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Maintain Financial Business Operations

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Many utility officials want to know what actions their utility can take to maintain financial business continuity during incidents that disrupt the utility's operations or the area economy. To help with this financial challenge, the document, All-Hazard Consequence Management Planning for the Water Sector (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (November 2009), includes a section under Specific Actions for Economic Disruption Incidents that provides a checklist (shown below) of actions utilities can take to minimize the financial hardship that can occur during a response or recovery. Click the following link to access a printable copy of the Checklist of Preparedness Actions for Economic Disruption Incidents (PDF) (1 pg, 20K, About PDF).

Preparedness Actions for Economic Disruption Incidents
Actions NIMS/ICS Function
squarebox1 Establish policies to authorize expenditures during a response. This might include pre-authorizations of certain expenditures or establishing emergency accounts or contracts with suppliers or contractors. Management, Finance
squarebox2 Mark all emergency-related contracts and pre-authorizations clearly so staff can find them quickly and not confuse them with executed instruments. Finance
squarebox3 Document the utility's critical financial records and systems. Finance
squarebox4 Create a plan to access critical financial records and systems remotely so staff can continue to use them even if an emergency prevents access to utility facilities. Finance
squarebox5 Identify how to continue to receive payments and make payments to employees and vendors during an emergency, even if staff cannot access utility facilities. Finance
squarebox6 Create a mechanism to expedite financial and procurement decision-making during an emergency. Management
squarebox7 Establish a financial contingency plan so staff can continue to operate essential services and implement recovery activities if an emergency significantly disrupts revenue. Finance
squarebox8 Consider establishing a "rainy day fund" as part of a utility's business continuity plan. Management
squarebox9 Ensure the utility's accounting system is able to capture financial data in a way that provides accountability and supports potential cost recovery actions. Finance
squarebox10 Increase the amount of cash on hand to facilitate purchase of supplies/equipment during response. Finance
squarebox11 Activate pre-authorizations for response and recovery spending and/or emergency contracts as needed. Management, Finance
squarebox12 Determine if staff can access normal financial and accounting systems; activate remote/alternate systems if needed. Logistics
squarebox13 Consider increasing limits on employee credit cards to facilitate purchase of supplies/equipment during response. Finance
squarebox14 Assess long-term implications of the incident on utility revenue and implement financial contingency plans as needed. Finance
squarebox15 Maintain accurate financial records to support accountability and reimbursement/cost recovery claims. Finance

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