Business Contingency Preparedness

Public Authority Coordination Checklist

Coordination with public authorities is a critical component of the Business Continuity Plan. Public authorities are the first responders in the event of an emergency, such as fire, civil unrest, terrorism, hostage situation and a hazardous material event. Public authorities may control access to your business whether you or your neighbor are affected by an event. Public authorities include fire, police, city, county, state or national emergency management teams, National Guard, public utilities, and your city, county, state and, potentially, national elected officials. Beyond insuring that your suppliers and staff meet required objectives, you must know the local and regional public authorities who support your business environment and their response procedures to insure you can maintain “continuity”.

Complete Business Continuity Planning must include organization-wide coordinated plans, supplier deliverable assurances, other support services organizations and coordination with public authorities.

Listed below are some recommended issues to include in your “Coordination with Public Authorities” planning process as you develop and maintain your enterprise Business Continuity Plan.


  • Know your local and regional public authorities including, but not limited to, emergency management, fire, police, public utilities and elected officials.
  • Maintain current knowledge of laws, regulations, codes, zoning, standards or practices concerning emergency procedures specific to your location and industry.
  • Document each authority group and their roles and responsibilities and possible support resources.
  • Document authority group contact information and required contact protocol.
  • Document the communication protocol and status reporting process.
  • Document organizations staff members that may be a member of a public authority group (volunteer fire, police, Red Cross Disaster Services, National Guard, State Emergency Response Committee (SERC) and Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), etc.).
  • Document facility and region access issues to include, but not limited to, "all clear" parameters/metrics, evacuation and return routes and process details.
  • Establish liaison procedures for emergency and disaster scenarios.
  • Document and associate with appropriate public authority Early Warning Notifications Systems, Press Releases, Websites, etc.
  • Coordinate organizational vulnerability and risk assessment with associated public studies and assessments.
  • Review vulnerabilities and risks and include complimentary and appropriate mitigation and response procedures in your organizations Business Continuity Plan and risk assessment process.
  • Utilize the Incident Command System (ICS) / National Incident Management System (NIMS) format and stay current with local authorities and their implementation.
  • Document the levels of support and / or degree of recovery obtainable in support of your organizations response and recovery Plan. Especially evaluate Plan activities for days 1 through 5.
  • Document local and regional supporting infrastructure resources to include, but not limited to, roadmaps, contour maps, pipelines, waterlines, power plants and grids, communication lines and hubs, railroads, bridges, water and fuel supplies, etc.
  • Document local and regional supporting resources to include, but not limited to, Emergency Operations Centers (EOC), hospitals, police and fire facilities, evacuation support centers, supply warehouses and docks, key vendors, National Guard facilities, SERC and LEPC resources, etc.
  • Document the forms and processes to be used during an event or exercise to insure activities and participants, etc. are captured for review and Plan response and recovery improvements.
  • Develop procedures for sharing critical and confidential (lock boxed) information to include, but not limited to, your organizations site layout information, floor plans, secure areas, laboratories, electrical sources, telecomm sources, etc. and public authority confidential information.
  • Determine organizational interface protocol, identification and training requirements and identify appropriate internal staff or support representative(s).
  • Share locations and types of organizational resources of public interest including, but not limited to, hazardous materials, fuel supplies, water sources, organizational contacts.
  • Define "regional" supporting resources, staffs, expertise, etc. to include, but not limited to, Red Cross, United Way, Catholic Charities and other religious and community support groups, etc.
  • Document organizational resources potentially available in support of other organizations and public authority activities. Include skills and training parameters.

Response and Recovery

  • Monitor status information included on local, regional and national warning systems, press releases, radio and television reports, etc.
  • Document the actual events including all incoming information and recommendations and comments by participants, clients and observers to facilitate post event analysis.
  • Monitor public authority exercises and event responses and review their on-going event status and Plan implementations.
  • Notify authorities of organizational on-going event status and projected Plan implementations.
  • Include public authorities in organizational exercises where applicable.
  • Participate in local and regional exercises with staff and resources including, but not limited to, the (EOC) Emergency Operations Center.
  • Communicate availability and document use of resources for public authorities.

Post Event or Exercise

  • Document local and regional public authority facilities which may have an impact on your business to include, but not limited to, police and fire stations, public buildings such as city halls, courthouses, Justice of the Peace locations, infrastructure terminals and storage locations, parking lots and Federal Reserve Banking locations.
  • Communicate internal event or exercise results to public authorities when their support was utilized, could have been utilized, or had an effect on your recovery.
  • Review the event or exercise documentation, Plan objectives, participants and final reports for lessons learned and Plan and training modifications and procedures improvements.
  • Participate in post event public discussions and round-tables.
  • Coordinate future exercises and objectives.


  • Participate in local and regional training exercises with staff and resources.
  • Share internal training for the response and recovery Plans developed, including documentation validations and certification process, table-tops, walk-throughs, component validations, etc.

Complete Business Continuity Planning must include enterprise-wide coordinated plans, supplier deliverable assurances, other support service organizations and coordination with public authorities. Let us know how you formalize interface with public authorities and any recommendations you have for our checklist.