Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management and Business Continuity supports an enterprise-wide planning and preparedness effort with the goal of ensuring the university is capable of conducting its primary mission and maintaining its essential functions in an all-hazards environment and across a spectrum of emergencies.
What is business continuity?
As defined by NFPA 1600, it is “an ongoing process to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to identify the impacts of potential losses and maintain viable continuity and recovery strategies and plans.”
You may have heard the terms Continuity of Operations (COOP), Mission Continuity, or Contingency Planning. Essentially, all of these terms have the same meaning.
A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is the collection of resources, actions, procedures and information that is developed, exercised and held in readiness for use in the event of a disruption to normal operations.
UC's Continuity Plan
As a component of the university’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and in collaboration and coordination with the Emergency Management Advisory Committee (EMAC), a university-wide plan and guidance document was developed to establish the overall structure by which the university will minimize impacts to and restore essential functions of the university. It describes how the University of Cincinnati will operate in the event an incident threatens or incapacitates operations. It identifies the need for:
- Lines of succession;
- Maintenance or re-establishment of control and direction, including relocation of key personnel, as necessary;
- Reconstitution of key staff positions with successor personnel; and
- Resumption of essential functions.
Additionally, it provides planning and program guidance for developing and implementing continuity plans at the university division and college levels to ensure the university as a whole is capable of conducting its missions and functions under all conditions.
In support of this program and the university-wide plan, all organizational units are asked to develop and maintain a continuity plan using the recommended planning tool, Bearcat Ready.
What is Bearcat Ready?
It is a cloud-based tool that is tailored to higher education and it assists the development of Business Continuity Plans (BCP). It was originally developed by the University of California Berkeley and purchased through the Kuali Foundation.
Bearcat Ready is designed as a “fill in the blank” tool that will walk you through the necessary steps and data needed for a plan.
What do I need to do?
The first step in creating your continuity plan is to identify someone to lead the planning effort within your unit. This individual will serve as the Continuity Plan Coordinator (CPC) and will assume a lead role in the development, coordination and maintenance of your unit’s continuity plan. The CPC will also serve as the primary point of contact for continuity related activities, including activation of your plan. It is a good idea to identify an alternate coordinator in the event the primary CPC is not available.