Much of the Pacific Northwest sits in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a mega-fault line stretching from North Vancouver Island to Cape Mendocino, California, that scientists anticipate will cause a major earthquake within the next 50 years. Government entities must plan for this event that could wipe out the majority of the British Columbia coast, Washington’s west coast, Oregon, and Northern California. In the event of an earthquake along the fault line, these governments would need to transition into continuity operations quickly and efficiently.

One state government entity, charged with these and other continuity plans, had almost 30 plans to keep updated and would soon add more as facilities were splitting. Plans were stored in Word documents that, while dense, lacked essential information that would be useful in the event of a major disaster like an earthquake. It needed to simplify and streamline its processes to use the same template and program for all the plans.

When the department’s continuity planning manager was tasked with writing and managing continuity plans, they knew the different departments needed to find a way to be on the same page on continuity planning. It was particularly important to find a solution for those departments without a full-time continuity planner that instead relied on an employee who had to take on continuity planning as a side task.

After having worked with the BOLDplanning platform elsewhere, the planner knew right away that it was the right solution for the state. The platform was simple yet would meet all their needs. It would also help them meet FEMA, CMS, and Joint Commission regulatory requirements. It’s especially critical to be CMS and Joint Commission compliant; without maintaining that compliance, governments don’t receive necessary funding.

The state department spent less than three months getting onto the BOLDplanning platform and took advantage of BOLDplanning workshops for all organizational stakeholders. Employees are now tasked with simply logging into the platform every couple of months to make sure all the information is valid; any changes can be completed quickly and synced across all plans instead of spending hours making changes in numerous Word documents.

Moving forward, the department is thinking about big-picture continuity items that need to be incorporated into template language, such as changes stemming from work-from-home.

BOLDplanning is a division of Agility.