A-Z Popular Blog Risk Search »
Management Theory

Management Functions

Change Management

Project Management

Management Accounting

Management Culture

Risk Management

Management Examples

Management Metrics

Design Thinking

3 Examples of a Contingency Plan

 , updated on
A contingency plan is a plan to recover from a risk should it occur. A risk that has occurred is known as an issue, or in the case of a severe risk, a disaster. Historically, contingency plans were mostly developed for high impact risks with potential to completely disrupt the normal operations of a nation, city or organization. Modern risk management practices also plan contingencies for relatively minor risks. The following are illustrative examples of a contingency plan.


The organizers of an industry conference identify major risks that could derail the event with a contingency plan that includes a risk response and preparation steps.
Contingency Plan - Industry Conference
Disaster or severe weather event.
Include the right to cancel in the event of a disaster or severe weather event.
Communicate cancellation in a timely manner.
Facility closure
Include penalties in contract with vendor. Include the possibility of facility problems in insurance coverage.
Reschedule event at a comparable facility. If the dates need to be changed offer the choice of a refund.
Event host or keynote speaker cancels at the last moment.
Develop a deep list of potential guest speakers who could fill in.
Ask a guest speaker to fill in.
Catering fails to show up or deliver.
Develop a list of local restaurants that can provide acceptable food for the event on a pickup basis on short notice.
Substitute by picking up food and beverages from multiple local restaurants.
Network failure
Make it a requirement that facilities provide two separate WIFI networks on two different backbones.
Switch to secondary network.


A manufacturing team identifies risks to their monthly production targets with a contingency plan for each risk. The contingency plan includes an estimate of risk probability.
Contingency Plan - Manufacturing
A large number of employees call in sick for a shift.
Develop a call tree for asking workers to come in for an unscheduled shift.
Develop an incentive plan for taking unscheduled shifts.
Design modified production processes for smaller shifts.
A machine breaks down.
Hold parts, components and cold standbys in inventory for rapid maintenance.
Develop workaround processes to keep lines running where possible.
Maintenance teams for every shift.
Escalate problems to machine vendors.
Power outage
Emergency backup power for critical machines to prevent safety risks.
System or network outage.
All networks and systems to be designed with hot backups.
Switch to backup and escalate to IT.

Business Continuity

Business continuity is the process of continuing business operations in the event of disasters and other high impact issues. In this case, a continuity plan may be structured by scenario as opposed to the risks that can trigger such scenarios. It is also common to include an analysis of impact for each risk.
Contingency Plan - Business Continuity
West data center goes down.
Low. May lose a small amount of data and experience a business disruption of several minutes.
Synchronization of data between East and West data centers.
Switch all operations to East data center.
East data center goes down.
Low. May lose a small amount of data and experience a business disruption of several minutes.
Synchronization of data between East and West data centers.
Switch all operations to West data center.
Both East and West data centers go down for an extended period of time.
High. Expect a total outage of up to a day.
Cold backups to third party cloud providers.
Communicate extended outage to stakeholders.
Restore limited functionality from cold standby site at the New York office.
New York office, East and West data centers are unavailable for an extended period.
Very High. Expect an outage of a week or more.
Cold backups to third party cloud providers.
Communicate extended outage to stakeholders.
Use emergency communication tools to organize employees from home and plan a response.
Build new environments from cold backups.
Overview: Contingency Plan
Definition (1)
A plan to recover from realized risk.
Definition (2)
A plan to recover from potential issues and disasters.
Related Concepts
Next: Contingency Planning
More about contingency planning:
Acceptable Risk
Business As Usual
Business Impact
Business Risks
Calculated Risk
Cascading Failure
Contingency Plan
Contingency Planning
Disaster Preparedness
Dread Risks
Economic Risk
Financial Risk
Innovation Risk
Investing Risk
Moment Of Risk
Plan Template
Political Risk
Positive Risk
Project Risk
Reputational Risk
Residual Risk
Resource Risk
Risk Acceptance
Risk Analysis
Risk Appetite
Risk Awareness
Risk Capacity
Risk Communication
Risk Contingency
Risk Control
Risk Culture
Risk Estimates
Risk Evaluation
Risk Exposure
Risk Impact
Risk Intelligence
Risk Management
Risk Matrix
Risk Measurement
Risk Mitigation
Risk Monitoring
Risk Objectives
Risk Prevention
Risk Probability
Risk Profile
Risk Reduction
Risk Register
Risk Response
Risk Sharing
Risk Taking
Risk Tolerance
Risk Treatment
Risk Trigger
Risk-Reward Ratio
Seasonal Risk
Secondary Risk
Special Risks
Strategy Risk
Tactical Risk
Technology Risk
Unknown Risks
Upside Risk
More ...
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.

Contingency Planning

A definition of contingency planning with examples.

Risk Management vs Contingency Planning

The difference between risk management and contingency planning.

Change Principles

The first principles of change.

Impact Analysis

An overview of impact analysis with examples.

Job Rotation

An overview of job rotation with examples.

Resilience vs Recovery

A comparison of two methods of disaster preparedness.

Business Impact Analysis

An overview of business impact analysis.

Cold Site vs Hot Site

The difference between a cold site and a hot site for disaster recovery.

Business Continuity vs Disaster Recovery

The difference between business continuity and disaster recovery.

Disaster Preparedness

The definition of disaster preparedness with examples.

Crisis Management Plan

Full examples of crisis management plans that can be used as a template.

Business Impact

A list of business impacts.

Business Impact Statement

Full examples of business impact statements.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map