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Disaster Planning


Disaster Types Man-madeNaturalPlanning

What is a Disaster?

A disaster is an incident or event which:

  • Threatens personnel, buildings or the organisational structure of an organisation; and
  • Requires special measures to be taken to restore things back to normal.


The most critical natural and man-made emergencies and disasters that can lead to business or family life interruption can be broken into five (5) spheres: 

Natural :



Man-made :




Crisis Phase

The Crisis Phase is under the overall responsibility of the Incident Control Team (ICT). It:

  • Comprises the first few hours after a disruptive event starts or the threat of such an event is first identified; and
  • Is caused by, for example:
  • Ongoing physical damage to premises which may be life threatening, such as a fire; or
  • Restricted access to premises, such as a police cordon after a bomb incident or discovery of asbestos in the premises.

During the Crisis Phase:

  • The Fire And Other Emergency Evacuation Procedures will apply; and
  • The emergency services should be summoned as appropriate.

Emergency Response

The Emergency Response Phase may last from a few minutes to a few hours after the disaster. It will start near the end of, or after, the Crisis Phase if there has been one, or when a potentially threatening situation is identified.

During the Emergency Response Phase the Business Continuity Team
(BCT) will:

  • Assess the situation; and
  • Decide if and when to activate the BCP.

A Crisis Phase may not actually have occurred but a potentially threatening situation may have been identified which would warrant calling out the BCT to monitor events, for example a fire has broken out in the building next door which, if not brought under control quickly, may damage business premises and will certainly require evacuation procedures to be invoked.


The Recovery Phase may last from a few days to several months after a disaster and ends when normal operations can restart in the affected premises or replacement premises, if appropriate.

During the Recovery Phase:

  • Essential operations will be restarted (this could be at temporary premises) by one or more Recovery Teams using the BCP; and
  • The essential operations will continue in their recovery format until normal conditions are resumed.


This phase restores conditions to normal. It will start with a damage assessment, usually within a day or so of the disaster, and may identify any need for refurbishment or even replacement of the premises.

This phase will not occur if physical damage did not happen. When the cause for evacuation or stopping of operations has ended, normal working will be restarted. During the Restoration phase any damage to the premises and facilities will be repaired.

Disaster Preparedness

Pack an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Ready.gov recommends you have at least three days' worth of food, water and medications on hand. They also provide a list of items to include in your disaster kit:
  • Drinking water (at least one gallon per person per day)
  • Nonperishable food, such as canned veggies and protein bars
  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlights or portable lanterns and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • A crank- or battery-powered radio
  • Sanitation supplies: toilet paper, moist towelettes, soap, trash bags and disinfectants
  • Local maps
Depending on your situation, your kit might also include:
  • Baby food, bottles and diapers
  • Pet food
  • Prescription medications
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses and solution
  • Dry clothing and blankets

Create and Practice aDisasterBusiness ContinuityPlan

Family Disaster Plan
Your family needs a clearly outlined plan to follow that helps keep everyone safe during a natural disaster or an evacuation. According to Ready.gov, the four primary factors that your plan should account for include:

  • Where to shelter
  • A route for evacuation
  • Getting emergency alerts and warnings
  • Family communication

As you're creating your disaster plan, keep the following preparation elements in mind:

  • Sign up for severe weather alerts in your area.
  • Program emergency numbers into your phone.
  • Decide on a meeting place for your family to gather.
  • Plan escape routes from your home and neighborhood. Remember, roads could be blocked in large-scale disasters. Have at least one alternate route — or more if possible.
  • Be sure all adult and teenage family members know how to shut off gas, electric and water lines if there's a leak or electrical short. Keep the necessary tools easily accessible, and make sure everyone knows where these are.
  • Consider learning CPR and first aid training.
  • Remember your pets. Bring dogs and cats inside during a catastrophe or make a plan for how you'll evacuate with them. Make sure they have ID tags.

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