Can you hear me now? Prepare your entity to ensure telecommunications in the event of an emergency

While the 2013 hurricane season has been milder than most, threats to business continuity don’t always come from the Atlantic. As Virginia has seen over the past few years, earthquakes, flooding, derechos, tornadoes, and other localized disasters like fires can also impact a VML Insurance Programs’ (VMLIP) member’s ability to operate.

In the event that your entity’s office is rendered unusable, VMLIP members with property coverage can access business continuity services through Agility Recovery.

“Agility provides access to office space, technology, communications and power – usually within 48 hours of an emergency declaration,” said Continuity Planner Josh Smith with Agility.

However, there are many things VMLIP members can do now to ensure Agility is able to provide every service available to ensure business continuity.

 

For example, one service Agility provides is the ability to support redirection of an entity’s telephone number(s) to phones located at an off-site, alternative business location, or to a voice mail box as a temporary solution.

“Within an hour we can have a telephone number setup on the Agility system for the member to redirect their number(s) toward. Messages left there can be forwarded to any e-mail address we are asked to send them to,” said Smith.

However, in order to successfully do this, members must prepare in advance.

“The part of this that is member-dependent is working in advance of an event with your telecommunications provider to understand the fastest option the provider offers for making a redirection, or forward of your lines happen,” said Smith.

Download a list of priority services potentially available to your entity here.

Members developing a business continuity plan should contact their telecommunications provider and locate the department that handles services for public entities.

“Let them know that because of your nature as a governmental entity you will need to develop a plan with them to allow timely redirection of your phone number(s) in the event of an emergency.”

This may include putting the direct number to the relevant telecommunications department into the business continuity plan, pre-authorizing identified personnel to communicate with the provider, and collecting the information the provider will need in order to move forward with authorization, such as account numbers, etc.

This information can be stored in the myAgility online disaster recovery-planning tool available to all VMLIP members with property coverage.

Logging into, and setting up your individual account gives you access to Agility’s Preparedness Plan template – a full recovery and continuity of operations plan framework – as well as numerous specific threat checklists and other planning resources to help build and enhance your plan.

“Even if you already have a disaster recovery/continuity of operations plan in place, Agility’s tools can be integrated into your existing plans for recovery,” says Smith.

These documents, which contain critical information regarding your specific physical resource needs, are then stored within the myAgility system for secure, online access from anywhere, at anytime.

Upload existing plan documentation online so it can be accessed remotely during a critical event and is not solely located on your local network.

“Critical data stored in myAgility will help get your operations back up and running after an interruption as quickly as possible,” said Smith. “It allows Agility to provide the best support to you during an event because we will already know specifically what types of resources you need – from what type of generator you need to what types of computer hardware you require.”

If you have not already, VML Insurance Programs strongly encourages you to log into your myAgility account today by visiting www.agilityrecovery.com and clicking ‘Login to myAgility” in the upper right.  The first step is to complete your ‘Recovery Profile’ tab.  Once you have entered that information, you can upload your existing plan documentation or download Agility’s Preparedness Plan template in the ‘myPlan’ tab.

Members were provided with a username and password to myAgility in the past, however if you cannot locate this information an Agility Member Services team member can assist you by calling their hotline at 1 (877) 364-9393 or by e-mailing: memberservices@agilityrecovery.com.  There are also links for ‘Forgot Member Name’ and ‘Forgot Password’.

More information on how to get started with Agility is available on the VMLIP website. For members without property coverage through VMLIP, learn more about this important service you could have if your entity had had all lines of coverage with VMLIP here.

VMLIP offers more than just coverage.  We are partners in risk management. How does your insurer stack up?  Having all lines of coverage with VMLIP ensures that your organization is receiving comprehensive coverage and a wide variety of value-added services tailored to Virginia’s local governmental entities.  Call for a quote today: (800) 963-6800.  For more information on VMLIP visit: www.vmlins.org or follow us on Facebook.

** VMLIP blog postings are offered for VMLIP members to utilize in strengthening their risk management efforts.  See copyright information for clarification on sharing this information.

Advertisements

About VML Insurance Programs

Director of Communications, VML Insurance Programs
This entry was posted in Business Continuity, Property & Liability, VMLIP News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s