Protecting my Business and my Staff
How would you survive a major business interruption?
What would the impacts on your business be in the event of loss of
workplace, loss of IT systems, reduced staffing levels or supply chain failure?
Major incidents may affect businesses as well as the general public, so we
understand that it is important to provide the business community with advice
about how best to reduce the likelihood of disruptive events and, if necessary,
how to respond to incidents which may occur. That’s why we’ve compiled the
information below and have provided links to further sources of information
which will help your business prepare and get back on its feet as quickly as
possible should the worst happen.
Events which could disrupt your business
Although emergencies are rare, they can have a significant disruptive impact
when they occur – consider the following threats to business as usual:-
Natural events – such as flooding, snow, high winds or damage
Theft or vandalism – theft or vandalism of machinery or
vehicles, computer equipment or data, or damage to your workplace could prove
devastating to any company.
Fire – a fire at your premises or in the neighbourhood could
affect health and safety, as well as the operation of the business thereafter.
For example, loss of contact details of clients and suppliers and / or fire and
water damage to stock.
Loss of utilities – loss of power or water supply could
severely affect your whole business operation. What would your business do
without electricity, gas or water for a day, a week or even a month? What would
be the affect on your production, communications or IT?
Outbreak of disease or infection – any outbreak of disease or
infection can have serious consequences for a business; to what extent depends
on the type of business, the number of people affected and often whether it
affects livestock on farms or places that keep animals.
Terrorist attack – whilst unlikely to be directly targeted at a
small businesses, this is still a consideration; your neighbourhood may be
affected, especially if you are located in the centre of a busy city.
Incidents affecting suppliers or customers – if an incident
affects a key supplier, do you have arrangements in place to source alternative
supplies? Are you insured if a customer is unable to take your goods and
services because of a incident taking place?
Cyber attack – is your business protected from viruses, trojans
and hacking? How would your business survive if your data were affected or could
not be recovered?
Why should my business prepare for emergencies?
Businesses affected by a disaster that do not have a business continuity
plan in place have a reduced chance of surviving disruptive events.
A business continuity plan will ensure everyone knows what to do and
- Give you a competitive advantage
- Reduce your costs
- Help you survive or recover more quickly
Where do I start?
The size and nature of your business will determine how comprehensive your plan
needs to be. By following the links below you can assess your business to see
how prepared you already are, and find out more information on whether and how
to take further action.
Your local authority emergency planning team can provide free advice and
information on business continuity planning:-
- Association of British Insurers – free online insurance
publications and guides.
- Business Link – an introduction to crisis management and
business continuity planning, plus a free online assessment tool to help you
identify and minimise potential risks to your business.
- Cabinet Office – advice from central government on the
importance of business continuity management (BCM) and how to implement a BCM
programme, plus a free BCM toolkit.
- Chartered Management Institute – annual business continuity
management survey identifying key threats to businesses based on actual events
and charting the increasing take-up of BCM by a variety of business sectors.
- Continuity Central – wide-ranging business continuity news and
resources from a host of national and international contributors.
- ROBUST – free downloadable business continuity planning
software from RISCAuthority and the Fire Protection Association.
- Talking Business Continuity – news, free downloads and case
studies from the British Standards Institution, plus links to BS 25999 – the
British Standard for business continuity management.
- The Business Continuity Institute – Good Practice Guidelines
which draw upon the academic, technical and practical experience of the members
of the Business Continuity Institute.
- Vulnerability Self Assessment Tool (VSAT) – online assessment
tool from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office.