I had a revelation a few weeks back.  I was chatting with a client about scenario exercises they could perform to test their recently created Business Continuity plan.  This client contacted me to proudly inform me that they finally finished their BCP.  During our call I reminded them that the ongoing process with a plan is to ensure that it stays current.  I also informed him that holding a few training exercises per year is always a good idea.  These exercises keep the plan relevant in everybody’s mind.  Exercises also ensure that the plan’s response steps evolve from theoretical to tested and usable.

During this conversation I threw out the idea that a fire drill exercise would be a good idea.  After hanging up the phone I realized that most (if not all) of us have been responding to possible disasters since we were kids.  I remember being in grade school and going through mock fire evacuation drills.  The school wanted to make sure the kids knew what to do in case of fire.  The local fire department would visit the school and remind us all of the dangers of a fire and we would run home proud to tell our parents what our family should do during a fire.

This simple example shows the need for Business Continuity planning exercises and also demonstrates the effect that such exercises have on the people involved.  That being said, I don’t expect businessmen and women to run home and tell the tale of their response exercises to their families, but they will certainly have the event etched in their mind for when the possible disaster does in fact strike.

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