Protecting your business
There are a number of steps you can take to ensure your business is prepared to deal with adverse situations and can continue to operate its critical functions.
Pandemic flu which temporarily reduces your workforce
Steps: Question how many staff do you need to maintain key operations? Do you have alternative staff you can call on or external, additional help? Also, ensure you have steps in place to reduce infection spread – e.g. disinfectant hand gel.
Severe weather such as heavy snow, preventing people reaching the office
Steps: Be thinking about how far from work do your employees live, can people work from home? Would you have enough staff to operate? In terms of work safety, having a supply of grit for cold weather and flood products (see flood page) for wet weather is also beneficial. Finally, during particularly hot weather, having effective office ventilation, a water cooler and reminding staff to look after themselves is advised.
Fuel shortage or other transport disruption
Steps: How can you transport staff – car sharing arrangements, alternative transport, additional temporary staff from a closer location. How will it impact on any additional working day transport requirements (e.g. deliveries, meetings, customers) also?
Utilities Failure – loss of electric/gas etc
Steps: Think about how you would manage without these utilities; do you have any back up options? Again, is there the capability for home working?
Disruption to your Supply Chain
Steps: Question whether suppliers who directly affect your business have business continuity arrangements in place, or do you have arrangements for alternative companies you can use if your normal contact is unavailable?
Communications failure – temporary loss of telecommunications equipment such as phones and computers
Steps: Have files backed up externally; think about how you could maintain operations without the technology, contacting colleagues, cash transactions etc.
Fire or other incident which leaves the office out of access
Steps: Have important files and folders (including insurance documents) backed up and kept in a secure, alternative location away from the main office. Think about where you could work to maintain basic operations – could you and your staff work from home, are there alternative premises you could use? Also, have a fire drill plan and equipment that is regularly tested.