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This is a copy of our Tar Heel Mission Ready newsletter, a monthly publication that provides information and updates related to mission continuity, preparedness and planning. All members of the University are invited to subscribe.

As we continue to prioritize the safety and resilience of our University community, it’s crucial to ensure that our Mission Continuity plans are robust and adaptable to potential risks and disruptions. In this newsletter, we will outline the key components of risk assessment for Mission Continuity, highlight essential measures and provide valuable resources to aid you in your planning efforts.

In essence, risk in this context encompasses both the probability of an adverse event happening and the magnitude of its impact on the University’s operations, assets, reputation and ability to fulfill its obligations to stakeholders. Effective risk assessment allows businesses to prioritize their resources and efforts to mitigate, transfer or accept risks appropriately, thereby enhancing their resilience to unforeseen events. Key components of risk assessment are identifying risks, assessing likelihood, prioritization, mitigation, testing and updating plans.

Key Components

Identify Potential Risks: Begin by identifying all possible risks that could impact your business operations. These risks could include natural disasters (like earthquakes or floods), human-made incidents (such as cyber-attacks or supply chain disruptions) or internal issues (like equipment failures or staff shortages). Risks can also include reputational, financial or compliance impacts.
Potential risks clipart
Assess the Likelihood and Impact: Once you’ve identified the risks, assess how likely each one is to occur and the potential impact it could have on your department/unit. Consider factors like the probability of occurrence, the severity of impact on operations, financial losses and reputational damage.
Likelihood and impact clipart
Prioritize Risks: Not all risks are equal. Some may have a higher likelihood of occurring or could cause more significant disruptions to your business. Prioritize these risks based on their likelihood and potential impact. This helps you focus your resources on addressing the most critical vulnerabilities first.
Prioritize risks clipart
Develop Mitigation Strategies: With your prioritized risks identified, develop mitigation strategies to reduce their likelihood or minimize their impact. This could involve implementing preventive measures, such as installing backup power generators or strengthening cybersecurity defenses. It could also involve developing contingency plans for how to respond in the event that a risk does materialize.
Mitigation strategies clipart
Test and Refine: Once you’ve developed your mitigation strategies and contingency plans, it’s crucial to test them regularly through simulations or drills. This helps identify any weaknesses in your plans and allows you to refine them accordingly. Testing also familiarizes your staff with their roles and responsibilities during an emergency, improving overall readiness.
Test and refine clipart
Monitor and Update: Risks are constantly evolving, so it’s essential to regularly monitor changes that could affect your Mission Continuity plans. Update your risk assessments and mitigation strategies accordingly to ensure they remain relevant and effective.
Monitor and update clipart

As plan managers, it’s imperative to recognize the critical role that comprehensive Mission Continuity planning plays in safeguarding our organization’s operations and ensuring resilience in the face of adversity. A well-written plan not only serves as a roadmap for navigating disruptions but also acts as a cornerstone for organizational success. By investing time and resources into thorough plan development, we are proactively mitigating risks, minimizing potential losses and safeguarding our reputation. The success of our efforts can be measured not just in terms of how effectively we respond to emergencies, but also in our ability to maintain continuity, protect our stakeholders and sustain operations during challenging times. A robust plan instills confidence among our team members, students, staff and partners, demonstrating our commitment to preparedness and ensuring our organization’s ability to thrive amidst uncertainty.

Resources for Plan Administrators

The UNC System Eastern Campuses Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan evaluated potential flooding risks and impacts to the Campus. Historical flooding, proximity to rivers/dams, and facility location should all be considered when evaluating your departments Mission Continuity plan.
Hazard Mitigation Plan cover image
The National Risk Index is a dataset and online tool to help illustrate the United States communities most at risk for 18 natural hazards. It was designed and built by FEMA in close collaboration with various stakeholders and partners in academia; local, state and federal government; and private industry.
National Risk Index
Should you find it challenging to pinpoint the essential functions that truly reflect your department in supporting the University’s mission, don’t hesitate to contact Crystal Donaldson for assistance in scheduling a review of your Mission Continuity Plan.
Crystal Donaldson
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