This content was originally created by UC Berkeley as an example of sample resources institutions can use to support end users as they develop plans.
To plan effectively, we need to know what we can expect from OTHER UNITS, and from the CAMPUS, in the event of a disaster. The items that follow will help you coordinate your planning with others.
You will also find here other items of guidance or perspective that may be of assistance to you. Please let the Office of Continuity Planning know what additional items you would like to see on this page.
1. Personnel issues
2. Course scheduling
3. PeopleLocator website
5. Depositing of payments
7. Emergency contact lists
8. Social distancing
9. Working from home
11. Bracing of office furniture and lab equipment
12. Emergency generators
1. Personnel Issues.
Performing our jobs under unusual circumstances gives rise to numerous staff issues. Human Resources has issued a "Business Continuity FAQ" advisory that identifies many of those issues, and provides advice to managers & supervisors for handling HR issues during times of crisis. See http://hrweb.berkeley.edu/manage/buscontfaq.htm
Because of the wide variability of possible conditions during a time of crisis, and the complexity of some of the issues & processes, HR will do a “just-in-time” training/communicating with campus managers when needed. This will include the provision of data-gathering forms as temporary workarounds if recruitment, personnel, and benefits systems should be inoperable.
2. Course scheduling.
The Office of the Registrar operates a mechanism for prioritizing undergraduate courses in the event that some classrooms are not usable post-disaster. Each semester, chairs or their designees are asked to go on-line to the Registrar's Business Resumption - Class Priority website and enter a priority ranking for each of their department's courses. Ranking criteria, approved by the Academic Senate, are explained. In the event of necessity, these rankings will be used by the Office of the Registrar to schedule courses and assign classrooms. Seehttp://registrar.berkeley.edu/
3. PeopleLocator Website.
The campus now operates a web tool for faculty, staff, and students to “check in” during times of emergency. Any individual can voluntarily post messages, and anyone can inquire about other individuals' messages. Family and non-UC friends may also access this tool. The address is https://peoplelocator.berkeley.edu/
The Payroll Office is prepared to keep paychecks flowing despite any adverse conditions. All campus departments should make every effort, in times of crisis, to process and report payroll data to the Payroll Office as you normally do. To whatever extent this becomes impossible, the Payroll Office will compensate. Under a worst-case scenario, the Payroll Office is prepared to issue current payroll checks using prior-period data, with the understanding that corrections will be necessary when systems are back running.
Direct deposit of paychecks is an important strategy in times of crisis. Depending on conditions, distribution of paper checks may encounter difficulties and delays. Presuming that the financial institutions are functioning, employees utilizing direct deposit will have higher assurance of being paid on time. In view of this, it is recommended that ALL departments doing continuity planning include an Action Item to “urge any faculty or staff still receiving paper checks to sign up for direct deposit.”
5. Depositing of Payments.
Campus departments that receive payments (cash, check, or credit card) should plan as follows:
-- if possible, continue to receive record and deposit the monies using normal processes.
-- if that is not possible, expect a communication from central Billing and Payment Services instructing you how to proceed.
-- The instructions from Billing and Payment Services will depend on current conditions and may include paper recording of information if the Campus Deposit System (CDS) is not operating, and direct deposit to the bank if the Payment Services Cashier Office is not functioning.
-- Under no circumstances should holding of cash & checks in your department be utilized as a coping strategy.
The ability to make purchases quickly and easily post-disaster is essential for every department's recovery. Following any major disruptive event, Procurement Services will proactively inform the campus about the status of campus procurement systems.
-- To the extent that systems are operating normally, the normal procurement policies, procedures & restrictions will continue to apply.
-- To the extent that systems are not working, Procurement Services will issue instructions how to proceed.
-- If the normal Purchase Order and Purchase Requisition systems are not operable, BluCard will be the principal mechanism for making purchases for a temporary period. Should this happen, Procurement Services will act, as circumstances deem appropriate, to raise card limits and/or remove restrictions on types of purchases.
-- All departments doing continuity planning should examine your BFS purchasing process: Do you have backups assigned for your preparers, reviewers and approvers in case some staff are not available? Are these backups REALLY capable of taking over if needed? Keep the skills of your backup people current.
-- All departments should also examine your BluCard capability: Do you have enough staff with BluCards to cope when some are absent (remember that BluCards, like all credit cards, can be used ONLY by the individual to whom they are issued).
-- During times of crisis, proper record-keeping for BluCard purchases MUST be continued. The risks inherent in this system make diligent conformance to procedures even more important at such times.
7. Emergency Contact Lists.
The campus's preferred method for keeping/maintaining emergency contact lists (of faculty & staff) is that each unit keep its own list in a format that works best for that unit.
The list should be:
--in a format of your choosing
--held by enough people to be useful
--treated as confidential
--kept securely at home and at work
--updated at least twice a year.
The following is a guide to the (minimum) content of an emergency contact list:
--Is UCB cell text capable?
--Is personal cell text capable?
--Home email (if different from UCB email)
--Person to contact in emergency
--Contact information for that person
--Out-of-area contact person for relay of messages
--Contact information for that person
8. Social Distancing.
During a contagious illness epidemic, social distancing will be a widely-used strategy. Social distancing means, quite simply, doing everything possible to keep people out of contagion-range. Schools and workplaces may close, large and small gatherings may be discouraged, transportation systems (planes, trains, buses) may be restricted.
When such an event threatens, social distancing may be advised in anticipation, even while we continue our daily work.
Should the campus eventually close for a period, there are still many functions that cannot simply be “turned off”: housing and feeding of students who cannot get home, certain critical lab research, care of animals, campus security, maintenance of environmental and utility systems, and others.
For continuity planning, the social-distancing challenge is as follows — we must have preparations in place to keep teaching, research, and support systems operating while keeping our people safely away from each other.
The good news is that contagious illnesses do not attack communication systems. We can look toward increased use of:
--distance learning methodologies
--telecommuting (also called work from home)
--electronic dispatching of service personnel
Visualize how your unit might implement social distancing while continuing to function.
9. Working from Home.
Working from home is a powerful strategy for functioning during crisis - as well as a very useful strategy for normal times. In practice, much remains to be done to develop this capability. An entire screen of the UC Ready planning tool is devoted to "getting specific" about who in your unit is currently able to work from home.
As you develop your continuity plan, think what your unit (or the campus) could do to increase the number of staff and faculty who could do at least part of their work from home. When some disruptive event befalls us, we'll need to have people working from home; but we'd best learn how to do that now, not during the crisis.
The communications industry (cable and DSL providers) are currently developing technology and capacity to support a large increase in traffic. They understand that unplanned events will generate sustained increases in volume of use, and they want their systems to be ready to support that.
At the campus level, we have the technologies needed for people to work from home; the real challenges to developing this powerful strategy are human and organizational.
In this era of just-in-time procurement and delivery, few of us keep much inventory. As you plan, ask what equipment & consumables your unit absolutely must have in order to carry on your critical functions. If a few weeks without deliveries is unthinkable, develop an inventory strategy.
11. Bracing of Office Furniture and Lab Equipment.
Here in earthquake country, securing equipment to walls, floors or lab benches can save enormous grief and loss. The campus's Q-Brace Program pays half the cost of “bolting & bracing” your equipment. Detailed instructions are available; professional tradespeople are provided to do the work; and engineering consultation is available for specialized equipment. See http://www.ehs.berkeley.edu/qbrace.html
12. Emergency Generators. Many of our buildings are equipped with emergency generators. Many are not. Here is what you should know about these:
--Emergency generators in almost all cases are designed to turn on automatically when normal power fails. There will, however, be a several-second delay while the engine starts, so equipment in your building will shut down (unless protected by your own UPS - uninterruptible power supply - system). This includes desktop computers, servers, and everything else electrical. Learn in advance whether critical equipment, especially in labs, needs to be manually restarted after the generator is running.
--The generators will run indefinitely as long as someone replenishes fuel (diesel or natural gas). At UCB, Physical Plant-Campus Services will take care of this (presuming their suppliers have fuel to sell, and deliveries are possible).
--Generators practically never power entire buildings — only critical circuits & equipment. If your lab has critical freezers or other equipment, check that they are plugged into an “emergency outlet” (often color-coded). Do not presume that your desktop computer, or even your office lights, will receive generator power. Ask your building manager.
--Question your building manager about maintenance. Generator systems need periodic (typically monthly) testing and maintenance. And — this is important — testing should include not simply running the engine, but sending the generator's electricity all the way to your freezer. Ask to see the testing records.