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What is Business Continuity?

What is business continuity? It closely resembles the concept of emergency management, but it is so

much more. In many circles the functions that a business or organization perform to avert risk or mitigate against hazards is referred to as Business Continuity. These tasks are often seen as the cousin to emergency management, and have plenty of overlapping interests. The thing to remember is that the goals of each are quite different. Emergency management seeks to safeguard people from harm, while business continuity focuses on the continuity of key business operations. Sure, effectively managing an emergency will affect business continuity efforts, but the two are not identical.[1]

Business continuity is at its core the ability of an organization to preserve essential functions during and after a disaster has occurred. Business continuity works at establishing management processes and procedures that prevent disruptions to mission-critical services, and regain the full function to the organization as quickly as possible.

The notion of business continuity is used heavily in the private sector since it seems to better represent what a business is attempting to do. Business is the practice of making one's living by engaging in commerce, and business continuity is the steps one takes to make sure that continues to happen despite emergencies, crises, or hazards. For example, if a local grocery store is struck by a tornado that cuts it power and it cannot open its doors, it loses money and may potentially need to shut down. Business Continuity calls for a plan to be created. This plan may state that a generator be placed on the building or possibly a pre-event plan to be made to re-position the store's contents to another location.

Despite the differences between emergency management and business continuity, or whatever you decide to call it, these two concepts are both working toward the same objective: to help ensure the success of the organization, office, or business.


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