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Mock Disaster Exercise Highlights Need for Business Continuity Plan

Jerry Montella

IWCO Direct’s Mail-Gard division recently completed a second Mock Disaster Exercise, presenting at the Continuity Insights Conference in Atlanta, GA. What’s a Mock Disaster Exercise you ask? Well, it’s similar to an Emergency Management Drill, the kind where cities or government entities stage a fake “disaster” (earthquake, tornado, etc.) complete with people portraying the injured and emergency personnel responding accordingly. A Mock Disaster in the business arena presents a scenario of a disaster to interrupt the daily business operations of a fictitious company. This could take the form of human error, a major power outage, or natural disaster.

Attendees of the session were grouped into teams representing company departments (accounting, marketing, operations, security, executives, etc.). Each team had to respond to the scenario by answering questions, reacting to other department requests, and completing tasks assigned to them – all with the goal of testing their business continuity knowledge and hopefully informing them of some key points of a continuity plan that they may be unaware of.

The focus of Mail-Gard’s Mock Disaster Exercise is getting people to think about their critical print and mail operations and just how far a company’s critical communications reach into each and every department. The scenario for the exercise involved an explosion in the lobby of an insurance company headquarters with major damage to the print and mail production center. While dealing with the tasks of bringing a company’s daily operations back on track after such a disruption, teams were presented a secondary scenario: the company’s computer system was hacked and thousands of customers’ personal information was stolen. Teams were now posed with questions and tasks designed around reacting to a data security breach. How would they inform their customers of the security breach? How would departments work together to respond to and solve the issues of a security breach?

The feedback received from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. The Mail-Gard team members that assisted with the session heard from attendees throughout the rest of the conference that the exercise was both informative and fun. Presenting a memorable session while informing attendees of an often misunderstood piece of their continuity plan was our goal. And with that, we have to say it was a success.

We are proud to have worked with Ed Devlin of Devlin & Associates in developing the Mock Disaster Exercise. Mr. Devlin is one of the foremost authorities on continuity and recovery planning and has assisted hundreds of companies across the globe with their recovery plans. Mail-Gard and Devlin & Associates will jointly present another Mock Disaster Exercise at the Disaster Recovery Journal’s Fall World Conference in San Diego, CA on September 11, 2011. If you’re attending this conference, please join us. We promise you’ll have fun, and learn a few things in the process.

-Jerry Montella

 

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2011/04/20/mock-disaster-exercise-highlights-need-for-business-continuity-plan/
Jerry Montella

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Jerry Montella

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