Wednesday 20 August 2014

Protecting your business from disaster (and recovering from it quickly if the worst does happen)

Disaster Strikes!

Oh no! Or words to that effect, the stock room has flooded, or the computers are all off. What do you do next?

It may be a little incongruous in the middle of summer to be talking about flooding and weather that we normally associate with winter (although in the UK, you can never be sure what weather we can expect at any time of the year!) but being prepared is better than being caught out! (and, without sounding like the voice of doom, it wont be long before winter is here again!)

In this post we will look at several scenarios and look at the most important first steps you should take in order to prevent a bad situation becoming worse.

Internal Flooding

If the flooding is caused by a burst pipe:

      Obvious, but remember to put a bucket under the leak, and to keep emptying it..
      Turn the stop cock to the off position and turn on all the taps to drain the tank.
      Turn off the electric at the mains
      Turn off the central heating.
      If the leak is upstairs and the ceiling in the room below has started to bulge, you will need to pierce it to let the water out or it could bring the whole ceiling down.

External Flooding

This can be caused by blocked sewers, drains or even the weather as we have seen in recent months all across the UK.

   If you are in an area prone to flooding, keep an eye on the weather forecasts and have sandbags ready to use.
      Raise the furniture or office equipment off the floor where possible in case the water makes it inside the property.
      If any flood water has leaked into the property turn off the electric at the mains.

Electrical/Phone system failure

One of the most common causes of power cuts and phone system failure is damage to overhead lines,or utility workers cutting through underground cables.

      Switch off any appliances including lights,however you may want to leave one on so that you can tell when the power comes back on.
      If you have one you can use an emergency electricity generator. It may be worth considering having one in place if your business depends on a high product turnaround and you have strict deadlines.
      Have the utilities emergency service numbers handy.
  Have all your electronic data backed up, whether its customer records, research and development plans or your actual work product.

Structural Damage

Its not possible for all companies, but every business should consider how quickly they would be able to relocate. Many larger businesses have their production lines or offices over more than one site. Not only does it make the company appear bigger than it might actually be, in the event of an emergency it can be an integral part of the disaster management plan.

Whatever the nature of your disaster call your insurance company to lodge a claim as soon as you can. In the next post we will be looking at the types and benefits of having a business disaster insurance policy.

Obviously we hope that the worst case scenario never happens to your business, but being prepared is always easier than looking back with regret!

If you would like some help with your disaster scenario planning, or identifying the risks to your business, then, as always, contact a member of the blue box team either by telephone on 084 3289 3288 or by email at - we are always here to help

You can learn more about Blue Box, our people and the services we offer at

Until next time

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