Updating business continuity and disaster plans can help minimise disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, shared Department of Disaster Management Acting Director Jasen Penn during a stakeholder meeting January 13.
From ensuring customer safety, covering shifts for staff who must isolate, to anticipating shipping delays, the pandemic presents many challenges, but a good continuity plan can protect a business’ bottom line, the director told some 300 attendees of the COVID-19 stakeholder meeting held via Webex.
“COVID-19 is an evolving situation. Revisit existing plans, update them where you need to, and make sure staff members are familiar with their roles and responsibilities,” Mr. Penn said.
He offered further specific advice including:
- Safety of staff and customers must be priority; ensure everyone follows the public health guidance for masking, hand hygiene, and social distance
- Consider staggering work schedules, virtual meetings and remote work
- Consider cybersecurity; virtual private networks and password access to servers help protect business data
- Cross-training of employees is a good practise to ensure coverage of essential business functions
- If possible, order goods well in advance as many shipments are currently delayed by months
- Share information with staff and clients in a proactive manner.
Finally, the acting director issued a reminder that the Territory continues to face other threats besides COVID-19 such as earthquakes, floods and storms.
“We are living in a truly multi-hazard environment, so it’s important that businesses are prepared to respond to multiple threats at the same time,” Mr. Penn said.
The Department is committed to comprehensive disaster risk management, which includes offering support to all sectors preparedness efforts. To receive advice on business continuity plans, comprehensive disaster plans, or to book a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment for your business, contact the DDM at (284) 468-4200 or [email protected].