What would happen if your college experienced severe damage as the result of a natural disaster? Would your staff, faculty, and students know what to do?
Questions like these are important to ask because natural disasters occur in every part of the country and can strike at any time. In fact, many of our clients have asked us to help them create a business continuity plan, so that they can be sure that they’re protected.
It might seem odd to create a business continuity plan for a community college, but here are six benefits to doing it.
#1: It Could Save Lives
To say that a business continuity plan can save lives might seem dramatic but it’s not. Sometimes, natural disasters strike without warning.
A practical emergency and evacuation plan should be part of your business continuity plan. Once you’ve created the plan, make sure that everybody on campus knows about it and knows what they should do if you get the order to evacuate.
#2: It Protects Your Data
You store large amounts of data about your students, staff, and faculty. You may also have valuable research stored on your network. Creating a business recovery plan will ensure your data is protected in the event your hard drives are damaged or destroyed.
A good data recovery plan should include a reliable backup system and off-campus storage. That way, even if you sustain massive damage, you’ll be able to get the data you need to get back to normal.
#3: It Reassures Students and Employees
Having a business recovery plan in place shows that you take the safety and well-being of your students, employees, and faculty members -- and their data -- seriously. That’s important no matter where you’re located, but especially crucial if you live in an area prone to hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes or earthquakes.
Your business recovery plan shows that you understand the risks and want to mitigate them as much as possible. That can alleviate parents’ and students’ concerns as well as those of faculty and staff.
#4: It Can Save Time
When a disaster strikes, it’s disconcerting and upsetting to everyone who’s affected. Your business continuity plan will ensure that essential processes – things like payroll and billing – can take place even if your campus is shut down for a while.
You can start by identifying critical business processes and making contingency plans for them. Your plans should include tasking employees with working remotely, if necessary, to ensure work gets done.
#5: It Builds a Culture of Resilience
When people are pulled away from their daily routines, it can be difficult to get back to normal. But, when you have a business continuity plan in place, it lets everybody on campus know resilience is in your DNA. You know you’ll recover because you have a plan.
This benefit underscores the importance of education. Everybody on campus should know what to do in an emergency. That’s how they’ll know you can recover – because they know what to do if the worst happens.
#6: It Builds Confidence
Ultimately, you want everyone on your campus to feel safe and to believe they can trust you with their safety. If you don’t have a business recovery plan, they have no reason to trust you.
The plan you create will create confidence simply by existing. Your campus might sit on a fault line or on the coast, but a detailed plan will help you understand the risks and communicate them effectively to the people who are most likely to be affected by them.
Business recovery plans are among the best ways to protect your college before, during, and after a natural disaster. Creating one can keep students and employees safe while also building a culture of resilience.
To learn how Alphanumeric can help you create a business recovery plan, please click here now.