Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Is my office/department required to develop a plan through B-READY?
Yes. Each office/department at Binghamton University shall be responsible for developing a continuity of operation plan.
- Who is the appropriate person to be responsible for my office/department plan?
Each office/department must select an individual as the primary point-of-contact and project manager for B-READY. The person selected must be detail oriented, will need to interact with many people in the office/department, and have the ability to motivate others.
- Is training on B-READY available?
Yes. Training is available through the emergency management program and can be obtained by calling (607) 777-2275 or by contacting the emergency manager at firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Is there a sample plan I can review as an example?
Yes. When you log onto B-READY ( https://us.ready.kuali.org/kcpt/login/ready?sdname=bu ) you may view and print out a sample plan. The plan may be accessed by clicking on the ''GO TO... '' drop down menu in the ''Guidance '' box on the right hand of the screen. Click on ''Sample Plan '' from the drop down menu.
- Should one person complete the plan by himself/herself?
Although one person must be designated as the primary point-of-contact for B-READY, this person should not complete the project by him/herself. The quality of the project will rely upon the varied perspectives from many people within the office/department. The point-of-contact should work as a project manager who seeks out and coordinates the help of others.
- How will our plan be used?
The plan will ensure continuity of your essential functions across a wide range of emergencies and events. During a critical incident, your office/department will implement the plan as a means of ensuring the continuation of your mission. The quality of the plan will depend on the quality of the effort that is put into the development of the plan. Shortcuts taken in the development of the plan will result in a lack of detail that will impede your ability to recover your operations in a timely manner.
- When must the plan be complete (i.e. is there a deadline)?
There is no deadline for the completion of your office/department plan, however quarterly status reports will be made to members of Senior Staff and individuals with supervisory responsibility for your office/department (i.e. directors, department chairs, deans.
- How much detail should be included?
The quality of your plan depends upon the amount of time, effort and detail that is invested into the effort. A lack of detail may have serious consequences when your office/department attempts to recover its operation following a disaster.
- If my office/department occupies more than one location do I need to create more than one plan?
No. A single continuity plan is typically only created for each unit. However, the final decision to create multiple plans will be left to each office/department. If you believe the final plan will be more useful and/or more accurate if multiple plans are create, then the department may choose to create multiple plans. Whenever there is more than one plan in use within a single unit, please ensure that the documents complement each other and are not in conflict.
- What if we don't know the answer to a question?
If you don’t know or not prepared to answer a question, you should create an ''Action Item'' so you will be sure to follow up on this item.
- Who will have access to the information in our plan?
In addition to the university's emergency manager, your plan may be viewed by individuals with supervisory responsibility for your office/department. This may include, but is not limited to directors, department chairs, deans, associate vice presidents, and members of senior staff.
- Why must we grant the university's emergency manager access to our plan?
The university's emergency manager is responsible for the coordination of each office/department's plan. The emergency manager must be provided access to each plan so he may monitor the progress of your plan's development.
- What is the difference between a critical and an extraordinary function?
Critical functions. A function normally performed by a unit is critical; if that function must be restarted during the first 30 days post-disaster, in order to enable teaching or research to restart. Almost every unit of campus has some critical functions. A few examples are -
- classroom scheduling
- paying employees
- grant accounting
- donor relations
- campus mail delivery
- workstation support
- personnel actions
- plumbing repair
- providing meals for residents of university housing
- Instruction and research are (by definition) critical functions.
Extraordinary functions are different. These are things we would not normally do (at least to that degree), but which the crisis demands of us. Some examples are -
- Campus Housing may have to operate isolation/quarantine facilities during a pandemic.
- Physical Facilities, post-earthquake, would be asked to quickly inspect every building on campus.
- The Registrar's Office might have to fit the curriculum into half the number of classrooms
- If your unit might face a challenge of this magnitude, you need a specific plan.
- Are we responsible for developing redundancy plans if another department already provides redundancy for us (e.g. the computer center backs up our data)?
Yes. Although it may not be reasonable for every office/department to be 100% self-sufficient, each department should minimize its reliance upon others. Consider keeping copies of data readily available if other offices/departments/organizations experience a failure of their own. Don’t let someone else’s emergency become yours.
- What are upstream and downstream dependencies?
Upstream: Organizations/departments that you depend on to meet your mission and goals. An example of an upstream dependency is the provider of electrical power to your office (i.e. If the electrical provider fails to provide electricity, your office would be unable to operate).
Downstream: Organizations/departments that depend on you to accomplish their missions and goals. An example of a downstream dependency is the Registrar's office that depends on an academic department to provide student grades in a timely manner so student's records are maintained. (i.e. the Registrar's office is a downstream dependency to the academic department.) Ask yourself the following questions:
If the answer is, ''We can't continue with our mission'' , or if you have no answer, you must develop or enhance your plan.
- How would the failure of other units affect you?
- How would the failure of your operation affect other units?
- How will we know our plan is complete?
B-READY is a software based tool that steps users through a series of questions and answers. Once your department has completed each section with adequate levels of detail, you may mark the plan as completed. The plan should be printed and circulated among appropriate office/department staff.
- How often should we update our plan?
An effective continuity of operations plan will receive continuous attention and updates. At a minimum, each office/department will be expected to perform an annual update of the plan; however it is highly recommended that updates occur on a more frequent basis.
Last Updated: 1/21/14