How to prepare your business for an emergency
There are ways to prepare your business should any of these things affect you:
- Develop a Business Continuity Plan. Only 27% of small businesses, 68% of medium-sized organisations and 75% of large companies have business continuity plans in place, and after the 1996 Manchester Bombing, 40% of businesses which were affected went out of business. A good Business Continuity Plan will allow your business to continue trading or operating during a disruptive event and recover from disruption and return to ‘business as usual’ as soon as possible. For assistance in developing a business continuity plan for you organisation, see the following links. …
- Understand your organisation. This is the first stage of business continuity planning and helps you to understand the most critical activities and the resources you need to carry out these activities. Questions which you can ask yourself are: ‘What parts of my business must continue to function?’ and ‘What priority would you allocate to restoring business functions if they fail?’.
- Assess the risks. Consider all of the risks which your business may face, such as, but not exclusively, loss of staff, loss of premises, loss of resources and loss of suppliers. Think about what contingencies could be put in place to reduce the likelihood, mitigate the impact and protect your most critical business functions? What is the maximum period of failure that could be sustained and the worst case scenario for each risk.
- Think about what should be included in your strategy. Think about your evacuation procedure, first aid and communications plans. Long term responses should consider how to access documents and IT facilities and a safe alternate facility for workers.
- Training and Exercise. Your Business Continuity Plan should not be considered valid until it has been tested to see if the plan works. Train and test your staff in activating the plan and the roles and procedures it contains.
How to prepare
There are some useful resources you can look at to help you prepare:
- Dummies Guide to Business Continuity; is a useful guide produced by Cabinet Office, working with the Business Continuity Institute and Emergency Planning Society.
- Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG) have produced a 10 minute plan that can help to be prepared against different types of emergencies.
- HM government Cyber aware link can provide useful advice on how to protect your business and data.
- Complete a business health check (link) this will help identify risks ad actions required
- Check out the How Prepared Are You? Business Continuity Management Toolkit (link)
- Specific guidance on how to prepare your business from a flood risk.