Mission Continuity is the ability of an organization to continue serving its constituents and maintain viability following a disaster or other disruption. Typical continuity measures include being able to resume functions at alternate locations, backing up and storing data offsite, maintaining current contact information for staff, vendors, and etc. The planning process begins with determining your department, division, unit or lab’s critical functions, also called essential functions, that must be recovered within 30 days of a disaster in order to prevent irreparable harm to:
- The University's ability to provide critical patient care, administrative, academic, research, or service functions.
- The University's reputation.
UC Ready Enhancement Project
UC Ready is a web-based software tool that provides a step-by-step process for creating a business continuity plan. It is one component of a system-wide continuity planning program that helps UC manage risks to the University's mission caused by an adverse disruptive event. In early 2014, The UC Ready Enhancement Project was established to improve the functionality of the UC Ready tool. The project’s goal was to identify the key enhancements necessary to continue to grow UC continuity planning efforts. In conjunction with this project, a decision was made to shift the strategic focus of continuity planning from the departmental-level to the campus-wide level. The enhanced UC Ready tool incorporates all of the previous tool's functionality and include key enhancements that enable the an important strategic shift to include campus level continuity planning efforts.
- The ability to conduct a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) to identify the most critical functions and time sensitive processes
- The ability to develop a campus-wide mission continuity plan and provide reports at the campus and system-wide levels
As part of the UC Ready Enhancement Project, UCSF uses a systemwide product called UC Ready. The Division of Homeland Security Emergency Management meets with individual plan owners to ensure a seamless workability with the UC Ready tool. In doing so, the Mission Continuity Program schedules surveys with individual plan owners to conduct the Business Impact Analysis and update the Mission Continuity Plan in the UC Ready tool.
Essential personnel who need to come to campus and health environments are generally those staff who have been identified based on essential function required to keep UCSF operating during an emergency, like a pandemic or an earthquake. During an emergency, essential functions provide services that directly relate to the health, safety, and welfare of the University, ensure the continuity of key operations and maintain and protect University people, properties and the environment.
Continuity planning is performed on a departmental level and senior management or control points for each department and schools determine which functions are essential, and how to staff those functions during an emergency or suspension of normal operations. Once the essential staffing plan for a department is determined, the senior manager in the department is responsible for communicating the information to all personnel in their respective department. There are some individuals who may be required to perform essential services remotely and those individuals are usually identified in advance and notified by their supervisors, but in most cases essential personnel are expected to be on-site. These include, but are not limited to, health care workers, researchers involved in animal care or refrigeration of sources, police officers and dispatchers, facilities services workers and maintenance crews, public information officers, housing and logistics personnel, EH&S, and more.