COVID-19 Crisis Reminds Companies of the Need for Emergency Plans

The disruptions and upheaval being caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic reminds us all of the importance of developing, maintaining and implementing Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) that include disaster recovery and pandemic plans. Having a preparedness or contingency plan in place is wise and can help make a very stressful situation tolerable, reduce chaos and minimize disruption.

Even companies in states where it is not required to maintain and have an EOP on file with the commission would be advised to have a solid plan in place for times like these. You should take this time to consider the importance of employee safety and be prepared to take additional steps to keep employees safe as conditions would warrant.

Emergency Operations Plans should:

  • Cover the parent company and all of its affiliates;
  • Identify what resources, data and assets should be protected, and who, at the company, is responsible for that protection;
  • Understand the types of potential threats, and varying preparedness and response activities required for each;
  • Establish the level of risk the company is willing to tolerate;
  • Identify insurance needs – cyber, assets, loss of business;
  • Put controls into place and monitor the effectiveness of the controls;
  • Establish a program of continuous improvement;
  • Put IT business continuity and disaster plans in place;
  • Plan for recovering lost or destroyed data;
  • Identify temporary re-locations/fixes in the face of disaster, as well as long-term solutions;
  • Contain contact information for third-party assistance;
  • Dictate a communication plan for both internal and external communications; and
  • Ensure compliance with all state and federal rules and regulations.

JSI offers an EOP template designed to cover all the above-listed areas which can be customized to your company’s particular situation and framework. If you would like more information regarding the EOP template or updating an existing plan, please contact Cindy Neugebauer in JSI’s Texas office at 512-614-3230 or Terri Parrilla in our Maryland office at 301-459-7590.