Building an Enterprise-Wide Business Continuity Program: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Building an Enterprise-Wide Business Continuity Program

1st Edition

By Kelley Okolita

Auerbach Publications

344 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781420088649
pub: 2009-08-26
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pub: 2016-04-19
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If you had to evacuate from your building right now and were told you couldn’t get back in for two weeks, would you know what to do to ensure your business continues to operate? Would your staff? Would every person who works for your organization?

Increasing threats to business operations, both natural and man-made, mean a disaster could occur at any time. It is essential that corporations and institutions develop plans to ensure the preservation of business operations and the technology that supports them should risks become reality.

Building an Enterprise-Wide Business Continuity Program goes beyond theory to provide planners with actual tools needed to build a continuity program in any enterprise. Drawing on over two decades of experience creating continuity plans and exercising them in real recoveries, including 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, Master Business Continuity Planner, Kelley Okolita, provides guidance on each step of the process. She details how to validate the plan and supplies time-tested tips for keeping the plan action-ready over the course of time.

Disasters can happen anywhere, anytime, and for any number of reasons. However, by proactively planning for such events, smart leaders can prepare their organizations to minimize tragic consequences and readily restore order with confidence in the face of such adversity.


Okolita offers strategies for selling a business continuity plan to management, then provides the steps needed to get one in place that actually works. Considering how specialized much of the material is, the book is surprisingly easy to read as Okolita spices up the program with anecdotes from her own experience in corporate disaster planning.

Natural Hazards Observer

Chapter by chapter, the author lays out a practical foundation for constructing a program, and she does it in a way that even seasoned professionals will find illuminating. … Another valuable component of the book is the variety of templates and other tools found in the appendix.

— Brian Strong, CPP CBCP, in Security Management

Table of Contents

Introduction: Where It All Began From Someone Who Was There

A History of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery – What’s the Difference?

Data Center Driven to Business Driven

Selling the Program

Why It Matters

Why No One Believes In the "Big" One

Finding the One They Can’t Say "So What" or "It Will Never Happen" to

Project Initiation and Management – Who, What, When

Your Planning Team and How to Find Them

Key Deliverables

The Project Plan

Risk Evaluation and Control

Risk Management 101 – Elements of Risk

Most Common Risks and Controls for Them

Industry Risks

Natural Hazard Risks

Don’t Forget the Neighbors

Where to Spend Your Mitigating Dollars

What Risks You Should be Building Plans For

Business Impact Analysis

What is It?

Why It’s About Time Sensitivity, Not Criticality

Assessing Impacts – Dollars, Customers and Regulators

How to Do This and Get it Right

Sample BIA Survey

A Sample Simple BIA Form

Resource Requirements

How Many, What Type, and Where

Interdependencies—Who Else Needs to Know/Who Else Needs to Help

Technology Reviews—Business People and Technology People Speak Different Languages

Vital Records Program

The End Product—The Business Function Index

Recovery Strategies

What Are the Options and What’s good and Bad about Them?

Selecting a Recovery Strategy

Performing a Cost/Benefit Analysis

Selling the Solution to Management

Implementing the Recovery Strategies

Documenting the Plan

What Are the Components of the Plan?

The Sample Plan

How to Use the Sample Plan

Distribution of the Plan

Plan Maintenance Strategies

Training and Awareness

The Question

Different Training for Different People

Training Methods

Testing the Recovery Plans

The First Rule of Testing

Types of Tests and When to Use Them

Test Planning

Test Execution

Why You Cannot Fail

Test Reporting

Test Schedules

Technology Testing Questions

Business Testing Questions

Sample Test Plan

Sample Test Report

Coordinating with Public Agencies

What You Can Expect From Them

Who You Should Have a Relationship With Before There is a Crisis

How to Engage Them in Your Program

Who Are the Regulators in Your Industry?

Crisis Management

What Happens When It Happens for Real

Crisis Management as Part of Your Program

Event Management Process- How to Build a Process to Handle All Events that Impact Your Company so You Can Practice the Process Every Day

Crisis Management Exercises

Crisis Leadership Training for Your Senior Team

Crisis Communications

Handling the Media

Communicating to Customers

Communicating to Vendors

Communicating to Employees

Basic Dos and Don’ts of Media Communications

Prepared Messages

Methods and Tools of Effective Communications

Pandemic Planning

Why is it Different?

What is a Pandemic?

Pandemics in the Last Century

What is "Bird Flu" and Why are We Worried

Pandemic Planning Assumptions from the CDC

What a Pandemic Could Mean to Your Business

What You Should Do Now To Be Prepared

Pandemic Planning Checklist

Life Safety

Floor Wardens

Evacuation Drills

Assembly Areas

Workplace Violence Programs

Industry Certifications

Business Continuity at Home

Be Ready When a Disaster Strikes You Personally

The Regulatory Environment

Other Areas of Risk Management that Matter to Business Continuity

Physical Security

Information Security

Records Management


Vendor Management

Operational Risk Management

Internal/External Audit

The Future of Business Continuity


Step 1 …

Where to Get Additional Information

Suggested Websites Suggested Reading

Industry Conferences


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Information Management
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disasters & Disaster Relief