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Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Resources

    According to the Department of Homeland Security website,, at least one in four businesses never reopen after a disaster. How prepared are you?

    Every business should have a plan in place to prepare their facility, employees and operation for the likelihood of a disaster. When disaster strikes, those who have written business continuity plans will be able to recover and resume operations more quickly. This ability to recover is not only good for the company and its employees, but for the community and local economy, as well.

    In conjunction with goals developed by the National Society for Human Resource Management, the Michiana Chapter has established a Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Committee. The Committee’s objectives are to assist members in identifying the potential threats to business interruption; steps businesses can take to prepare for such emergencies; and the important role human resource professionals play in creating, communicating, training and implementing crises plans.

    One of our goals is to provide a network of resources for you to use in developing your plan and communicating them to your employees and customers. Listed below are links to first responders and other agencies and vendors, toolkits, outlines of presentations, testimonials from people and companies who either have had a plan in place and had to deploy it and those who didn’t and could have used one. We hope you find this page useful as a clearinghouse for our community and region. If you have any ideas for items to include or would like to submit information to this page, please contact

    Types of Disasters:

    • Biological Threat
    • Blackout
    • Chemical Threat
    • Earthquake
    • Explosion
    • Extreme Heat
    • Fire
    • Flood
    • Hurricane
    • Nuclear Threat
    • Radiation Threat
    • Tornado
    • Winter Storm and Extreme Cold


    1. Policy Templates

    · Pay Practices

    · Disaster Leaves of Absence/Leave Donation Banks

    · Benefit Plan Continuations

    · Unemployment Compensation/Insurance

    · Employee Health and Safety

    · Security

    · Alternative Work Schedules, Sites, Telecommuting

    · Government Reporting

    · Communications

    · SHRM General Disaster Planning Resources

    2. Toolkits and Checklists

    Policy Templates

    Pay Practices

    Disaster Leaves of Absence/Leave Donation Banks
    Disaster recovery: Employers’ responsibilities in the wake of a natural disaster
    Donation of Sick/Personal Time Policy

    Benefit Plan Continuations

    Employers cope with COBRA questions after hurricanes

    Unemployment Compensation/Insurance

    WARN Act Exclusions: Natural Disaster (see page 8)

    Employee Health and Safety

    Accommodating people with disabilities in your disaster plan

    Family/personal disaster resources:
    FEMA: Protect Your Family & Property
    American Red Cross: Your Family Disaster Plan


    Alternative Work Schedules, Sites, Telecommuting

    Legal Issues in Telecommuting
    Telework for the 21st Century: An Overview

    Government Reporting
    Layoff Laws (states)
    Federal Reporting Requirements
    New Hire Reporting (states)
    Layoff Laws


    Get the news out—no matter what
    Tell them what to do
    Have an emergency communications plan


    Personnel Records/Document Protection/HRIS

    Create a strategy for data storage


    SHRM General Disaster Planning Resources
    2005 Disaster Preparedness Survey Report
    Emergency Response
    Crisis Management Planning: A Human Resource Challenge
    Leading Your Employees in Times of Crisis
    Global HR: 2005 Trends Report
    Surviving Katrina – Remotely
    White Paper: Disasters and Emergency Preparedness
    Crisis Management for HR
    Conducting a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing
    Crisis Response and Business Continuity Planning (Webcast)
    (click here for PDF version of presentation slides for downloading or printing)

    SHRM-Specific Resources
    Hurricane Aftermath: Emergency Preparedness
    SHRM Resource: Field Reports
    Hurricane Response Resources
    Straight Talk, Fall 2001
    (post 9/11 overview of employer response)
    SHRM Case Study: Disaster Recovery Planning

    SHRM Policies/Procedures/Forms
    Emergency Closing Policy
    Emergency Closing Policy
    Severe Weather Policy
    Emergency Evacuation Program
    Creating a Vacation Donation Policy
    Leave Donation Form
    Employee Health and Safety Program
    Safety Policy


        • Community Agencies/First Responders:
    American Red Cross  
    3220 E. Jefferson Blvd.                   
    South Bend, IN 46615 
    St. Joseph County Emergency Management Agency


    St. Joseph County Health Department

    Resources from PreparednessGuide, a group of first responders, librarians, and instructors trying to spread information to help folks prepare for emergencies.  



    Additional Resources:




    Preparedness/Response Vendors:

    First Response    
    Joe Sergio, President 234-0443
    Patrick Mangan, Executive Vice President

    Rich Carlton, VP Sales & Marketing 232-1553
    Grainger Industrial Supply 
    Shawn Wagner


    Securing Your Home for Natural Disasters


    Government Resources

    Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Emergency Preparedness and Response
    U. S. Department of State: Global
    Department of Labor: Disabilities and disaster response


    Department of Labor: OSHA


    OSHA Hazards Links
    OSHA Emergency Evacuation Resources and e-tool (for writing an evacuation plan)
    EEOC/JAN disabled employees and emergency evacuation plans
    FEMA Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry
    Homeland Security Business Resources
    (includes free posters and brochures)
    Small Business Administration: Disaster Assistance Loans
    United States Access Board: Collected Resources on Emergency Evacuation and Disaster Preparedness
    (focus on disabilities)

     Department of Health and Human Services Pandemic Planning Update II