Comprehensive Business Continuity Program
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is potentially subject to natural and man-made incidents that could threaten its community and resources. In an overall effort to protect the University’s mission, RIT has developed the Comprehensive Business Continuity Program as a proactive means of preparing for and responding to unplanned interruptions both small and larger scale.
Priorities for the program are:
- Protection of Human Life
- Support of Health, Safety and Basic Care Services
- Protection of University Assets
- Maintenance of University Services
- Assessment of Damages
- Restoration of Operations
The program is a combination of emergency management and continuity of operations, as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). RIT uses FEMA standards and guidance for two reasons: to better interact with governmental agencies (state and local emergency management, police, fire, EMS, HAZMAT), and to meet NIMS compliance standards due to receiving federal funding.
Emergency management protects the RIT community by coordinating and integrating activities (both internal and external to RIT) needed to build, sustain and improve capabilities to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to and recover from threatened or actual natural or human-caused distasters.
- Mitigation - actions taken to prevent future emergencies or minimize their effects
- Preparedness - ongoing activities, tasks and systems taken in preparation to handle emergencies and their consequences
- Response - Assignment of resources and personnel to take action in order to save lives, prevent further damage and deal with the immediate consequences of an emergency
- Recovery - Actions taken to return to "normal" operations after an emergency
Continuity of Operations
Continuity of operations are those plans and actions to ensure that essential functions continue to be performed at acceptable levels during and emergency. Essential functions are prioritized overall by their need in supporting the program priorities (life safety, health/basic care, asset protection, services, damage assessemnt, operations).
Key Results Areas
1. Community First
- Understanding that people are the most important element to any program, encourage participation and understanding at all levels of the university
- Provide communication and education programs that provide useful information and that encourage trust in the organization as well as in themselves
- Ensure that the needs of all community members are taken into account
- Promote a culture that values community bonds and capability of self-organization, minimizing the top-down, hierarchical approach to response and recovery.
- Promote the idea that individuals are the first, first responders who will not panic at the onset of a disaster
- Base planning for response and recovery on capability development using an all-hazards approach
3. Mutual Aid and Support
- Engage with community responders and planners to the fullest extent possible
- Participate in local exercises and training programs
4. Integration and Alignment
- All elements of the program including response, incident management, crisis communications and recovery will be integrated ensuring the full continuum of an incident is addressed
- As no operation works in a vacuum; the program will ensure that the enterprise is viewed holistically, connecting vertical and horizontal dependencies across all operations