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Survey identifies best practices for business continuity in wake of a disaster

Over half of the respondents to a recent survey feel that their business continuity plan could not withstand wide-s...

November 22, 2005  

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Over half of the respondents to a recent survey feel that their business continuity plan could not withstand wide-scale communications failures in the event of a large regional disaster. But, the news is better for organizations that use an automated emergency notification system.

Upwards of 68% of the survey participants who use an emergency notification system said their organization could withstand widespread communications failures while only 43% of those who do not use one thought they could recover effectively following a Katrina-like event.

Overall, 52% of the 669 business continuity planning (BCP) professionals who participated in the jointly conducted Strohl Systems and CPM-Global Assurance survey said they didn’t think their plan would hold up in the event of communications failures, while 48% thought their plan would work despite those possible outages.

“Having stable communications is vital to the success of a business continuity plan,” said Brian Turley, President of Strohl Systems. “After Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, we all saw first-hand how recovery can be hampered by a lack of effective communications.

“Following each and every disaster, we always hear about that one means of communications that worked all the way through. After 9/11 it was Blackberries and after Katrina and the London subway bombings it was SMS text messaging. The key is to diversify your communications strategy. You can’t just rely on one or two means of communications to get your message out. Today, you need five, six, seven, or more ways to communicate.”

Approximately 25% of the survey participants said they use an emergency notification system, 27% said they plan to explore purchasing one and 48% said they do not use an emergency notification system.

“Clearly, organizations who use an emergency notification system are much more confident in their ability to carry out their business continuity plan if they experience a regional disaster,” said Turley.

Based in King of Prussia, Pa., Strohl Systems provides business continuity planning software and consulting services to corporations around the world.