Business Continuity Planning is the practice of planning how your department will provide services or conduct departmental business during or after an emergency or disaster that may have both short-term and long-term consequences. The Departmental Level Business Continuity Planning Tool was created to assist University of Georgia (UGA) departments in the development of business continuity plans specific to their unique departmental and building needs. This planning tool has been modified to be used by University of Georgia units for Business Continuity Planning for all types of disasters. A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is different from a Building Emergency Action Plan (BEAP) in that a BCP is a “departmental specific plan” used to guide departments in how to provide for operational continuity; whereas, a BEAP is a “building specific plan” that prepares building occupants for possible emergency situations. The development of both a Business Continuity Plan and a Building Emergency Action Plan will provide the most complete emergency planning effort.
Because disasters can routinely impact institutions of higher learning, representatives from the UGA Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) and UGA Enterprise Information Technology Services (EITS), have been involved in emergency planning and disaster recovery planning in conjunction with local, state, and federal emergency planning and response agencies. However, the overall ability of the University to respond appropriately to a large-scale or extended emergency will also depend on the readiness of individuals and departments within the University of Georgia to respond appropriately. Therefore, to aid departments in their planning efforts, OEP is providing this planning tool to guide departmental discussions and planning efforts to address threats and emergencies that could have larger impacts in the community and on campus.
Business continuity and disaster recovery planning is an integral part of the University’s comprehensive emergency planning efforts. The BCP will adhere to an “all hazards” approach to emergency planning. Due to UGA’s size and scope, BCP planning must also be done by each UGA department to ensure continuity of operations at every level on the campus.
The Office of Emergency Preparedness recognizes that emergency planning creates a burden for University departments. However, readiness at each level within the University is critical for successful management of large-scale emergencies.
Although it may be necessary to make adjustments in departmental plans as new information is received and incorporated into the overall UGA Emergency Response Plan and the UGA BCP, it is important for departments to periodically review and make any changes to their BCP. The goal of this planning exercise is to help departments consider the many issues they may face and then augment as appropriate for individual departments.
Decisions regarding UGA closings, travel restrictions, payroll implications, recommended personal protective equipment, etc. will be made at the Institutional level. However, other decisions (i.e. the care of laboratory animals, securing research projects, telecommuting assignments for departmental personnel, online instruction, etc.) will most likely be left to individual departments. Therefore, your department’s BCP should include responses to these and other issues specifically affecting your department.
The completed BCP should be used to educate faculty, staff, and students within each department about the department’s business continuity and emergency preparedness procedures. Steps should be taken to validate planning efforts with drills or exercises as the departmental plan evolves. Please note that completion of this planning tool does not constitute an “official” and final business continuity plan for the department. Continuous updates and revisions will be necessary as new information becomes available. Access to the completed written document should be restricted to authorized personnel who will need the information during an emergency event that warrants activation of your Business Continuity Plan.
Do not post the completed document on the Internet, or for public review, since it may contain sensitive information.