Prepare your business for adverse situations

A major emergency can have a huge impact on businesses – from staff unable to make it to work or being cut off from a building or utilities. 

Five steps to keep your business moving in an emergency

1 - Understand your business

What parts of the business are critical and what priority would you allocate to restoring functions if they fail?

2 - Risk assessment

  • What risks does your business face (internal and external)?
  • Consider these risks within your business risk assessment. What can you put in place to reduce the likelihood of the risks and/or the impact of them? 

3 - Consider the resource needs for each of your business functions

  • people
  • premises
  • equipment
  • information
  • communications
  • external suppliers / contractors  

4 - Document information 

Document information format about your business’s critical functions and the resources required, including alternatives/back-ups for each

5 - Train and test

Train and test your staff in activating the continuity plan and the roles and procedures within it.

Business continuity management (BCM)

The benefits of an effective business continuity management (BCM) programme are that the organisation:

  •  is able to proactively identify the impacts of an operational disruption
  •  has in place an effective response to disruptions which minimises the impact on the organisation
  •  maintains an ability to manage uninsurable risks
  •  encourages cross-team working
  •  is able to demonstrate a credible response through a process of exercising;
  •  could enhance its reputation
  •  might gain a competitive advantage


Best practise guidelines are set out in British Standard BS 25999 and explain the six key principles to embed business continuity planning into your organisation. They are:

  • managing the process
  • understanding the organisation
  • determining a strategy for BCM
  • developing and implementing the strategy
  • exercising, maintaining and reviewing
  • embedding BCM into the organisation’s culture


For further information