Pandemic Continuity Planning

Resiliency Planning for a Pandemic

What should my unit expect during a pandemic? 

A pandemic can significantly hinder markets, logistics, suppliers, product accessibility and your labor pool.  Your focus for preparedness should be to assess how you will maintain your most essential operations when resources and staff become unavailable.  

With your team, discuss the categories below, fill in the continuity templates and define your strategy for business continuity.

University of California Office of the President guidance for UCOP employeesplanning for the COVID-19 outbreak, including working from home, travel, meetings/visitors, and staying healthy

General Business

  • Essential Functions: As a team, list the essential functions of your department (i.e. evaluate which functions or operations are most critical to supporting the university). See continuity planning templates at the bottom of this page.  The full UC Ready Annex can be requested by writing to oes@ucsc.edu.
  • Redundancy: Are employees cross-trained to cover staff shortages? Begin cross-training so that essential functions can be performed. Consider 20-40% labor losses during a pandemic.
  • Supply Lines: From your essential functions list, determine which essential functions require special equipment, supplies, or resources. Vendor and shipping companies will experience 20-40% labor shortages during an outbreak or pandemic event. Determine the supplies and equipment needed to sustain your essential operations and order those resources immediately. Click here for OES templates.
  • Access to records and data: Can employees needing to work remotely access business records? Telecommuting may be necessary to keep sick employees home.  At work, social distancing can be practiced to reduce the spread of germs. 
  • Succession Planning: Who will lead the unit if the managers become ill? List your unit’s succession order, four members deep.
  • Stagger shifts: To create social distancing, reduce or stagger shifts.
  • Remote Work: Telecommuting may be necessary to prevent the spread of infection. Equip employees with resources needed to work remotely.  Consider purchasing laptops or other equipment. 
  • Travel: Mitigate risk, reduce or eliminate non-essential travel.  Visit UCnet Response to Coronavirus for travel directives.
  • Sick Employee or Student: See the UCnet Guidance for concerns related to sick employees or students.

 General Business + Academics 

  • Prepare all lectures for remote and alternative instruction.
  • Determine which courses may be most affected by a disruption and prioritize responses.
  • Determine and communicate acceptable modifications to courses such as replacing class time with other instructional methods, changes to assignments and grading methods, and alternatives to office hours.
  • Prepare and implement a communication plan for your students and faculty.
  • Develop and implement a student appeals processes.
  • Plan how to adjust course policies related to class attendance such that students who become ill or are placed under quarantine are not penalized.
  • Ensure that final exam papers can be reliably collected and graded, and the course grades computed and submitted, even if the instructor or other course staff become ill or are quarantined.
  • Place all key course documents (e.g., syllabi, assignments, reading lists) on Canvas, so that students can access them remotely even if unable to come to campus due to illness or quarantine. If the course has a separate website, provide a link to it from Canvas.

General Business + Research

  • Assess the impacts your research unit will face if employees were unable to report to work for two to three weeks.  If an outbreak occurs, consider staggering shifts to create social-distancing.  
  • Review the General Business section above for administrative continuity planning.

Student Academics

  • Keep Learning - An online repository of information pertaining to accommodations, advising, effective remote learning strategies, and more.  Built for student access during times where in-class instruction is not possible.

Tools to Remote Work

* Zoom Basic accounts support 40 mins. max meeting time and up to 100 participants. Zoom Pro accounts support any meeting length and up to 300 participants. Check account status by logging in at zoom.us. Banner will say "Zoom Pro Account" or check for settings User Type (Pro) and Capacity (300) under Profile.

Continuity Planning Templates