Preparing your organisation for an emergency

Background information

How would your business cope in a crisis? Do you have a business continuity plan to guide your recovery or are you just leaving it to luck? Business continuity means business or organisation survival – keeping the business running during a disruption or getting it quickly back on track so that the business and its customers and suppliers can carry on.

Provided you know your business, putting together a business continuity plan actually be inexpensive and relatively easy to implement.

What if?

  • you lost access to your building for a day or more?
  • the electricity or gas supply went off?
  • the IT system failed?
  • large number of staff went sick or could not get to work?
  • your key supplier of goods or services was itself disrupted?

In partnership with other local authorities in London, we have prepared a number of materials to assist you with developing your own business continuity plans. These include basic guides and information on major incident procedures and business continuity management.

Included in the links below you can download a 10 minute business continuity checklist to assess your existing plans and a template business continuity plan that you can use in your organisation if you currently have nothing in place.

What is business continuity management?

Business Continuity Management (BCM) is a planning process to help your organisation to have a relatively quick return to "business as usual" in the event of a major crisis or interruption, regardless of the cause of the incident (be it man-made or natural, accidental or deliberate).

In summary, BCM is about:

  • reducing risk
  • responding effectively
  • restoring normality

Why is BCM important?

Research has shown that:

  • 90% of businesses that lose their data in an emergency close within two years
  • 80% of businesses suffering a major incident close within 18 months if they have no effective BCM plan
  • 58% of UK businesses were disrupted in some way by the events of 11 September 2001, with one in eight companies being seriously affected

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Effective BCM planning helps you to:

  • protect your business and reputation
  • solve potential disruptions in advance
  • increase the knowledge and skills of your staff
  • have a competitive advantage in a crisis
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