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What businesses can do to prepare for emergencies

Follow these steps to help improve the resilience of your business.

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 to IT data regularly

Make sure that any critical data from your computer systems is back 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.

Updated: 14 October 2020

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