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Key Resources

Why is a printed emergency contact list requested?

Most individuals have coworker and key vendor phone numbers readily available (typically stored in their cell phone) so that contact can be made quickly if needed. However, what if another individual (upper administration/temporary replacement staff/3rdparty contractor) needs this information during an emergency and you/your staff are not available?

Why does somebody have to know how to check messages or record a greeting on a phone?

If you have a main telephone line that is normally answered during business hours by a staff person, what happens if that person is out of the office during the emergency? What is the plan for retrieving voice mail messages that are left on that line? If this same staff member normally takes care of changing the main line voice recording, what is the plan to record an “emergency” greeting that redirects callers to another office or provides them instructions on how to obtain the information they are requesting if that staff member is not available?

We normally rely on someone outside of the department to post information on our web page. Why is this information necessary?

During an emergency, it is often necessary to put temporary instructions on a web page to direct/redirect individuals to needed service locations, call centers, distribution/pick up points, etc.  Having this contact person's information handy may be helpful during a time of crisis.

What is a “group password”? We all have individual passwords.

There are some applications/systems that provide only one password per institution/department. Often this password is kept very secure and only shared by a very limited number of staff. If the individuals who hold this password are not available, how will business continuity continue? See OIT section for ways to secure this password.

What do you mean by leadership succession?

Leadership succession might be better worded as “designated back-up” for critical positions.

Do we have to know how to remote into the Ohio network in order to work from home?

It depends on what you will be working on from home and where it is stored. See Information Technology FAQ.

I do not understand the “teams” section.

In this area, please list teams/groups/committees that the department normally meets with regularly in support of business functions/  These groups could potentially assist/advise/guide the restoration of your primary business duties should the normal staff be unavailable.

Can you give advice on how to complete the skills section?

If a department needed to find temporary assistance in order to restart their office responsibilities, what skills would be needed? Keep in mind that sometimes there are staff within the institution that can be temporarily reassigned and sometimes it might be necessary to hire from an outside agency. Think of this page as a “tear out” sheet that you could quickly remove from your plan and hand it to whoever is going to seek out temporary staffing.

Please provide advice on how to complete the “Staffing Requirements” section.

The goal of this particular set of questions is to inform institutional/departmental leadership of offices/units that MAY have staff who could be temporarily reassigned to another unit during a crisis.

Staff from Other Units:

Outside of your immediate office, who do you work with within the institution on a regular basis? Most offices regularly interact with particular people or offices for collaborative efforts, to troubleshoot problems, or to plan coordinated business activities. List these individuals and make a comment as to why this person would be resourced/or what expertise they provide in relationship to your business practice.  Be sure to include their email address as well as their office and cell phone number.


Who are the EXTERNAL partners who have a vested interest in your department/office’s success or who you might need to resource during an emergency? Another way of thinking about it is who you might need to call on a Saturday afternoon, should an emergency occur in your area. This list would include vendors, donors, service providers, granting agency contact, state agencies, contacts from other institutions, local health care agencies, etc.

Documents: What type of documents do you recommend being attached to the plan?

The best way to decide the answer to this question is what vital records or databases (either paper or electronic format) are essential to continuing operations during and after an emergency? Would you need prompt access to these documents order to take immediate action or to make contingency plans. If so, attach a PDF of the document to the plan because office space may not be accessible or campus network may not be available for a period of time.  Examples include: an emergency contact list, a list of vendors that you would need to call to deliver emergency supplies or stakeholders who might need notified. Do not attach large, lengthy documents. Instead, simply identify what the document is and where this information is stored so that it can be accessed later. Consider OneDrive or another cloud based storage as an alternative/back up location for large documents (see IT section).

Utilities: What if the department does not know the answer to this question?

This particular question is directed to those units (research, facilities management, etc.) who have specific utility needs that fall outside the standard electric, water, heating and cooling that we normally enjoy.