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Planning For Emergencies: A Rough Guide For SMEs

If you had a good look at your business right now, could you honestly say you were ready for anything? The simple truth is that only a third of all small and medium businesses are confident in their abilities to handle a disaster. That’s an astonishing figure when you consider the amount of things that can go wrong.

Everyone should know about the growing threat of cybersecurity, for example. The weather can have a severe impact, too. Flooding and heavy storms have all caused chaos to small businesses all across the country in recent years. So, if you have never heard of the term ‘business continuity plan’, this post is for you. Read on to find out more and start putting these ideas into action.

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Build a team

First of all, it is essential to have a disaster team in place for your small business. You won’t be around 24/7, and there can be a lot to do in the event of an emergency. Your team should be equipped to respond to any emergency, from a natural disaster to a kitchen fire. Someone from the team will need to be onsite at all times, so your scheduling and timetables will need adjusting. You will also need to arrange some staff training to give everyone the relevant skills.

Create a plan

You should be able to deal with any situation, so it will be necessary to plan for it. Take your IT systems as a good example. It’s vital to invest in protection, of course, but you also need to make a plan for disaster recovery if your system goes down. You should also consider making plans for natural disasters such as floods or storms. You’ll need to account for infrastructure issues, too. For example, let’s say a bridge in your location collapses. How are you going to deal with sending out deliveries, or cope with the lack of customers? Focus on the best ways to continue running as a business, no matter what.

Invest in risk assessment

Don’t forget, the vast majority of emergencies occur in the workplace, and you could end up being judged as the cause. Make sure you have a stringent risk assessment policy in place and educate your staff on everything they do. Sure, everyone hates being taught how to lift a box. But if someone wrecks their back and haven’t had training, they can sue you. Invest in better security if needs be, too. It only takes an open window and an opportunistic thief to run away with your means of earning a living.

Drills

Again, no one enjoys fire drills and most people would prefer to get on with their work. But there is a point. People panic less when there is a fire if they know exactly what to do. There are other emergencies you should practice, too. The sad truth is that terrorism is, once again, a clear and present danger. Violence in the workplace is also a significant cause of emergency situations. Perhaps you could teach employees how to deal with these situations? In essence, the more you prepare, the less damage a single event will do to your business. And the quicker you can get back to business as usual. 

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