Volume 15 (2021-22)

Each volume of Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning consists of four 100-page issues both in print and online. Articles scheduled for Volume 15 are available to view on the 'Forthcoming content' page.

The articles and case studies confirmed for Volume 15 are listed below:

Volume 15 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Lyndon Bird, Editor, Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning
  • Business resilience best practices that do not work: Cautions and guidance
    Cliff Thomas, Director of Enterprise Risk Management, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Colorado State University

    Across the world, there is an increasing tendency for businesses to rely on best practices, based on the assumption that they provide proven, credible and efficient solutions. In-depth scrutiny of ‘best practicism’, however, paints a different picture of its effectiveness; indeed, the adoption of best practices is commonly ineffective due to their misapplication or the use of unsupported assumptions. This article explores the use of best practices in the business resilience profession and describes reasons why assumptions about them are often incorrect. Cautions about best practices focus on the importance of change processes, underestimating problem complexity, and the influence of confirmation bias. These factors, and ways to address them, are described in the context of business resilience.
    Keywords: best practices, business continuity, business resilience, cognitive biases, complexity, confirmation bias

  • Practical insights for regional multisectoral exercise planning: The Greater Toronto experience 
    Claudia Cocco, Co-Lead, Ontario Health — Toronto Region, Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program and Manager of the Emergency Preparedness Department and Moira Hennebury, Emergency Preparedness Specialist, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

    Exercise GTA Unified was a functional, multiagency, cross-jurisdictional, health-sector focused mass casualty preparedness exercise conducted in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) on 28th November, 2019. With over 1,000 unique paper-based and electronic injects and 34 participating agencies, including 22 separate hospital sites, Exercise GTA Unified is likely the largest health-sector focused mass casualty preparedness exercise ever conducted in Canada. The exercise design approach supported a successful, objective-based functional exercise, with elements of marked realism for participants. The exercise offered a unique opportunity to collect data for future analysis and the insights gained will have a transformative impact on interagency engagement and cooperation for emergency response planning. Furthermore, the approach adopted for the exercise is affordable, reproducible, scalable and transferrable to sectors beyond the health system. This paper provides a detailed review of the key planning and design components adopted in the development and implementation of the exercise, as well as practical insights for the design and conduct of multi-agency, cross-jurisdictional functional exercises.
    Keywords: mass casualty incident, health system, exercise design, surge capacity, regional emergency planning, operations-based exercise, functional exercise

  • Incident command system: Situation unit leader and county public health liaison roles in the federal medical station, Santa Clara, in the COVID-19 response 
    David Matear, Healthcare Executive Advisor, Stanislaus County Health Services Agency

    Federal medical stations (FMS) and alternative care sites are used to provide surge capability and capacity for short-term inpatients with healthcare needs that cannot be accommodated or provided for in a general shelter or general acute care facilities. In March and April 2020, an FMS was deployed to support the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the ‘hotspot’ of Santa Clara County, CA. This paper describes how the flexibility of the incident command system allowed for the positions of situation unit leader and liaison officer to be combined at the FMS, supporting the effectiveness and efficiency of the FMS through comprehensive situational awareness, information-sharing and collaboration. This method of combining closely related roles is not suitable for all healthcare emergencies, but as this paper demonstrates, it is well worth considering in circumstances where competences and capacity align.
    Keywords: emergency preparedness, healthcare, hospital, alternative care site, incident command system

  • Building adaptive business continuity plans: Practical tips on how to inject adaptiveness into continuity planning processes
    Tracy Hatton, Managing Director and Charlotte Brown, Managing Director, Resilient Organisations

    With the world becoming increasingly complex and uncertain, the disruptions that businesses face are becoming increasingly unpredictable. Traditional approaches to business continuity planning must therefore evolve to enhance organisational resilience. As this paper will discuss, it is vital to ensure a balance between detailed planning and flexibility and adaptability. This can be achieved through: 1) creating closer links between business continuity and strategic management; 2) embedding a culture of resilience throughout the organisation; 3) decentralising business continuity planning and enabling teams and departments to design and own their own plans; 4) making planning principles-based; and 5) exercising more frequently. This paper argues that planning must be based on principles and outcomes rather than processes, and how it must, to be integrated within broader risk management and strategy functions to be inclusive of everyone, from the staff all the way up to the board. In short, preparedness and resilience must become part of their DNA.
    Keywords: business continuity, organisational resilience, adaptive planning, business disruption

  • A dynamic risk-based approach to managing a pandemic
    Marc Siegel, President and CEO, M Siegel Associates

    A pandemic is a unique natural disaster that will pose challenges for any organisation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, organisations of all types have struggled to maintain operations while assuring the health and well-being of the various persons who work on their behalf. Certainly, many organisations have found that their risk management and business continuity plans fail to consider adequately the disruption associated with a pandemic caused by a novel pathogen. As this paper discusses, this suggests a need to revisit risk assessments and business impact analyses; the assumptions and timeframes on which they are based; and the plans that they have generated. The paper argues that static plans are ill-suited to address the evolving threat of pandemic, and that effective planning and management of pandemic response must be dynamic in nature.
    Keywords: risk management, continuity management, pandemic planning, dynamic planning, COVID-19

  • Supply chain resilience
    Alan Elwood, Director, Risk and Resilience

    This paper explores the significance of supply chains to modern economies and the brittle nature of those supply chains. It considers how this brittleness is increasingly exposed by an array of threats, both natural and manmade, as well as the pressures placed on supply chains from rapid changes in society’s expectations and priorities, including with respect to globalisation and ethical considerations. The paper establishes why resilience matters, setting out the degree to which known risks are mitigated and assessing the current status of supply chain resilience. Finally, practical techniques are suggested by which organisations may better understand the risks to their supply chains and enhance the resilience of those chains.
    Keywords: supply chain, value networks, resilience, crisis management, business continuity

  • Spinning straw into gold: The fairy tale of disaster cost recovery
    Michael Martinet, Past Member of the Global Board, International Association of Emergency Managers

    Globally, disasters appear to be growing in frequency, intensity and cost. While national governments provide varying levels of assistance to affected populations and regions, are local agencies doing what they can to prepare for the next disaster? This article discusses what can be done, sometimes at minimal cost, to be better prepared to recover economically from the next disaster.
    Keywords: FEMA, Public Assistance, disaster, cost recovery, recovery plan

  • Integrating local personnel response and recovery capacity: A conceptual model for small to medium enterprise hazard risk analysis
    Steven Haynes, Director of Risk Management and Insurance Program, Naveen Jindal School of Management, University of Texas at Dallas and Tony McAleavy, Assistant Professor in Fire and Emergency Management, Oklahoma State University

    Small-to-medium enterprises (SME) are vulnerable to disasters because of their limited ability to duplicate, separate and diversify their risk. SMEs must therefore rely on local personnel and resources to plan for, respond to, and recover from disasters. Unfortunately, community-level planning does not readily incorporate SMEs effectively. SMEs are thus forced to plan in isolation as current hazard risk analysis (HRA) models do not adequately account for the capacity of local personnel to respond to emergent hazards. Accordingly, this study posits an easy-to-use SME disaster impact model for HRA that combines probability theory and statistical analysis to integrate local personnel capacity. The model is designed specifically for SME usage; although, it can be applied to any organisation regardless of size. This study proposes a standardised HRA probability and consequence sequence based on the analysis of over 400 locations and risks that determined the model’s reliability in practice. The posited SME disaster impact model for HRA effectively integrates vulnerability and local personnel capacity with services, personnel and equipment to optimise SME disaster response and recovery capacity.
    Keywords: impact analysis, continuity management, resilience, risk modelling, small-to-medium enterprises, hazard risk analysis