UW Emergency Management

August 24, 2018

Build your plan in a year: Month 8

This post is part of a 2018 series breaking the process of business continuity planning for University of Washington departments into monthly tasks to help build a plan in a year

As we shift from developing our initial plan to testing and review, it is a good time to step back and thinking about plan implementation. No matter what your function at the University, your people are your most important resource. This is why UW considers staff preparedness a key part of our continuity planning picture–if staff aren’t prepared at home, they won’t be coming in to support the University; if they don’t know their roles, they won’t know how to implement them.

Build your plan in a year: Month 8 (3 hours)

Step 1: Staff Preparedness (1 hour)

Understanding hazards. Building emergency kits. Developing family communication plans. Securing furniture to reduce risk. Practicing as a family. These are all elements of personal preparedness that we all should be completing–but are we? Even in Western Washington where we are aware of the earthquake risk, we don’t always know what it means to be prepared. There are many resources out there to train your staff in preparedness:

–  Attend a UWEM personal preparedness presentation. On the 2nd Friday of each month at 10 am (unless we post a date change to our website) we will give a personal preparedness presentation at our Emergency Operations Center at UW Tower, Building C, Room 140. Send your whole team, or a designated trainer who can learn from us and bring the presentation back to your team.

– Review the preparedness resources on our website https://www.washington.edu/uwem/preparedness/ to develop information kits for your employees.

– Send your teams to community events hosted by Red Cross – Seattle/King County or other local agencies.

No matter what you do, let us know that you did it! Email levym2@uw.edu to record your preparedness training.

Step 2: Identify your continuity and recovery teams (2 hours)

You might have teams in your department already–this is not that! Your continuity and recovery teams are the people in charge of specific overarching tasks under your plan–those parts of implementing your plan that cover your whole department, not specific to any one critical function. Examples might include a team in charge of employee accountability, that calls everyone to check if they are safe and provide information on where and when to report to work. Or a team in charge of the facility who manages the logistics of resuming operations at the alternate facility should a move be necessary.

– Identify a list of teams to support your department during continuity of operations.
– Enter the teams into the system at “Teams” under “Key Resources”

○ Click “Add Team”
○ Name your team–something short and sweet
○ Describe the purpose of this team: What are their roles and responsibilities? What are their priorities? Steps they should take?
○ In the comment section, identify the lead. This is also a good place to outline triggers–for example “This team is only meant to activate in the event the facility cannot be entered for 48 hours or longer”
○ Add all team members by name