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10 Free Continuity Plan Templates in Word & ClickUp
October 12, 2023
Does your business have a plan when disaster strikes? Whether it’s a natural disaster or a PR crisis, having a ready-made playbook on hand will help you come out stronger on the other side of any emergency. 💪
While few businesses can predict a big disaster like the pandemic, companies with a recovery procedure in place can be better positioned to act faster in the future. When you invest in a business continuity plan (BCP), you can keep your team safe, avoid business disruptions, and protect your brand image.
A business continuity plan covers all the potential emergency situations that could impact your business. But it takes time to create a solid continuity plan—and you need to focus your energy on the meat of the plan, not on formatting.
Fortunately, BCP templates make it a breeze to quickly create contingency plans that leave no stone unturned. 🔍
In this guide, we’ll explain what a continuity plan template is, explain the key components of a BCP template, and share our top 10 free business continuity plan templates.
What Is a Continuity Plan Template?
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A continuity plan template is a structured document that helps your business continue operating even during an emergency.
At its core, a continuity plan template is all about preparedness. Whether you’re facing a natural disaster like a tornado or a human-made outage from a cyberattack, a BCP template gives you a roadmap to minimize business disruption and downtime.
This isn’t just for big enterprises, either. Small businesses are more susceptible to disasters because they have fewer resources, so it’s extra important for small businesses to create a continuity plan.
The downside is that creating a BCP takes time and resources, which is why so many businesses don’t have one. Luckily, following a ready-made template can shave hours off the BCP creation process. It also helps you look at several facets of disaster preparedness so you’re less likely to overlook something important.
Every business has a different definition of what constitutes an “emergency.” The good news is that you’ll still be able to follow the same emergency management formula with the right template. A solid business continuity plan should include these components at a minimum:
- Table of contents : List all sections in the template—with jump links—for easy access
- Introduction: Introduce the BCP’s purpose and scope. It’s also important to distinguish when you need to use this plan and when it’s time to contact emergency services instead
- Risk assessment : This section should identify potential threats that could affect your business. It should include a business impact analysis to measure how damaging that particular risk would be to your company
- Recovery strategies: Once you understand the potential risks, you can create a strategic plan for recovery. Check with your legal team to see if there are regulatory requirements for this step
- Stakeholder roles and contact information : List all team members and their emergency contact phone numbers. Include relevant contacts in human resources (HR), information technology (IT), and the management team. The plan should also specify which stakeholders are in charge of each part of the plan
- Communication plan : Specify how you’ll share information with staff members, senior management, business partners, and the public
10 Free Continuity Plan Templates
A business continuity plan keeps your business running even when the going gets tough. Creating a plan takes time, but with the right template, you can streamline formatting and get straight to the good stuff. Check out these 10 free continuity plan templates to speed up the continuity plan creation process. ⚡
Equipment failures, pandemics, and natural disasters wreak havoc on any business. You need a flexible business plan that works even when the worst happens. That might mean you’re only performing critical business functions, but that’s better than nothing, right?
You can’t predict every potential disaster, but the ClickUp Business Continuity Plan Template is the next best thing to a magic crystal ball. 🔮
It includes several helpful sections for:
- Risk assessment
- Recovery strategies
- Process testing and reviews
This template even includes pretty visualizations and colors to draw your attention to the right places. Create custom statuses, fields, and views to make the template your own.
The ClickUp Business Continuity Plan Template also integrates with your ClickUp project management tools so you can generate tasks, track time, create dependencies, and more without leaving your BCP template. 🤩
A contingency plan is different from a continuity plan. This type of BCP template identifies potential risks, lists possible solutions, and gives your team a strategic plan to respond to the most likely disruptions.
The ClickUp Contingency Plan Template gives your team an expert framework for:
- Analyzing risks
- Setting goals and desired outcomes
- Finding resources and personnel for executing a contingency plan
- Testing all alternative scenarios
The great thing about this template is that it provides a process for creating a unique contingency plan tailored to the risks you care about the most. It also identifies team members’ responsibilities and tasks for every scenario, making your next steps crystal clear.
We saw firsthand how easily a pandemic can cause massive business disruptions. But some disasters are more (and less) likely to have an impact on your business.
For example, if you’re in the Midwest, hurricanes probably aren’t on your radar. However, if your supply chain relies on materials brought in from the coast, you’re probably going to care a lot about hurricanes. 🌀
The ClickUp Probability and Impact Matrix Template will help you sort through which risks are most likely to disrupt your business. It even ranks these risks in terms of potential damage to help you prioritize your time and resources. This way, you prep for the most damaging (and likely) emergencies first.
This template is a must-have if your team struggles to make informed decisions or prioritize tasks. This business continuity plan template even includes a simple visualization you can share with other team members to make informed group decisions in less time. 🙌
A business impact analysis (BIA) identifies potential risks to your company. Once you identify the risks, the BIA logs all of the action plans you can activate in case of an emergency.
For starters, log every potential emergency in an issue tracking template . From there, use the ClickUp Business Impact Analysis Template to quickly plug in criteria like financial impact, brand reputation, customer experience, and more. ✨
This continuity plan template helps teams get out of unproductive cycles of anxiety by focusing on plan activation. Instead of going with your gut in a crisis, this rubric-style template supports calm, objective decisions using quantified data.
Once you know the higher-priority emergencies that could affect your business, you might still need help prioritizing which ones to address first. Use the ClickUp Priority Matrix Whiteboard Template to get clarity on which disaster plans and tasks you should execute first.
You can use this template during the planning phase of creating a continuity plan or even when a disaster strikes. The Priority Matrix gets your team on the same page, ranks the urgency of various tasks, and visualizes everything for your group in a pretty graph. 📊
Every business continuity plan template should contain an emergency plan of some kind. The ClickUp Emergency Plan Template is useful not only for your continuity plan, but also for emergency signage throughout your building.
You’re free to customize the plan to your liking, but out of the box, the template includes:
- Evacuation plans
- Escape routes
- Assembly points
- Roles of key personnel
- Step-by-step procedures for different emergencies
Some businesses make a single emergency plan while others will need to create multiples. For example, you can create an emergency plan for fires and a separate one for tornadoes. 🌪️
Keep in mind that local, state, or federal laws will apply to emergency signs. Check with your legal team to ensure you display these signs per those requirements.
Some business continuity plan templates are designed for protecting business operations or the public, but it’s important to have a plan for protecting your employees too. The ClickUp Workplace Emergency Action Plan Template helps you do just that.
This is a more in-depth emergency plan that helps you:
- Communicate quickly and clearly with employees during all types of emergencies
- Define who is in charge of what in an emergency—before the emergency actually happens
- Store all emergency plans in one secure place
An emergency plan is great because it equips your employees with the skills and knowledge required to rise above an emergency. Some insurance carriers require businesses to have a documented emergency plan, so this can also help you secure coverage. 🌻
ClickUp is an all-in-one workplace solution, so storing your emergency action plan in the same platform as your tasks and chats makes it more accessible for the entire team.
Are you a Microsoft company? Then you’ll love the Word Business Continuity Plan Template by Disaster Recovery Plan Template. It’s a publicly available version of MIT’s Business Continuity Plan, so you can trust that it covers all your bases.
This free continuity plan template includes sections for:
- Design of the plan
- Organization of disaster response and recovery
- Business continuity plan
- Team management procedures
- Recovery procedures, including a notification list
Downloads are available for Word and Adobe PDF, but the template’s text is available on the website if you don’t want to download it.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regulates the investment industry. Investments are all about risk management, so it’s no surprise that FINRA released a free Small Firm Business Continuity Plan Template .
A continuity plan is required if you’re a small brokerage firm or if you’re otherwise required to follow FINRA guidelines. Instead of wondering whether you’re compliant, follow FINRA’s continuity plan template for more peace of mind. 🧘
It includes sections for:
- Emergency contact personnel
- Office locations and alternate sites
- Firm policies
- Financial and operational assessments
- Mission critical systems
- Regulatory reporting
- Updates and annual reviews
You should still tailor the template to your unique needs, but the template will help you save a lot of time.
LegalTemplate’s Word Business Continuity Plan Template is no-frills, but it includes all the information you need to create your own business continuity plan.
We like that the site actually takes you through a structured process to create an incident response plan (IRP), emergency response plan (ERP), supply chain continuity plan, and other types of continuity plans that you might need.
LegalTemplates also throws in a few helpful tips for tracking your continuity plan goals over time . They say you need to review the checklist twice a year, practice implementing everything once a year, and do a formal revamp of your continuity plan every other year.
Improve Business Processes With ClickUp
Business continuity management is a must-have for businesses of all sizes. Whether it’s a natural disaster or other emergency, you need a plan long before the worst happens.
Rely on this list of free continuity plan templates to create a disaster recovery plan that helps you get back to normal business operations more quickly. 👔
Templates are helpful, but wouldn’t it be better if you could store your templates alongside your Tasks, Projects, Docs, Whiteboards, and more?
ClickUp combines all your work into one platform to save time and eliminate the hassles of switching platforms. See the ClickUp difference for yourself: Create your free ClickUp Workspace now.
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How to write a business continuity plan template
To avoid the common pitfalls associated with growing a successful business, you’ll need to come up with a long-term plan. A business continuity plan template can help you anticipate and avoid disruptions to your company.
Unanticipated threats can wipe out your assets, while risky courses of action can lead to disastrous results. Take the pandemic as an example, which wrought havoc on companies’ plans for growth. In the first year, 43% of businesses temporarily closed , something few could have anticipated.
In this article, we’ll explore why you need a business continuity plan template to help you stay on steady footing, even if the ground beneath you shakes.
Get the template
What is a business continuity plan template?
A business continuity plan (BCP) is a roadmap for long-term success that factors in common pitfalls and risks. A business continuity plan template ensures that you dot your Is and cross your Ts, and craft a reliable plan to handle unexpected events or disasters.
The template will include fields for filling in information on your current resources, recovery procedures when you face critical setbacks, and a list of personnel responsible for addressing such issues.
The primary purpose of business continuity management is to analyze the current status of your company and its state of preparedness for unexpected threats. With it, senior management can find any weak spots in the business and proactively identify solutions to problems that could hinder progress toward your goals. Of course, there are other reasons you’d benefit from this template.
Why use a business continuity plan template?
Reiterating on the above, the main function of the business continuity plans template is to provide a framework for addressing any problems that may arise in various departments and areas of the business.
Without a plan for dealing with roadblocks, your business’s growth can be stunted, or worse, screech to a halt. All it takes is a few missteps or misguided risks to steer your company off course. 90% of small businesses fail within a single year if they can’t resume full operations following an unexpected disaster.
Don’t confuse a BCP with a disaster recovery plan. A BCP doesn’t just outline what to do in case of emergencies, but it presents ideas for recovering full functionality within the business to minimize the impact on growth.
Take your company’s sensitive data as an example. Relying solely on backups to external servers or hard drives could be risky. In your BCP template, you’ll want to detail how you can protect and manage your data in the event of a breach or severe weather conditions. For instance, a hybrid approach, using both a cloud-based solution and a private server, could afford you extra data security and safety.
There were 3,950 confirmed data breaches in 2020 alone, which highlights the dangers of ignoring your data security. The faster you can get back on your feet and recover from cyberthreats or unforeseen events, the easier it’ll be to hold onto your cutting edge and stay a step ahead of the competition.
Those are the benefits in theory, but let’s take a look at specific cases where BCP templates can help.
What are examples of business continuity plan templates?
Depending on your needs, these business continuity templates can provide a little extra inspiration to get started.
Risk assessment template for business continuity
Use a risk assessment table to calculate whether various weather conditions or other events could impact your day-to-day operations. Your business continuity management team could use resources such as this to identify potential threats—however unlikely —to make sure that the company isn’t caught off guard.
( Image Source )
While nobody could have predicted the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina, a rigorous risk assessment system ensures that you have most bases covered, including natural disasters.
Even if your headquarters is sheltered from severe weather conditions, there may be secondary offices or physical data servers in high-risk areas. As such, it’s important to factor in all of your infrastructure to avoid getting blindsided.
Alternate site evaluation template
If you have employees working from home or away from your primary place of work, you can use an alternate site evaluation table to evaluate the possible risks. Have your employees fill out a table like this one so that you have all the relevant contact information on your books in case of an emergency.
This information can help you better understand your employees’ work arrangements and troubleshoot any issues should they come up.
BCP committee table template
Use a simple BCP committee table to determine member’s roles and responsibilities. For each member, you can fill out contact information, along with a list of the main duties they are required to carry out.
This will make it easy for the committee members to coordinate for meetings and have a clear action plan for what to do next.
Want a template that lets you do all of this in one document? monday.com has just what the doctor ordered.
monday.com’s business continuity plan template
On the monday.com business continuity plan template, you’ll be able to enter data such as committee member contact details, disaster recovery action plans, and evacuation information.
The template covers all bases regarding potential threats you could encounter as you grow your business. With it, you’ll be able to keep all the information in a single place and enter it in an easy-to-digest way to share with your employees.
And that’s not all. With monday.com Work OS, your employees can easily share and collaborate on tables and forms, so you can ask for input regarding secondary places of work and contact information. Plus, managers can access this information from anywhere, allowing them to see crucial details at a glance for better preparation.
Part of business continuity planning is ensuring your sensitive data is secure, so you’ll appreciate that monday.com protects your information with permission-based access. Only those in the BCP committee will be privy to the plans unless you wish to grant access to other employees.
If you want to expand beyond the BCP and really detail how you’ll deal with potential disasters and risks, we’ve got a few templates for you.
Related templates from monday.com
Let’s take a look at a few templates that are related to a business continuity plan template.
Disaster recovery template
A Disaster Recovery Template falls under the scope of the business continuity plan committee. It’s just what it sounds like: a comprehensive plan for necessary actions if disaster strikes. More specifically, the plan should inform your approach for getting systems back online when they go down.
In this disaster recovery template, you can include everything from cyber-attacks and data breaches to worldwide pandemics or natural disasters. You can integrate these reports into your overall BCP to get a comprehensive overview of your recovery plans.
Operating functions template
An operating functions template gives you an idea of how you can cut costs in various processes and workflows. It can also inform how you can implement more sustainable business practices and initiatives.
Check out these different operations templates from monday.com that can be used with the BCP template to outline potential risks associated with new initiatives and suggested changes to work processes.
Program risk register
The Program Risk Register Template is for the early-stage process of identifying and evaluating potential risks to your business. It complements the business continuity plan template well — you can focus on valid, severe, likely risks in your BCP, and have a separate table for risks of all likelihoods and potential levels of impact.
FAQs about business continuity plan templates
How do you write a business continuity plan.
You can write a business continuity plan by first listing the various departments of your company and what risks or threats they might face. From there, you can assess the likelihood of these threats coming to fruition. Once you have an idea of the probability of the various threats to your company, you can prioritize them.
With a prioritized list, you can start with the most pressing threat and proactively brainstorm what actions you could take if it were to arise. The purpose of the BCP is to shield your company against anything that could hinder your progress. Coming up with potential solutions for addressing hypothetical problems can prepare you for real ones in the future.
What is a small business continuity plan?
A small business continuity plan is a document that details potential risks and threats to a small business. It’s well worth creating such a document as a small business owner, as it can save you from disaster as you strive to scale the company.
For small businesses, any hitch can prove disastrous. 38.8% of US-based small businesses were affected by supply chain issues in 2021, which, for some, would have impeded growth significantly. Over-reliance on foreign suppliers could be an example of an unnecessary risk that, without being addressed, could spell disaster for a small business.
With the business continuity plan in place, you can protect your business in its most vulnerable state of growth. The plan forces you to think laterally about the threats that could sink your business. That way, you can make necessary course corrections and increase your chances of long-term survival.
What is an example of a business continuity plan?
An example of a business continuity plan is to plan out how you’ll protect your app’s uptime in the event something happens to one data center: for example, running a clone in AWS you can always fall back on.
What are the 3 elements of business continuity?
The three most vital elements within business continuity are resilience, recovery, and contingency.
- Resilience: how you’ll make it as hard as possible for critical functions to fail.
- Recovery: how you’ll get back to normal operations if disaster strikes.
- Contingency: what you’ll do if plan A for recovery fails.
- Project risk management
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What Is A Business Continuity Plan? [+ Template & Examples]
Published: December 30, 2022
When a business crisis occurs, the last thing you want to do is panic.
The second-to-last thing you want to do is be unprepared. Crises typically arise without warning. While you shouldn't start every day expecting the worst, you should be relatively prepared for anything to happen.
A business crisis can cost your company a lot of money and ruin your reputation if you don't have a business continuity plan in place. Customers aren't very forgiving, especially when a crisis is influenced by accidents within the company or other preventable mistakes. If you want your company to be able to maintain its business continuity in the face of a crisis, then you'll need to come up with this type of plan to uphold its essential functions.
In this post, we'll explain what a business continuity plan is, give examples of scenarios that would require a business continuity plan, and provide a template that you can use to create a well-rounded program for your business.
Table of Contents:
What is a business continuity plan?
- Business Continuity Types
- Business Continuity vs Disaster Recovery
Business Continuity Plan Template
How to write a business continuity plan.
- Business Continuity Examples
A business continuity plan outlines directions and procedures that your company will follow when faced with a crisis. These plans include business procedures, names of assets and partners, human resource functions, and other helpful information that can help maintain your brand's relationships with relevant stakeholders. The goal of a business continuity plan is to handle anything from minor disruptions to full-blown threats.
For example, one crisis that your business may have to respond to is a severe snowstorm. Your team may be wondering, "If a snowstorm disrupted our supply chain, how would we resume business?" Planning contingencies ahead of time for situations like these can help your business stay afloat when you're faced with an unavoidable crisis.
When you think about business continuity in terms of the essential functions your business requires to operate, you can begin to mitigate and plan for specific risks within those functions.
Business Continuity Planning
Business continuity planning is the process of creating a plan to address a crisis. When writing out a business continuity plan, it's important to consider the variety of crises that could potentially affect the company and prepare a resolution for each.
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Home Business Business Continuity Plan
Business Continuity Plan Template
Use a business continuity plan to outline how your business will continue to operate in a range of disaster scenarios.
Updated August 29, 2023 Reviewed by Brooke Davis
A business continuity plan outlines the instructions and procedures a business should follow after some disaster. Disruptive events like floods and fires can interrupt your business practices.
It would be best if you had a plan to handle these situations and effectively get back to work.
Give your organization the tools it needs to operate effectively despite any disruptions – you never know when a disaster can strike, but you can be prepared.
How Often Should a Business Continuity Plan Be Reviewed?
Review Your Checklist – Twice a Year: Ensure it is still relevant to your current business processes and status and aligns with your business goals and objectives.
Put It Into Practice – Once a Year : Make sure your plan is solid when implemented.
Formal Review – Every Other Year : Identify any weaknesses or red flags in your plan together with the relevant teams and stakeholders of your business
Comprehensive Review – Every Other Year : Look closely at every aspect and ensure everything is up to date with current business processes.
Mock Recovery Test – Every Two or Three Years : Test your BCP in-depth and ensure your plan works and hasn’t any potential failings
What is a Business Continuity Plan?
Different types of business continuity plans, how to write a business continuity plan, business continuity plan sample, benefits of a business continuity plan, frequently asked questions.
A business continuity plan is a document that sets forth your organization’s strategies for dealing with a disaster. These procedures help you to resume business quickly and reduce downtime and lost revenue.
It covers essential processes like asset protection, human resources issues, and how to deal with business partners.
When to Use a Business Continuity Plan?
You want to create a business continuity plan before you need it . The point of this document is to be ahead of the game. You do not want to respond to a disaster without a set plan. Business continuity planning is critical to a successful response to a disaster.
Once your continuity plan is in place, you may need to use it in disasters such as:
- Major Storms
- Major IT or internet disruption
A business continuity plan is as crucial to your company as a business plan .
You can use a business continuity plan template to define how your organization will handle crisis management and communication in an emergency. It’s important to account for emergency response instructions and capture essential information to get your IT resources up and running quickly since they’re crucial in all recovery efforts.
Emergency Response Plan (ERP):
It outlines evacuation procedures, communication protocols, and initial actions to mitigate the immediate impact of emergencies such as fires, explosions, chemical spills, natural disasters, and other life-threatening situations.
Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP):
It covers strategies for backup and recovery of IT systems, data, and technological infrastructure following a disruptive event.
Incident Response Plan (IRP):
It focuses on how the organization will detect, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents, including steps to mitigate damage and prevent further breaches.
Crisis Communication Plan:
It covers how an organization will communicate with internal and external stakeholders during a crisis.
Occupant Emergency Plan (OEP):
It covers evacuation procedures, shelter-in-place protocols, and communication strategies to ensure the safety of employees and visitors within a facility or building.
Supply Chain Continuity Plan:
It outlines strategies to deliver products and services to customers in case of disruptions in the supply chain—such as supplier failures, transportation issues, or resource shortage
Writing your plan can seem daunting, but it does not have to be. You can create your document easily with a free business continuity plan template. You can even use our document builder to build your plan in minutes. Your business continuity plan should include the following:
Step 1 – Purpose of the plan
The plan should address the scope of its effect. Does the plan cover your entire business? Is it for specific departments?
Your employees and managers need to know how this plan will be applied. It should clearly state over whom the policy applies so everyone knows what is expected of them after a disaster.
Step 2 – Identify Key Business Areas
After a disaster, it will be difficult or impossible to go back to normal immediately. Identify the critical aspects of your business.
What are your main revenue-generating products and services, and how would they be impacted if you could not deliver them? What do you need to function? What operations are critical, and what can wait until later?
This section is not about convenience but necessity. Hone in on these critical functions to determine a priority list for your business continuity plan.
Identify the disasters most likely to occur in your area.
Step 3 – Define the Crisis Team
People must know who is in charge during an emergency and their contact information. There should be no doubt about who will call the shots about essential business decisions.
These individuals will lead the local response and may be responsible for a more comprehensive response strategy outside the disaster’s immediate area.
The crisis team should be identified by role and title. This ensures that everyone knows who is in charge if there is a personnel change. Training and letting these key team members know their positions should a disaster occur is critically important.
Ensure you s peak with your proposed crisis team about their responsibilities and receive input.
Step 4 – Create a Crisis Communication Plan
In addition to identifying the team in charge, the business continuity plan should outline how individuals communicate. Standard methods of communication may be inaccessible.
To test your processes, it would be best to draft sample emergency messages before a crisis. This could include press releases, interviews, or even social media updates.
Step 5 – Relocation and Recovery Operations
You may need to relocate to an alternative worksite in a natural disaster or business disruption. Include the procedure information and what resources will be required.
Step 6 – Review and Testing
It’s critical to ensure that your business continuity plan is effective and stays up to date. Ensure you include who is in charge of this and how often the plan will be reviewed and tested.
You must practice the procedures once they are adopted. Review and test your business continuity plan at least once a year; some sections, such as the critical functions, could benefit from being evaluated every six months.
Step 7 – Plan Deactivation
You should also include who is responsible for deactivating the business continuity plan and what the procedure is. This ensures that someone can decide to get the company back to normal workings.
Below you can find a business continuity plan sample to help you start drafting your plan:
A business continuity plan defines leadership roles in a disaster and focuses on employee and customer safety. It also enables your company to recover more quickly in a disaster.
Here’s a closer look at the significant advantages of writing and maintaining a business continuity plan.
A Well-Defined Leadership Protocol For a Disaster
Senior leadership directs the business continuity plan and sanctions communication protocols for the company. Individual department leaders create continuity plans for IT, security, HR, payroll, legal, and other functions.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to assign a project manager dedicated to maintaining the BCP and setting up training for new and current staff members.
A More Efficient Return to Normal Business Operations
A BCP could differentiate between continued operations and financial disaster in an emergency. Returning to business operations quickly can prevent customers from defecting to competitors.
A business continuity plan template makes planning for contingencies in various scenarios easy and addresses the most critical roles and responsibilities needed to keep your company running.
Above all, having a business continuity plan minimizes downtime and limits confusion during critical situations.
Increased Employee Safety
The BCP should always consider the health and safety of employees above business objectives. Remember that the safety and wellness of loved ones will be at the top of everyone’s minds.
With remote access to key systems, leaders and other team members can balance the needs of their families, coworkers, and customers.
Reduction in Lost Time and Lost Revenue
Unmitigated disruptions can financially weaken an organization quickly. Business continuity plans account for all factors needed for continued operations. The more effort you put into planning, the more time and money you can save.
So, ensure a reliable backup plan for essential IT systems and enable remote access to customer, product, and company data to keep the revenue stream flowing.
Ability to Quickly Implement IT Fixes
Natural and manufactured disasters typically involve system disruptions. To remain functional, build redundancy into your critical systems. This will allow you to implement essential fixes to hardware and software assets.
What is the difference between a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan?
A disaster recovery plan focuses mainly on restoring IT operations and infrastructure following the disaster. It is more limited in scope but is often part of a larger business continuity plan.
What should be included in a business continuity plan?
A business continuity plan should include key sections like:
- Scope of the plan
- Crisis team
- Communication Strategies
- Relocation and recovery operations
- Review and testing
- Plan deactivation
What are the four P’s of business continuity planning?
There are four P’s you need to keep in mind when creating a business continuity plan, they are:
- People – employees and customers
- Processes – the technology and processes required to keep everything running
- Premises – the buildings and spaces from which your company operates
- Providers – supplies and partners that your business relies on for resources
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Business Continuity Planning
Organize a business continuity team and compile a business continuity plan to manage a business disruption. Learn more about how to put together and test a business continuity plan with the videos below.
Business Continuity Plan Supporting Resources
- Business Continuity Plan Situation Manual
- Business Continuity Plan Test Exercise Planner Instructions
- Business Continuity Plan Test Facilitator and Evaluator Handbook
Business Continuity Training Videos
The Business Continuity Planning Suite is no longer supported or available for download.
Business Continuity Training Introduction
An overview of the concepts detailed within this training. Also, included is a humorous, short video that introduces viewers to the concept of business continuity planning and highlights the benefits of having a plan. Two men in an elevator experience a spectrum of disasters from a loss of power, to rain, fire, and a human threat. One man is prepared for each disaster and the other is not.
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Business Continuity Training Part 1: What is Business Continuity Planning?
An explanation of what business continuity planning means and what it entails to create a business continuity plan. This segment also incorporates an interview with a company that has successfully implemented a business continuity plan and includes a discussion about what business continuity planning means to them.
Business Continuity Training Part 2: Why is Business Continuity Planning Important?
An examination of the value a business continuity plan can bring to an organization. This segment also incorporates an interview with a company that has successfully implemented a business continuity plan and includes a discussion about how business continuity planning has been valuable to them.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: What's the Business Continuity Planning Process?
An overview of the business continuity planning process. This segment also incorporates an interview with a company about its process of successfully implementing a business continuity plan.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 1
The first of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “prepare” to create a business continuity plan.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 2
The second of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “define” their business continuity plan objectives.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 3
The third of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “identify” and prioritize potential risks and impacts.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 4
The fourth of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “develop” business continuity strategies.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 5
The fifth of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should define their “teams” and tasks.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 6
The sixth of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “test” their business continuity plans.
Last Updated: 11/08/2023
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60+ SAMPLE Business Continuity Plans in PDF | MS Word | Google Docs | Apple Pages
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Business Continuity and Disaster Plan
Step 1: recognize your organization’s scope and key elements, step 2: conduct a business impact analysis, step 3: set a plan for maintaining operations, step 4: use a sample business continuity plan.
- Crisis management plan
- Crisis communications plan
- IT disaster recovery plan
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Free Contingency Plan Templates
By Joe Weller | March 25, 2021 (updated April 24, 2023)
Contingency plans offer organizations a proactive strategy for resuming daily functions and operations following unforeseen events. We’ve compiled the most useful contingency plan templates and tips on using them for various industries.
On this page, you'll find free contingency plan templates, including a simple contingency plan template , a software contingency plan template , a business contingency plan template , and a project management contingency plan template . Plus, learn how to use a contingency plan template .
Simple Contingency Plan Template
Use this simple contingency plan template to help your organization return to daily operations after unforeseen circumstances. Find sections for business impact analysis (BIA), recovery strategies, plan development, and testing and exercises. By completing these areas, you can stress-test your contingency plan. Assign contingency plan tasks to team members. Share the document with stakeholders to keep everyone apprised of the organization’s fail-safe contingency plan.
Download a Simple Contingency Plan Template for Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Smartsheet | Google Docs
For more resources on emergency response and contingency planning, see “ Free Risk Management Plan Templates .”
Simple Contingency Plan Presentation Template
Use this simple contingency plan presentation template to highlight the details of your contingency plan to your team members and other stakeholders. Slides include details for business impact analysis (BIA), recovery strategies, contingency plan development, and plan testing and exercises. It also includes a comprehensive version history slide including your presentation plan’s version, approved by, revision date, descriptions of changes, author, prepared by, and approved by sections. Keep everyone in the loop with this easy-to-use contingency plan presentation template.
Download a Simple Contingency Plan Template for PowerPoint
To learn more, read this comprehensive guide on contingency planning.
Software Contingency Plan Template
Use this software contingency plan template to identify, describe, and categorize risks, create an impact level and impact description, and create a contingency plan for each, in order to mitigate risks. For each risk, the template also includes a Trigger Points column (e.g., “What triggers the contingency scenario?”) and End Plan Trigger column (e.g., “What triggers the end of the contingency plan?”), so that team members understand the need for the contingency plan. Software project managers can use this template to create contingency plans related to data security, user privacy, geographically discrete data centers, or apply it to software development and software testing.
Download a Software Contingency Plan Template for Microsoft Excel | Google Sheets
Read this guide to contingency planning to find tips for improving your contingency preparedness.
Information Technology (IT) Service Contingency Plan Template
This easy-to-fill template focuses on keeping IT operations up and running in the event of a disruption. Use this template to document details of the scope, recovery objectives, recovery team, recovery strategy, and return-to-plan strategy of your IT department’s contingency plan. Be fully prepared for any incidents that cause downtime by using the proactive steps in this all-inclusive IT service continuity planning template.
Download an Information Technology (IT) Service Contingency Plan Template for Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Google Docs | Smartsheet
IT Service Contingency Plan Presentation Template
This easy-to-use information technology (IT) contingency plan presentation template is the perfect solution for presenting your IT contingency plan to key stakeholders. Slides include scope (service area, service offerings, and service areas that depend on the service at risk), recovery objectives (recovery time objectives, RTO; and recovery point objective, RPO), recovery team (service / role / function, responsibility, dependencies, and expected response time), and recovery strategy (initial recovery and overall recovery strategy). Easily gain buy-in from team members, management and other stakeholders with the all-in-one, IT-specific solution for outlining and refining your IT department’s service contingency plan.
Download an Information Technology (IT) Service Contingency Plan Template for PowerPoint | Google Slides | Smartsheet
Business Contingency Plan Template
Keep tabs on your organization’s comprehensive business contingency plan (BCP) with this distinctive business contingency plan template. It guides you through your business function recovery priorities, relocation strategy, alternate business site, recovery plan, recovery phase, records and backup details, restoration plan, recovery teams, and recovery procedures. This BCP template is useful for determining accurate planning and courses of action to ensure the success of your business’s contingency plan.
Download a Business Contingency Plan Template for Microsoft Word | Google Docs | PowerPoint | Adobe PDF | Smartsheet
Business Contingency Framework Template
This one-page template features a broad-strokes framework for performing a business impact analysis (BIA), along with working out your recovery strategy, plan development, and testing and exercises. You’re never far from the big-picture vision of your business contingency plan with this efficient one-page business contingency framework template, available in Microsoft Word, PDF, Google Docs and Slides, and presentation-friendly PowerPoint formats.
Download a Business Contingency Framework Template for Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Google Docs | Google Slides | PowerPoint
For more resources on business contingency planning, see “ Free Business Continuity Plan Templates .”
Project Management Contingency Plan Template
This project management contingency plan template is ideal for creating a comprehensive contingency plan for any type of project. The template enables you to create a high-level executive summary of your project’s contingency plan, including risk evaluation, a synopsis of your risk-prevention mitigation strategies process, and roles and responsibilities. Use this template to define risks and their events or triggers, consider budgetary implications, and define your potential plans of action.
Download a Project Management Contingency Plan Template for Excel | Google Sheets
Visit our article on contingency planning in project management for more information.
Small Business Contingency Plan Template
It’s critical for small businesses to have a comprehensive contingency plan that team members can reference in the event of a debilitating event or emergency. Designed specifically for small businesses, this template uses a pre-built, all-inclusive contingency plan to provide guidance for modestly sized organizations. Take the guesswork out of creating a contingency plan from scratch, and leverage the advantages of this small-business-specific template.
Download a Small Business Contingency Plan Template for Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Google Docs
For more resources on emergency response and contingency planning, check out our roundup of disaster recovery plan templates .
Contingency Plan Checklist Template
This two-part, fully customizable contingency plan checklist template contains a pre-built contingency plan checklist based on disaster-recovery steps, and a step-by-step, linear recovery procedure section. Use the latter section to ensure that everyone is aware of your contingency plan, if there is an event or occurrence that triggers the need to implement your plan. Then, use the checklist section to ensure that all steps in your contingency plan are in place, should you need to execute your contingency plan.
Download a Contingency Plan Checklist Template for Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Google Docs
What Is a Contingency Plan Template?
A contingency plan template provides a step-by-step process to communicate actionable items in the event of a disaster or disruption. The document takes the guesswork out of emergency planning, so you can protect resources, minimize interruptions, and identify go-to team contacts.
You can begin the contingency planning process by completing a contingency plan template so that you’re adequately prepared. By recording accurate and thorough information to ready yourself for an emergency, you can determine your priorities, relocation strategy, and recovery plan details. A contingency plan also helps you plan your organization’s recovery phases, work to ensure records backup, create a restoration plan, establish a recovery team, and assign roles to key individuals.
When to Use a Contingency Plan
You should use a contingency plan if there is the risk of an unexpected event that could impact your project’s success. A contingency plan is a backup plan that outlines steps for you to take in case the original plan encounters unforeseen obstacles.
The following provides a list of typical scenarios where you should use a contingency plan:
- Risky or Uncertain Situations: When there are potential risks or uncertainties that could impact the success of your project, it's a good idea to have a contingency plan in place to mitigate those risks.
- Time-Sensitive Projects: When you have a tight deadline or critical timeline that you must meet, a contingency plan can help ensure that your project is completed on time, even if unexpected issues arise.
- Resource Limitations: When you have resource constraints, such as budget or personnel, a contingency plan can help you effectively allocate resources.
- Emergency Situations: When emergencies (e.g., natural disasters, pandemics, or other crises) can impact your ability to complete your project, a contingency plan can help you and your organization respond quickly and efficiently.
Overall, you should use a contingency plan whenever there is a potential risk or uncertainty that could impact the success of your project or goal, or when there is the possibility of emergencies. When unexpected events occur, it's always better to be proactively prepared by having a plan in place, instead of scrambling to come up with a solution.
Sections of a Contingency Plan Template:
While your contingency plan will vary to meet the needs of your project, below are the common elements of a contingency plan:
- Recovery Priorities: Enter contingency plan priorities, including recovering essential operations and restoring critical functions.
- Relocation Strategy: Add the relocation strategy when your contingency plan requires moving your primary services.
- Alternate Site: Document alternate site details when you determine the secondary site where you can continue operations.
- Recovery Plan: Enter the step-by-step recovery-plan details to get your organization operational again.
- Disaster Occurrence: Use this phase to identify what constitutes a disaster that requires your organization to activate the contingency plan.
- Plan Activation: In this phase, your organization puts your contingency plan into effect, which continues until your organization secures an alternate site and can relocate operations.
- Alternate Site Operation: Operations continue at the secondary facility until you can restore them at the original site.
- Transition to Primary Site: The organization prepares to move operations back to the original site.
- Records Backup: Enter contingency plan details about how you’ll back up records and make them accessible in the event of a disaster or disruption.
- Restoration Plan: Add your plan for ensuring that all operations, records, etc., are able to be operational in the event of a facility disruption or disaster.
- Recovery Teams: List the recovery team(s) and members. Assign contingency plan tasks based on job role and title.
- Recovery Procedures: Enter details of specific activities or tasks required to adequately recover normal and critical operations.
Additionally, a contingency plan template enables you to track changes to your plan through a section for version history, comprising the following data:
- Version: Enter the unique version number for the most up-to-date iteration of the plan.
- Approved By: Ensure that department heads or other stakeholders have approved the contingency plan.
- Revision Date: Provide the date when a substantial revision was made to your contingency plan.
- Description of Change: List details of the change(s) made to the plan.
- Author: Record the name of the plan’s primary author.
How to Create a Contingency Plan
When creating a contingency plan, be proactive, thorough, and adaptable. By anticipating potential risks and developing a well-documented plan of action, organizations can minimize the negative impact of unexpected events and ensure continuity of critical functions and key services.
Here are some key steps to follow when creating a contingency plan:
- Identify Potential Risks: First, identify potential risks or unexpected events that could impact the success of your project. Brainstorm with stakeholders and team members to identify as many potential risks as possible.
- Assess the Impact: Once you have identified potential risks, assess each risk’s potential impact. This will help you prioritize risks and determine which ones require immediate attention.
- Develop Response Strategies: Based on your impact assessment, develop response strategies for each potential risk. This may involve developing alternative solutions or workarounds, identifying additional resources, or establishing clear communication protocols.
- Assign Responsibilities: Determine who will be responsible for executing the contingency plan if and when it is necessary. Assign specific roles and responsibilities to stakeholders or team members to ensure that everyone knows what they’ll need to do.
- Establish Communication Protocols: Establish clear communication protocols so that team members and stakeholders know how to report potential risks or unexpected events and receive updates on the status of the contingency plan.
- Test and Refine Your Plan: Test the contingency plan periodically to ensure that it works effectively. Make adjustments as needed.
- Document Your Plan: Document the contingency plan in a clear and concise manner and make it easily accessible to all relevant parties.
Keep in mind that a contingency plan is only effective if you regularly review and update it to reflect changing circumstances and new risks that may arise.
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Small Business Continuity Plan Template
Download this Small Business Continuity Plan Template Design in Word, Google Docs, PDF, Apple Pages Format. Easily Editable, Printable, Downloadable.
Make your own Professional Continuity Plan with Template.net. Our High-Quality Small Business Continuity Plan Template was Designed by Industry Experts to ensure the protection of property and assets in the event of a disastrous circumstance. Use our Free Online Editor Tool to Easily Edit the Document's Elements and Add your Team's Images. Download the Document in the Format you Prefer, and Send it via Email to your Department Managers and Stakeholders.
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