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Disaster Management in the Accounting Office


How do we share responsibility to develop and maintain capabilities? ... Belinda Wilson; Executive Director, HP Business Availability Division; March 13, 2007 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Disaster Management in the Accounting Office

Disaster Management in the Accounting Office
  • Eben Sutton
  • (530)752-5873
  • esutton_at_ucdavis.edu

FEMA Capabilities-Based Planning
What should we prepare for?
What tasks need to be performed?
Defining Target Levels of Capability
Which tasks are critical?
What capabilities are needed to perform the
critical tasks?
What level of capability is needed to perform
critical tasks for all scenarios?
How do we share responsibility to develop and
maintain capabilities?
Achieving Target Levels of Capability
What capabilities are required?
Do we have adequate capabilities?
How should we allocate our resources to make the
greatest improvements in preparedness?
Assessing Preparedness
How prepared are we?
Types of Response
  • Things you can see coming…
  • Floods, Hurricanes, etc.
  • Things you cant…
  • Earthquakes, Terrorism, etc.
  • Planning is astonishingly similar
  • This lies at the heart of the all hazards

General Preparedness Process
  • Identify critical processes
  • Assign responsibility and backup
  • Document response plans for likely events
  • Test response plans
  • Use test results to refine the plan
  • Repeat

Identification of Critical Processes
  • I have only heard of one customer that has a
    plan in place for a nuclear war, and that is the
  • Belinda Wilson Executive Director, HP Business
    Availability Division March 13, 2007

Critical Processes
  • What can you stop doing for 2 weeks, a month, 3
    months, or longer? What must get done every day?
  • From CDC Pandemic Guidance It is recommended for
    planning purposes that communities be prepared to
    maintain non-pharmaceutical interventions for
    up to 12 weeks

Defining Critical Processes
  • Things to think about
  • Information Technology restrictions
  • Bank of America Direct only retains wire
    information for a finite period of time (/- 3
    banking days)
  • Statutory restrictions
  • Title IV Cash Management
  • Institutional Policy
  • Contractual Obligations
  • force majeur clauses are getting harder to come
  • any circumstances beyond the reasonable control
    of a party which prevent or impede the due
    performance of a Contract including but not
    limited to war or hostilities riot or civil
    commotion epidemic earthquake flood or other
    natural disaster

Exercise Defining Critical Processes
Assign Responsibility for Critical Processes
  • Within 16 weeks of the theoretical Thai
    outbreak, 92 million Americans would have been
    infected with H5N1 Flu
  • Mike Levitt, HHS Secretary, Dec 5, 2005

Plan for Reduced Staff Availability
  • Even if staff are OK, can they get to work and
    how long will it take them to arrive?
  • Damage to infrastructure
  • Evacuation / Relocation

Plan for Reduced Staff Availability
  • Care of self, but also for friends family
  • Rule of thumb expect as many staff to be out
    caring for friends/family as are impacted by the
    event itself.

Assigning Responsibility
  • Spread primary responsibility as broadly as
    possible amongst subject matter experts
  • In an ideal situation, no one person would be
    responsible for more than one activity.
  • In reality, if you can avoid assigning one person
    to more than one task as primary, that may
    provide an adequate level of protection
  • UC Davis Emergency Management requires 3 levels
    deep (1 primary, 2 backup) for all critical

Getting Extra Support
  • Seek assistance from other offices/divisions for
    backup of experts
  • Think broadly
  • Extramural funds staff may already work with
    Title IV/Title VII funds, and know many of the
  • Systems development staff are likely available
    for a myriad of tasks during the event and event
  • If reliant upon outside resources, have MOUs in
  • To the greatest extent possible, train
    proactively so staff can hit the ground running
    when disaster strikes
  • Dont forget periodic recurrent training too!

Eliminate Single Points of Failure
  • Off-campus services
  • Courier / Armored Car
  • Depository / Lockbox
  • Loan Billing Collections
  • Are service expectations written into contracts?
  • In a disaster, competition for resources will
  • Are there alternate means of obtaining service,
    or alternate service providers, in the case of a
    service disruption?

Troublesome Topics Communication
  • How will you communicate with staff? Are staff
    aware of these communication pathways?

Websites, Call-in information numbers, Campus
radio/TV, Phone trees, Campus notification
systems, Etc.
Troublesome Topics Alternate Location
  • From where will you operate if your facility or
    campus has been destroyed?
  • Has this site been identified and MOUs
    delineating the terms of use signed?
  • Do your staff know how to get there?

Troublesome Topics Volunteers
  • How will you respond to offers of assistance?

History suggests you will get more help than you
want, and way more than you need.
Documenting Plans
  • One has only to spend an hour looking at papers
    written by graduate students to realize the
    extent to which the ability to communicate is not
    universally held.
  • Gerald Weinberg The Psychology of Computer

Event Timelines
  • Preparedness
  • Flood/Fire evacuation routes
  • Student Fee refunding policy determinations
  • Response
  • Saving of life and property
  • Recovery
  • Short-term and long-term return to normalcy
  • Mitigation
  • What did we learn? How can we improve the plan?

Plan Introduction
  • Purpose of the document
  • Last revision
  • Chain of Command for the unit
  • Include contact information
  • Plans focused around the Response Recovery
  • History of plan tests

Plan Framework
Response Scenario
Critical Business Process
Planning Scenarios
  • Many sources for event modeling
  • FEMA
  • National Planning Scenarios
  • Municipalities and Associations
  • Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)
  • Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG)
  • Systems (UC/CSU/etc.)
  • UC Financial Management Scenarios
  • CSU System Wide Emergency Preparedness Task Force
  • Campus
  • Risk Assessments

FEMA Scenarios
  • FEMA Identified Scenarios
  • (National Planning Scenarios)

Risk Management Professionals
  • UC retained consultants who created a
    personalized risk assessment surrounding 23
    different events for each campus, for example
  • Active Shooter
  • Lab/Building Fire
  • Eco-terrorism
  • Event Disturbance
  • Wildland Fire
  • Workplace Violence
  • High Winds
  • Truck Bomb
  • Flood
  • Landslide/Mudslide
  • Select Agent Release
  • Mail/Package Bomb
  • Public Health/Pandemic
  • Earthquake

UC Financial Mgt. Scenarios
  • Local Events
  • Prolonged power outage
  • Night-time fire destroys building, but no staff
    are injured
  • Day-time collapse of the building, killing all
  • Regional Event
  • Flood (Davis and Merced), Earthquake (everyone
    else) impacting everything within a 20 mile
    radius of the campus core

Planning for Recovery
  • Policy actions in place, and exceptions to policy
    that are anticipated on the path to normalcy
  • The more decisions made in advance the better
  • Key decision makers may not be available
  • A lesson of CSU Northridge Make the decisions
    now when there is time for appropriate
    consultation in the academic environment
  • Predicates for normalcy

Planning for Recovery
  • High-level steps required to operate during the
    incident (or a decision not to operate during the
    incident) and return to normalcy
  • Detailed process descriptions are best left in
    existing documentation reference and provide
    location information for existing documentation
    in the business continuity plan
  • Descriptions (either in the plan, or the
    underlying process descriptions) should be
    sufficiently detailed to permit those unfamiliar
    with the unit to carry them out successfully

Testing Your Response Plan
  • Knowledge must come through action you can have
    no test which is not fanciful, save by trial.
  • Sophocles, Trachinae

  • Simulations give the best possible test of a plan
  • They are resource-intensive and require
    substantial planning and coordination.
  • Example City of Stamford, CT
  • http//www.youtube.com/watch?vpmPYh7637g0
  • (15 minute video)

Table Testing
  • Sample table test Pandemic
  • Participants assigned a role to play for the
    duration of the drill effectiveness dependent
    upon accurate portrayal or the role
  • Minimally invasive on normal operations

Debrief and Plan Revision
  • Document, document, document
  • What worked? What didnt work?
  • What tasks were people unable to accomplish?
  • Did personnel transfers work smoothly?
  • Were there any unexpected information technology
  • Were any miracles needed to continue
  • If so, these must be resolved!

General Resources
  • FEMA
  • http//training.fema.gov/emiweb/IS/crslist.asp
  • UC Davis Emergency management
  • http//safetyservices.ucdavis.edu/emergencymgmt/
  • CSU Internal Audit
  • http//www.calstate.edu/audit/Audit_Reports/dep/
  • World Health Organization (Pandemic)
  • http//www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/en/
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