Whilst business continuity is designed to be able to help you react to the consequences of any sort of disruptive event, it is more pragmatic to base your planning on an assessment of the risks you actually face.
The UK government has determined some generic challenges to consider when carrying out your business continuity planning:
Hampshire County Council and the Districts of Hampshire have assessed the areas and hazards of greatest risk to the local community. You would be advised to consider whether the risks below apply to you when you go about you business continuity planning:
The biggest risk to human health is a flu pandemic, which could affect a great number of people in a short space of time.
This could mean large numbers of staff are absent through illness or having to care for relatives, significant disruption to your supply chain and the transport infrastructure and an unpredictable impact on society as a whole.
You can find more information on the Preparing for Emergencies and Health Protection Agency websites.
Notifiable animal diseases pose a high risk in Hampshire, partly because of the amount of countryside and farmland, and the inter-dependencies of the rural economy on other aspects of doing business such as tourism.
Such diseases could include Foot and Mouth, Classical Swine Fever, Avian Flu, Rabies, West Nile Virus and other emerging diseases.
You can find more information on the DEFRA website.
If your business or any of its significant suppliers or customers is based on the Isle of Wight, you may wish to consider the impacts of land movement caused by landslides or coastal erosion.
The impact of this could be wide ranging and include routes becoming difficult to pass, disruption to power and communications, and the potential for severe congestion over a wide geographical area. Disruption may also be felt if you are located near one of the ferry terminals that serves the island.
You can find more information from the Isle of Wight Centre for the Coastal Environment.
Severe weather comes in several guises, and can cause a variety of types of disruption to your business.
Heatwaves - can cause power outages as a result of increased power demands and the effect of the heat on the roads and rails can cause disruption to transport networks.
Low temperatures and heavy snow - can cause short term disruption to transport, power and communications networks, and possibly longer term damage.
Storms and gales - can damage property and stock, and cause disruption to transport, power and communications networks. This impact may be combined with flooding due to the volume of rain, or in coastal locations this due to storm surges.
Flooding - can be due to coastal flooding or river flooding - the floodwaters can damage properties, vehicles and stock and may cause longer term damage. There may be a shortage of materials and labour to make repairs afterwards, thus extending the period of disruption. Staff, suppliers and customers may also be displaced for an extended period of time.
You can find more information from the Environment Agency and the Met Office.
This encompasses several types of incident which could cause major disruption to your business.
Fire / explosion at an industrial site - if your business is located near industrial facilities your premises and vehicles may be damaged by the blast, and there may be disruption to the transport and infrastructure networks. There could be longer term impacts as a result of enquiries and rebuilding works - you could find your business is otherwise unaffected but is inside a cordon for several days.
Toxic chemical or biological release - can cause sudden and immediate disruption to your business, and there may be a longer term environmental cleanup that will have implications, particularly if the nature of your business is impacted. There could also be fatalities, depending on the nature of the release.
Maritime pollution - many businesses in Hampshire are reliant on the rivers and sea, so a pollution incident could seriously impact upon business. Furthermore there would likely be an impact on disruption and possibly damage to human health as well as longer term effects caused by damage to marine ecosystems.
Contamination of the food chain - whilst the contamination may not originate in Hampshire, the impacts of this would be widely felt, particularly by agricultural and food-related businesses. There could be animal and consumer health effects and the loss of consumer confidence could have longer term financial impacts on your business.