A business continuity plan (BCP) helps you consider the risks, organise adequate insurance, and understand what you need to do to remain operational before, during and after an emergency or disaster.
Don't wait until it's too late
Keep documents safe (use a waterproof bag)
- List of employees, visitors and their contact details
- List of emergency services, infrastructure providers, suppliers, customer details
- Product, stock and equipment inventory
- Details of how you can be contacted
- Details of commercial waste disposal providers (to facilitate clean-up of bulk damaged materials, equipment, etc.)
- Insurance policies
- Equipment and plant manuals, purchase and maintenance records
- Hazardous material safety data sheets (MSDS)
- Financial and banking records
- Photographic and video records (for insurance purposes).
- First aid kit, manual
- Battery or solar-operated radio, torch, spare batteries
- Phones, chargers, power packs
- Masking tape
- Plastic sheeting
- Hessian bags and sand for sandbagging
- Personal protective equipment: sturdy gloves, masks, disinfectant, garbage bags, safety glasses, mops, brooms.
Secure your business
- Backup data, files, records to the cloud or an external drive/USB
- Spare keys, security codes
- Use strong tape in a crisscross pattern or board up windows, glass entrances
- Secure stock, equipment, signage that may become loose in high winds
- Reschedule deliveries, suppliers, contractors, clients.
Should I stay or should I go?
If a natural disaster is imminent, you may decide to evacuate your business or may be ordered to by local authorities. Ensure you and your staff, visitors, sister-sites and other relevant stakeholders are aware of:
- The triggers for evacuation
- Your evacuation procedure chain of command
- Your procedures for dealing with hazardous materials and shutting down critical operations
- The different evacuation routes and assembly points at or near your premises.
You should practice for evacuation as a regular part of your business operations. This includes regularly reviewing the effectiveness of practice drills, looking for lessons learned and implementing changes for improvement; these information guides and checklists will help your readiness and response activities:
While not an exhaustive list, the following may be useful sources of inspiration to help you develop and test a business continuity plan:
After an emergency or disaster
Ensure all staff, visitors, sister-sites and other relevant stakeholders are involved in the planning, training, execution and debrief of your emergency and disaster arrangements. Consider these questions to help your business recover after an emergency situation:
- Do you have a recovery plan for your business?
- Does it consider the welfare and wellbeing of your employees, supply chain and client relationships?
- How quickly can you re-establish your business-as-usual operations?