• Kurt Schmidt

10 Steps to Survive a Business Disaster

n business, it sometimes pays to take a risk. But in the face of natural disasters, like floods and fires, or criminal activity like cyber hacking, your Recovery Procedure Plan needs to be as safe as houses. After all, everything is on the line.

The PwC’s recent Global Economic Crime Survey makes for scary reading. While reporting that over half of British businesses will suffer cyber-attacks by 2018, a third of UK organisations admit that they have no response plan in place to protect themselves. Don’t gamble your company’s future and your livelihood unnecessarily.

Follow these 10 simple steps to survive any business disaster that might come your way.

1. Plan for anticipated disasters

Thinking ahead will make the difference between continuing trading and closing down. Managing Directors must assemble a Recovery Team and a Business Continuity Plan, to put into action should the worst happen. HiViz Safety can help you draft them.

2. Raise the alarm

Notify the Managing Director and their Deputy the minute a disaster strikes, no matter how big or small you think the issue is.

3. On arrival at the site

a) Determine the extent of the crisis b) If necessary liaise with the emergency services c) Notify the ‘next of kin’ of any casualties d) Estimate the likely business interruption

4. Call out your Crisis Team

a) Brief your Crisis Team b) Agree the potential impact c) Reaffirm and allocate responsibilities, then start the recovery process

5. Notify absent staff

a) Tell everyone that there has been an incident b) Explain what action is being undertaken c) Convey any instructions and requests

6. Keep your business functioning

a) Assess the damage b) Advise all suppliers, customers, and your utility providers of new arrangements and any changes c) Notify insurance brokers and financial partners, then agree any requirements

7. Rebuild your business essentials

a) Complete an Event Log throughout your recovery process, detailing the actions taken and by whom b) Retrieve all backups to enable recovery c) Inform all staff of your progress d) Arrange payment of salaries for appropriate staff e) Make arrangements for people to work from home if needed, communications, temporary premises, and re-occupying your building

8. Arrange necessary installations and communications

a) Order any replacement machinery and equipment needed in your new facility b) Install new machinery, equipment, utilities, communications, furniture, electrical layouts c) Update contractors d) Update safety documents and business continuity plans e) Estimate the time for reoccupying permanent facilities and maintain communications with customers f) Arrange for installation of equipment and machinery from your temporary location into the permanent facility g) Switch telephone numbers back to permanent facility h) Inform customers, suppliers, utilities, your financial team and solicitors of your move

9. Review and analyse your recovery process

Arrange a meeting for your entire Crisis Team to: a) Study and analyse the Event Log b) Identify strengths and weaknesses c) Create a Business Continuity Plan to help you cope with any future threats to the business

10. Modify your Business Continuity Plan

Assign responsibilities for actions, updating and practices for after any potential incidents have occurred.

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