Updating one’s business continuity and disaster plans is the advice from the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) to assist with minimal disruptions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was the message shared during Thursday’s stakeholder meeting by DDM’s Acting Director Jasen Penn.
He said in addition to ensuring the safety of customers, businesses should likewise implement measures such as covering shifts for staff who must isolate as well as anticipate shipping delays where applicable, since the pandemic presents many challenges to businesses.
Penn said by having the respective plans in place it helps a business protect their bottom line.
He said, “COVID-19 is an evolving situation. Revisit existing plans, update them where you need to, and make sure staff members are familiar with their roles and responsibilities.”
The acting director also offered additional advice to businesses which targeted specific areas.
These include: Safety of staff and customers which he said must be priority; ensuring everyone follows the public health guidance for masking, hand hygiene, and social distance; considering staggering work schedules, virtual meetings and remote work; and considering cybersecurity, virtual private networks and password access to servers which he said helps to protect business data.
He further said that cross-training of employees is a good practice to ensure coverage of essential business functions, and if possible, he said businesses should order goods well in advance as many shipments are currently delayed by months.
Penn also advised businesses to share information with staff and clients in a proactive manner.
“We are living in a truly multi-hazard environment, so it’s important that businesses are prepared to respond to multiple threats at the same time,” Penn stated while making reference to other possible natural disasters.