What businesses can do to prepare
General ideas that might help to improve the resilience of your business include the following.
Get suitable insurance
Make sure you have adequate protection so that your business can recover effectively. Make sure that insurance not only covers loss of stock or premises, but also loss of income for up to 18 months. The Association of British Insurers provides detailed business insurance advice.
Back up data regularly
Make sure that any critical data from your computer systems is backed up and taken off site regularly. This may be done using a simple data stick or CD. By having this data off site and in a different location, it will mean that it is protected from any incident that directly or indirectly affects your premises.
Keep a contact list of staff, critical suppliers and customers off site
If an emergency happens, you will need to tell people! Suppliers may need to know of alternative arrangements during the emergency or its aftermath. Likewise, customers need to be assured and provided with details of alternative arrangements or a reduction of service. Staff will also need to know what to do.
Understand what is ‘critical’
Make sure you list everything that is critical to the business, e.g. "What can't I do without?" Once you have this list, understand what you need to keep these things going and think about what alternative or recovery arrangements you need to put into place.
Keep reviewing this information and make staff aware
Keep checking the information above and be disciplined about its upkeep. Regularly remind your staff where this is kept and rehearse what to do.