In our last post we began to talk about the 5 phases of Business Continuity planning, with a focus on the Prevention and Mitigation phases. To summarize, Prevention is when you take steps to lessen the chance of an incident from happening. On the other hand, Mitigation is about lessening the impact when an incident happens.  

For this post, we take a look at the last 3 phases; Response, Recovery, and Restoration.

3 – Response

Next is the Response phase, a natural flow after Prevention and Mitigation. This is the phase where you plan the steps you need to take to directly respond to an event. It might sound familiar if you read our blog on the difference between Emergency Response and Business Continuity. Immediate Response steps address the safety and protection of life, assets, and the environment. Shelter in place procedures, spill response steps or shutting down machines on the shop floor are all Response steps.

4 – Recovery

The fourth phase is the Recovery phase. Most business continuity professionals spend a lot of time on the Recovery phase because it involves the creation of the Business Continuity Plan. Recovery includes all of the steps taken to continue core business operations after an event. For example, your office building sustains water damage and needs to be shut down for clean up and repair. Your staff can’t work in the building, therefore one of the recovery steps is telling employees to work from home.

5 – Restoration (Return to Normal)

The fifth and final phase is the Restoration phase, also known as the Return to Normal phase. Restoration is when the business is brought back to normal operations. It is important to remember though that there can be a number of different ideas about what normal is. Many business continuity professionals define an ‘old’ normal and a ‘new’ normal. This is especially true if there is an important human impact (such as the loss of a colleague).  Telling those employees to come back to the office once the building has been cleaned up and re-opened is a step in the Return to Normal phase.

When you understand the 5 phases of Business Continuity Planning, it can help break down a seemingly large task into smaller manageable pieces – like the old adage of eating an elephant one bite at a time.   


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