EPIC Risk Advisory Bulletin
Volume 1, Issue 2
Coronavirus continues to spread, leaving ramifications in its wake. This week, we’re taking a more focused look at two areas of business operations that will continue to be heavily impacted by coronavirus:
The information below is intended to provide a high level overview of critical areas of concern for businesses around coronavirus. Consult your EPIC insurance broker for more in-depth guidance.
Business Continuity, Planning and Preparedness
As was mentioned in last week’s issue, the purpose of a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is to provide for the continuation of critical business functions and recovery in the event that an emergency or crisis, such as coronavirus, occurs. Since specific responses to particular crises vary depending on the nature of the crisis, a BCP designed specifically for coronavirus will help your organization respond most effectively if/when it is affected by that specific threat.
A general BCP to any emergency will most likely not provide the level of detail necessary to effectively recover from a specific threat. With that in mind, following are guidelines for creating a BCP specifically for Coronavirus.
Create a Business Continuity Plan for Coronavirus
A BCP should be strategic and transparent. Transparency is important as it brings business departments together and facilitates a well-executed strategy.
The strategy outlined in the BCP should address project initiation, risk assessment, strategy development, plan development, emergency communications, awareness/training and coordination with public authorities. It should also outline the actions to be taken during and after coronavirus impacts an organization, and the process for each business department to follow in their recovery to normal business operations. A BCP should:
- Provide a systematic and efficient transition from normal to emergency operations.
- Provide detailed procedures for the response to coronavirus that can interrupt critical business functions.
- Inform key stakeholders as to the timeline for resuming critical business functions starting with those that require immediate resumption.
- Outline the necessary resources, inclusive of applications, that each department requires to resume critical business functions so it can be assured that these resources are on standby.
- Establish a threshold at which the BCP shall be activated.
- Enable your company to satisfy business obligations to employees, customers, and other business associations and communities throughout the business continuity event and related recovery processes.
- Minimize adverse impacts to your organization as a result of an interruption of normal business operations due to coronavirus.
- Mitigate the effects of an interruption of your company’s time-sensitive business operations and functions by providing a set of pre-defined and flexible guidelines and procedures to be used in managing recovery processes.
- Resume time-sensitive business operations and associated support functions to ensure business continuity, stability of earnings and planned growth.
- Resume technology operations and support for time-sensitive business functions, in the event existing technology processing has been rendered inoperable.
The goals of a BCP should include the following:
- Create a Business Continuity Committee and determine its objectives.
- Form and outline the goals of a Business Continuity Management program. Business continuity management is a holistic process that seeks to identify potential impacts that threaten an organization. It provides a framework for building resilience with the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of key stakeholders, reputation and value creating activities.
- Determine the scope of the Business Continuity Plan.
- Put in place an emergency management process.
A business impact analysis services worksheet is a useful tool in helping guide business continuity planning, as it helps to identify what business functions would be most likely to be interrupted by coronavirus.
Below is a link to a Business Analysis Services worksheet template that can serve as a guide to help an organization gauge the potential impact of coronavirus on its company.
Supply Chain and Transportation Networks
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) held a cross-sector teleconference on coronavirus. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has been monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation, taking part in interagency and industry coordination calls and working with critical infrastructure partners to prepare for possible disruptions to critical infrastructure that may stem from widespread illness.
Individuals responsible for supply chain management or transportation and logistics at an organization, may find the following links and resources helpful in gauging the impact of coronavirus on operations.
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Emergency Declaration, Waivers, Exemptions and Permits Website lists Emergency Declarations by States and the FMCSA.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Supply Chain Resilience Guide provides recommendations on how to analyze supply chains and work with the private sector to enhance supply chain resilience. See pages 19–24 and appendix, page 32 for transportation and trucking, specifically.
- The CISA Supply Chain Risk Management https://www.cisa.gov/topics/risk-management provides news and updates on the security and resiliency of America’s cyber infrastructure.
- The CDC Supply Chain Disaster Preparedness Manual provides familiarity with hazard scenarios likely to impact facilities or systems and communities.
Our understanding of coronavirus and its impact around the world is constantly evolving. This newsletter briefly touches on several critical issues businesses should consider as they approach their response to coronavirus. Please reach out to your EPIC broker for more information.
In our next issue, we’ll consider the impact of coronavirus-related updates on benefits plans in California and the potential risk implications of cost-free coronavirus testing in states that have thus far approved it.
For all of EPIC’s coronavirus coverage, visit epicbrokers.com/coronavirus
Disclaimer: This has been provided as an informational resource for EPIC clients and business partners. It is intended to provide general guidance on potential exposures and is not intended to provide medical advice or address medical concerns or specific risk circumstances. Due to the dynamic nature of infectious diseases, EPIC cannot be held liable for the guidance provided. We strongly encourage readers to seek additional safety, medical and epidemiological information from credible sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Regarding insurance coverage questions, whether coverage applies or a policy will respond to any risk or circumstance is subject to the specific terms and conditions of the policies and contracts at issue and underwriter determinations. </small class>
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