A manager friend of mine takes his role as the coordinator of his businesses Business Continuity plan seriously. He ensures the plan is up to date and is not afraid of asking upper management for resources. He usually gets them because he diligently analyzes what would happen if he does not get resources. He has become so good at this, when he asks for resources; upper management does not ask him questions.

I usually hear of people in his position say they are expected to produce miracles on shoe string budgets. Of course, once calamity strikes and true costs are known, the tightly shut purse strings loosen rapidly. I could certainly use my friend’s insight and tactics on how to ensure Business Continuity plans are funded fully and not short changed.

We met over a cup of coffee and shot the breeze before I got down to brass tacks. However, something interesting happened before we got to the topic. “You are such a tiger in protecting you company from disasters, I am sure you take the same attitude with a family plan”. Look on his face – priceless. He never thought about having a family DR plan. For that matter, a lot of people never think of it.

There are a variety of sources that assist you prepare a plan for your family. I urge you to visit www.ready.gov and http://www.ready.gov/kids – they have a comprehensive list of “to dos” and they make it simple for you to put together a plan. If you are putting together a family plan, make sure you involve the children. Listen to their suggestions and feedback. If they are a part of the plan, in case of a real emergency they will act according to the plan.

Sometimes children have many apprehensions about disasters even though you were not directly affected. Big disaster news stories are teachable moments. Discuss the story, reassure them and if you have a plan ready – it is a good time to review them with the kids and spouse. If you don’t have one – what could be a better time when everyone’s attention is focused? Make it a positive experience for the kids. Do not make it dark and gloomy lest they start developing fears or nightmares.

Review the plan with the family regularly and reward the kids with compliments and/or goodies if they remember the main points like a place to meet or who to call. While it is a serious topic, make it as light as you can.

I urge all my readers to do this sooner rather than later.

Disaster Planning is Essential for Business and Families Too