In recent weeks, the UK has been impacted once again by floods. For the hundreds of people in South Yorkshire and the East Midlands who’ve been forced to leave their homes or businesses premises, this disaster has been costly both emotionally and financially.
On a practical level this has meant that the government has had to deploy hundreds of extra staff to flood-hit areas, reducing the resources available for other initiatives. With water tables still very high and flood warnings by the Environment Agency still in place, the risk of further damage has not yet abated.
According to this well-researched Guardian article, a combination of climate change and manmade modifications to the landscape mean that floods are increasingly likely to affect the UK in the future. As employers and employees, we therefore need to consider how our businesses will react to both ‘natural’ and ‘human driven’ disasters when they occur.
Is your business ready for a disaster?
If you haven’t done so already, there are ways to prepare your organisation to the potential challenges to business continuity including extreme weather, cyber-attacks and sudden loss of access to your premises due to unrest or crime.
• The Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG) has a ‘Readiness Test’ online and a Resilience Starter Kit, so this is a great place to start if you haven’t seriously considered your options yet.
• Produce a business continuity plan – mapping out your key business processes and systems and the measures required to ensure, if disaster strikes, the least amount of disruption to your business.
• Prepare a ‘Battle Box’ of key business documents including insurance details, which can be quickly relocated in an emergency to wherever you will temporarily run your business from.
• Partner with a trusted business continuity provider to reduce risk of operational downtown.
Are you helping people with their emergencies?
Many businesses, especially in the insurance, IT and finance sectors are faced with an increase in demand when extreme weather events affect the UK. The recent flooding, harsh winter events like ‘The Beast from the East’ and moorland fires can all result in an influx of enquiries and pleas for help.
In such cases, it’s vital to ensure that your teams and systems can cope with the additional demand and that you have contingency plans in place should the workload exceed your capabilities, whether that’s in-house or by working alongside an outsourced specialist who can represent your business competently and professionally.
So, will you be ready if your business is impacted?
If you believe your business isn’t prepared for all eventualities and is exposed to unnecessary operational risk, then it’s important you act quickly. The ‘it’ll never happen to us’ mantra can be very costly, both financially and reputationally. Downtime impacts service delivery, which reflects negatively on your business and brand.
If you need help preparing some business continuity in your operations or contact centres, get in touch with CCP today.