Is your college ready to face a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or other unforeseen emergency? No higher education institution really expects something like a fire, flood, loss of power, criminal attack, or pandemic to interrupt daily operations, but it is something every college and university should be prepared for.
Having a business continuity plan can ensure smooth communication and continued learning in the face of any unexpected emergency. It will give you greater peace of mind, minimize disruptions, and protect the financial standing and brand of your institution—no matter what happens.
Check out our guide for real-life business continuity examples you can learn from as you create your own plan.
Despite the incredible tragedy of 9/11, New York University had a thorough business continuity plan that allowed them to face the challenges of the nation’s biggest terrorist attack. The university declared an emergency right after the second World Trade Center tower was hit. And within 45 minutes, they had a full emergency command center up and running.
This command center allowed them to easily communicate with government agencies, handle crises like the evacuation of four residence halls, alert students of emergency services, and support the emotional well-being of the NYC community at large.
Though the emergency response was relatively smooth, NYU learned from the events of 9/11 and has further honed its business continuity plan to secure the physical and electronic infrastructure of the university in the face of future disaster.
Back in August of 2017, a Texas internet marketing firm proved that having a detailed business continuity plan could make or break a business in the face of disaster. When Hurricane Harvey hit their area, the company’s office was damaged beyond repair.
Fortunately, the company relied on secure data storage in the cloud to allow staff members to work remotely as soon as the storm hit. They were able to maintain operations and never lost any of their most important documents. The plan worked so well that the company decided to continue to allow employees to work remotely, even once the company established a new office space.
Thousands of Notre Dame students and faculty were affected by a fire that began in a utility tunnel in August of 2009. The fire spread to destroy communications between 36 campus buildings during the first week of the fall semester.
Luckily, the university had a solid business continuity plan in place, along with a formal incident response and emergency operations center. Because they had already tested several plans using emergency simulations, they were able to immediately alert the appropriate responders using their established chain of command. They sent an EOC activation notice, created an incident assessment within a few hours of the fire, and quickly coordinated recovery of the communications infrastructure.
In March of 2018, the city of Atlanta faced ransomware attacks on their government computer systems, compromising police records, court documents, and public services like parking, utilities, and more. It took several months for the city to fully recover from the attack, and it cost the city more than $17 million overall.
Though IT professionals worked quickly to recover city services and protect data, there are many areas where their business continuity plan could have been improved: e.g. stronger passwords, better management of passwords, and a well-thought out process for restoring essential services.
These four business continuity plan examples are sure to help you when it’s time to create your own plan. But if you’re looking for more help creating your own customized plans, check out Kuali Ready.
Because our software is specifically designed for higher education institutions, we can help ensure you’re meeting accreditation requirements and are ready for any disaster. We’ll walk you through every step of the process and give you effective strategies for building your continuity plans. Learn more today.