, the impact may be immediate or may occur over a certain time period.
This means that your business may be forced to modify, reduce, or even eliminate specific services/functions to cope with the impacts of the emergency. These impacts may be felt across the organization or localized to specific business units.
As you begin discussions, you may find that you have existing resources that you can use to extract information about essential services in your organization (e.g., pandemic influenza plans, Y2K plan, etc.)
How to determine and prioritize your essential services
1. complete the essential services ranking template.
This will help you create your list of essential services by department or business unit. You then need to rate the degree to which it will negatively impact the various key areas such as financial, employees, customers etc.
2. Prioritize and categorize, use the Essential Services Criticalness Factor template
For each essential service, assign a "degree of criticalness" (Priority A, B or C). Rate the impact on each service such as staff absenteeism, unavailability of critical supplies, or disruptions to essential systems.
- Priority A: Essential services/functions
- Priority B: Services that can be suspended for a short period of time (for example, services that can be suspended for one month).
- Priority C: Services that can be suspended for an extended period of time. This may require a corporate overview.
As part of your business continuity planning process, you'll need to identify the number of staff and skills required to perform and maintain the essential services/functions.
Use the Essential Services Criticalness Factor template to help you capture the information necessary to develop your plan.
Try to identify any special requirements necessary to perform the essential services/functions (for example, license to operate heavy machinery).
You may also wish to prepare a list of special tasks and skills required in emergency situations and assign them to appropriate employees, e.g. crisis management team, employee support, IT backup, defining security perimeters etc.
Additional sites with useful information:
- Public Safety Canada
- Canadian Center for Emergency Preparedness
- Canadian Red Cross
Discuss what will happen if you have to reduce, modify or eliminate essential services or functions. Document the following points:
- All the issues that are identified
- Action plans for each issue
- The responsibilities of designated people for each essential service or function.
Strategies and action plans
Use the Action Plan Template for Maintaining Essential Service (DOC) to write your plans for each essential service or function. This should include:
- A description of the service or function
- Individuals responsible for implementing the action plan
- Backup individuals
- Business impact issues
- Action plans: Include key items such as notification communication plan, staff relocation, alternate resources, suppliers, etc.
- Resource needs
Use the supplied templates to create lists of all your key contacts along with their contact information.
Being proactive in contacting important customers can go a long way in mitigating losses. Use the Action Plan Template for Key Customers (DOC) to list customers who would need and expect personal notification from you, or who would be offended or take their business elsewhere if they were not contacted.
Include the following information in your list:
- Product or service provided: A description of the product or service you provide. Use the comments main to indicate the reason that this customer should be contacted in an emergency.
- Contact person's name: For some customers, there may not be a specific person to list. As appropriate, you can list a title or department, e.g., "service representative on call" or "service department."
- Contact phone numbers: Include all possible ways to reach the customer, including fax, cellular, pager, after-hours number if different from the normal number, and toll-free numbers in addition to the normal number.
- Alternate names and numbers: Where possible, list alternatives to the primary contact person.
- 24-hour service: If your customer does not have 24-hour service, discuss with them how to contact them during off-hours. Reassure them that the information will have limited distribution, and ask for home telephone numbers if cellular or pager numbers are not sufficient.
- Comments: Include any significant information including the reason this customer should be contacted following an incident, instructions the customer would need, etc.
Suppliers and sub-contractors
Use the Action Plan Template for Critical Suppliers (DOC) to list essential information on your key suppliers. The information should be the same as that described for Key Customers, above.
Business partners and support providers
This main is for important partners who do not fall into the earlier categories, but that you would need to contact in the event of an emergency:
- Business partners (internal and external) that are neither vendors nor customers. These could include internal business units who rely on your business for information, your management, and internal business units that would support your recovery. Examples include corporate insurance, internal security, facilities, public relations and legal entities.
- Support providers include emergency-response agencies such as police, fire, utility companies, and the Canadian Red Cross (if your community uses the 911 system, that should be documented).
Use the Action Plan Template for Business partners (DOC) to list essential information about these other partners. The information should be the same as that described for Key Customers above.
Review your Business Continuity Plan to make sure that all issues have been addressed, and identify any areas in which you may need additional documentation.
The "Business Continuity Plan Checklist" (DOC) provided by Capital Health was developed to ensure that you've covered most aspects of your plan.
Impact on your business
Impact on your employees and customers, establishing policies to be implemented during an emergency.
- Allocating resources to protect your employees and customers
Communicating with employees
Coordinating with external organizations and helping your community.
- Have you identified an emergency coordinator or team and clearly defined their roles and responsibilities? Do you need to involve labour representatives?
- Have you identified the employees and critical inputs you need to maintain business operations during an emergency?
- Have you trained and prepared a backup workforce?
- Have you planned for scenarios that are likely to affect the demand for your products or services during an emergency?
- What is the potential impact of an emergency on company financials? On different product lines or production sites?
- What is the potential impact of an emergency on business-related domestic and international travel?
- Do you have access to up-to-date, reliable information on emergencies from community public health, emergency management, and other sources? Are the links to this information sustainable?
- Do you have an emergency communication plan?
- What mechanisms are in place to revise the plan periodically?
- Have you tested your plan?
- Have you forecasted and allowed for employee absences during an emergency?
- Do you have guidelines to reduce face-to-face contact in the workplace and with customers, in the event of a pandemic?
- Do you encourage and monitor annual employee flu vaccinations?
- Have you evaluated employee access to and availability of healthcare services during an emergency? Do these services need improvement?
- Have you evaluated employee access to and availability of mental health and social services during an emergency?
- Have you identified employees and key customers with special needs? Are their needs incorporated into your BCP?
- Have you established emergency policies for employee compensation and sick-leave absences?
- Have you established flexible policies regarding worksite and work hours?
- Have you established policies to prevent the influenza spread of disease at the worksite?
- Do you have policies for employees who have been exposed, are suspected to be ill, or become ill at the worksite?
- Have you established policies for restricting travel to affected geographic areas, evacuating employees working in or near an affected area when an emergency occurs, and guidance for employees returning from affected areas?
- Have you set up authorities, triggers, and procedures for activating and terminating the company's response plan, for altering business operations and for transferring business knowledge to key employees?
Allocating resources to protect your employees and customers during an emergency
- Do you provide sufficient and accessible emergency supplies?
- Do you need to enhance communications and information technology infrastructures to support employee telecommuting and remote customer access?
- Will medical consultation and advice be available for emergency response?
- Have you developed and disseminated programs and materials covering emergency fundamentals?
- Have you anticipated and planned for employee fear and anxiety, rumours and misinformation?
- Are your communications culturally and linguistically appropriate?
- Have you disseminated information to employees about your emergency preparedness and response plan?
- Have you provided information for the at-home care of ill employees and family members?
- Do you have a platform for communicating emergency status and actions to employees, vendors, suppliers, and customers inside and outside the worksite in a consistent and timely way? Have you included redundancies in the emergency contact system?
- Have you identified community sources for timely and accurate emergency information? Resources for obtaining safety equipment and counter-measures?
- Have you consulted insurers, health plans, and major local healthcare facilities to share your emergency plans and understand their capabilities and plans?
- Have you consulted federal, provincial, and local public agencies or emergency responders?
- Have you asked local or provincial public agencies or emergency responders what your business could contribute to the community?
- Do you share best practices with other businesses in your communities, chambers of commerce, and associations to improve community response efforts?
You should present a draft of the Business Continuity Plan to your emergency preparedness team for review and/or comment. Since the committee will have an understanding of the overall corporate impact of an emergency, they should review to ensure that your plan:
- Is consistent for all business units/departments.
- Addresses all critical elements .
The committee should also be in charge of monitoring the progress of the initiative .
Be proactive: put your plan to the test by performing trial runs. This will help you identify any missing aspects or weaknesses.
- 5 tips to minimize the risk of a disaster for your business
- What is strategic planning?
- Strategic planning: Realize your company's potential
- Business performance benchmarking tool
- Business continuity plan templates
- Business plan template
- Apply online for a flexible small business loan up to $100k
- Protect your cash flow with a working capital loan
- Advisory services
- Human Resources Growth
- Human Resources
- Tools and Samples
Business Continuity Plan
A business continuity plan (BCP) is an essential business document that outlines how a business will continue its critical functions during and after an emergency event or disruption in business.
Emergency events can also include natural disasters, workplace violence, utility failures, cyber-attacks, supply shortages, economic downturns, or any event that will result in the disruption of business processes.
Try Betterteam for FREE
Send jobs to 100+ job boards with one submission
- Completely free trial, no card required.
- Reach over 250 million candidates.
The COVID-19 Pandemic:
The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is a real-world example of an emergency situation in which a business continuity plan should be instituted.
Business Continuity Plan Template Download
Download this business continuity plan template in MS Word format and start using it straight away.
Why is it Important To Have a Business Continuity Plan?
In times of crisis, having a business continuity plan in place will ensure your business is able to function, before, during, and after an emergency event.
A BCP will clearly outline the people and procedures involved in running your business when the worst happens. A Busines Continuity Plan is beneficial because:
- It is required by many business regulators, investors, and stakeholders.
- It provides a sense of security for managers and staff.
- It will allow your business to provide reasonable service to your customers during and after an emergency.
- It will allow you to preserve your revenue stream and your reputation.
- It can provide additional insight into your organization.
What Should Be Included In A Business Continuity Plan:
Business continuity plans are as varied and complex as businesses themselves. Every plan is different and should be based on the needs of your company and your customers. Here are a few general examples of what a BCP should include:
- The scope and purpose of your plan.
- Your plan's goals and objectives.
- A comprehensive list of tasks required to keep your operations going.
- The roles and responsibilities of your BCM team and your staff.
- The contact information for management and key BCM staff.
- Maintenance protocols for your plan.
- Information about site and data backups.
- Information on where to go in an emergency.
- Procedures to coordinate with emergency personnel.
How to Build a Business Continuity Plan:
A step-by-step guide to creating a business continuity plan.
Identify the scope of your plan.
Perform a regulatory review..
Before you create your business continuity plan, first consider the expectations and regularity standards that come from external stakeholders including investors, external partners, and auditors.
Identify the objectives of your plan.
When creating a comprehensive business continuity plan, a key step is to identify the objectives of your plan and then set goals accordingly. Here you should be considering how detailed your plan should be and which departments and staff members should be involved.
Define the outcome of your plan.
When creating the scope of your plan, you should also define the successful outcome of your plan and which milestones should be tracked during an emergency.
Form the business continuity management team.
Decide on the size of your team..
The business continuity management team is responsible for implementing and executing your BCP. The size of your team is dependent on the size of your company and the way in which you plan on rolling out your program.
Identify your key business areas and critical functions.
Complete a risk assessment..
The next step is to perform a detailed risk assessment on your company. A risk assessment allows you to understand the physical, financial, reputational, and operational risks to your company should a major disruption occur.
Have your team create a detailed list of threats and risks that would impact your business and rate them according to the likelihood of occurrence and severity. Examples of risks and exposures include:
- Natural disasters.
- Global pandemics.
- Staffing shortages.
- Cyber attacks.
- Single point disruptions.
- Disruptions to the supply chain.
- Political instability.
Conduct a business impact analysis.
A business impact analysis will help you identify your business's core needs and determine the potential impact resulting from the disruption of business. Examples of impacts to consider include:
- Increase in customer dissatisfaction.
- Damage to company reputation.
- Loss of sales or income.
- Loss of equipment or data.
- Delay or loss of new business.
- Regulatory fines.
Identify your business processes and determine which would cause the most damage to the company if they were to fail. Classify each of these functions or processes as either:
Find out which business objectives they support, how often they occur, which departments they affect, and what other aspects of the business are dependent on these to function? Your BIA report should document the potential impact resulting from business disruptions and provide information that can be used in your recovery strategies.
Create an incident response plan.
Outline your operations plan..
This should be the most comprehensive section of your business continuity plan. You can break down operations activities into prevention strategies, response strategies, and recovery strategies.
Come up with prevention strategies.
In this section, you should detail any preventative measures that should be taken before a disruption occurs. This may include creating remote work solutions for your employees, having backup utility providers, alternative network resources, data backups, and server backups.
Detail response strategies.
Response strategies are needed when there is an emergency or sudden disruption of business. This section should detail what each member of your business continuity team should do in the event of an emergency. This includes evacuation procedures, safety protocols, and staff communications.
Plan your recovery strategies.
Recovery strategies ensure that critical business processes are restored after an emergency event or major disruption in business. Your plan should have a detailed description of the actions necessary to keep your business functional until all personal, systems, and facilities are operational again.
Develop a training curriculum.
Implement a training curriculum..
Once your business continuity plan is complete, it is important to implement a training curriculum for your business continuity management team and your company employees. Training should include a basic overview of your BCP as well as relevant and tactical exercises designed to test your continuity procedures.
It may be worth staging a mock emergency to establish the efficacy of your plan and highlight areas of improvement.
Conduct annual reviews.
Review and update your plan..
As your business grows and changes so should your business continuity plan. It is important to conduct annual reviews of your BCP to ensure that it aligns with your current processes and requirements. Updates should be made to evacuation procedures, staff contacts, and communication methods as needed.
Business Continuity Management Services:
For larger businesses, it may be worth employing the services of a business continuity consulting and management company to review your BCP. These services may include:
- A comprehensive assessment of your current business continuity plan.
- Gap analysis.
- Recommendations and long-term planning.
- Annual updates.
- Training exercises.
Layoff Letter Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
What is a business continuity plan?
A business continuity plan is a document detailing how your business will continue to function during an emergency or major disruption of business.
What is the primary goal of business continuity planning?
To minimize the damage to your business in the event of an emergency or disruption of business.
What does a business continuity plan typically include?
- The scope, purpose, and policy of your plan.
Is business continuity the same as disaster recovery?
No, disaster recovery is part of a business continuity plan which is designed to ensure that your business stays functional before, during, and after an emergency. Disaster recovery focuses on restoring operations after a major disruption in business.
When should I update a business continuity plan?
Your business continuity plan should be reviewed and updated annually or whenever you make major changes to your production processes.
Disaster recovery plan, recruiting strategies, life-sustaining businesses, what is full life cycle recruiting, what is strategic staffing.
Development of a business continuity plan includes four steps: Conduct a business impact analysis to identify time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes and the resources that support them. Identify, document, and implement to recover critical business functions and processes.
A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) template is a tool used by business continuity managers and IT teams to outline strategies for keeping businesses operational despite emergencies such as extreme weather events, building evacuations, power outages, etc.
Get started with your business continuity plan by using pre-made industry templates you can customize and use on SafetyCulture. This free collection of BCP templates includes audit checklists to help you assess the effectiveness of your business continuity plan, keep it updated, and take action on areas for improvement.
The [Organization Name]'s mission is to [enter mission statement].To accomplish this mission, [Organization Name] must ensure its operations are performed efficiently with minimal disruption, especially during an emergency. This document provides planning and program guidance for implementing the [Organization Name] Continuity of Operations Plan and programs to ensure the organization is ...
This template outlines the structure involved in creating a business continuity plan. It provides an easy, comprehensive way to detail the steps that will comprise your unique BCP. Use this template to plan each phase of a typical BCP, including the business impact analysis, recovery strategies, and plan development.
COOP Planning Guidance and Documents. A Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP Plan) identifies mission-critical organizational functions which must continue when normal operations are, or may be disrupted, and provides a framework for the continued operation of these mission essential functions under all threats and conditions.
46 Best Business Continuity Plan Templates [Word & PDF] Businesses are rarely owned and operated by a single proprietor. Most businesses have many partners or owners whose assets are tied up in the business. This means that any problem related to the welfare of the business can impact many people.
Business Continuity Plan Template and Checklist Business Continuity Plan Templates & Checklists Business Continuity Documents Yes/No Owner/ICO Action/Comment Site and building...
12 Business Continuity Plan Templates 1. IT Service Business Continuity Plan Template 2. School Business Continuity Plan Template 3. Small Business Continuity Plan Template 4. SaaS Business Continuity Plan Template 5. Healthcare Business Continuity Plan Template 6. Law Firm Business Continuity Plan Template 7.
management draft Business Continuity Plan(s) that are proportionate to the risks as identified. Each Directorate and/or facility is responsible for completing a 'critical services/functions' analysis (Stage 2 and 3) including a risk assessment to same. Part of the process (Stage 5) is the development of a 'Business Continuity Plan' that identifies
Continuity Plan Template and Instructions for Non-Federal Entities and Community-Based Organizations Continuity Plan (non-federal) template provides instructions, guidance, and sample text for the development of continuity plans and programs in accordance with the Continuity Guidance Circular.
How to Write a Business Continuity Plan. Writing your plan can seem daunting, but it does not have to be. You can create your document easily with a free business continuity plan template. You can even use our document builder to create your plan in minutes. Your business continuity plan should include the following: Step 1 - Purpose of the plan
Business continuity planning For the purposes of business continuity planning, local authorities and all businesses will wish to consider the likely effects, including any health and...
A business continuity plan (BCP) is a roadmap for long-term success that factors in common pitfalls and risks. A business continuity plan template ensures that you dot your Is and cross your Ts, and craft a reliable plan to handle unexpected events or disasters. The template will include fields for filling in information on your current ...
The business continuity plan template could be used in all types of industries for IT disaster recovery. These plans will help businesses to continuously provide services and have backup on different operations. The PowerPoint templates of business continuity management are also useful for training sessions. For example, the importance of BCP ...
Prepare emergency procedures for risks using this business continuity plan template. Identify the scope, business functions at risk and outline roles and responsibilities of key personnel. ... Weekly Site Safety Inspection 33,366 Downloads SafetyCulture Staff Safety Walk Checklist 31,663 Downloads SafetyCulture Staff Toolbox Talk Meeting Record ...
A free business continuity plan template and guide. A business continuity plan is critical for an organization when an unplanned event occurs. Follow this template and BC planning guidelines to get on the right path to resilience. The business continuity planning process contains several steps. These include project initiation, risk assessment,...
As part of your business continuity planning process, you'll need to identify the number of staff and skills required to perform and maintain the essential services/functions. Use the Essential Services Criticalness Factor template to help you capture the information necessary to develop your plan.
A Busines Continuity Plan is beneficial because: It is required by many business regulators, investors, and stakeholders. It provides a sense of security for managers and staff. It will allow your business to provide reasonable service to your customers during and after an emergency. It will allow you to preserve your revenue stream and your ...