Protecting your business in an emergency

Find out how a business continuity plan can help you respond to an emergency.

If you are a business owner, it is important that you understand the risks to your business and have a plan in place to respond in an emergency so that you can return to normality as quickly as possible.

Business continuity plan

A business continuity plan is a document that outlines how your business can continue to operate during an unplanned disruption in service. Plans typically include a checklist of supplies, equipment and data backups to keep your business operating.

If you need help with your plan, we can provide support to small and medium-sized businesses with continuity information. To find out more, contact us.

For effective business continuity you need to: 

  • understand the risks to your business in the country and nationally
  • understand what parts of your business are critical - these are the activities that are vital to your organisation’s survival and being able to resume business operations
  • have a risk assessment - how severely an incident would impact the critical service that you provide and the likelihood of this risk occurring 
  • produce and maintain a business continuity plan
  • train and test your staff on the continuity plan, and what role they play during an emergency. Ensure you have physical copies of your plan in known locations as well as a copy that is accessible remotely
  • look at how you would communicate to staff and customers about any issues
  • call 999 during an incident if anyone is in immediate danger
  • take pictures and videos as evidence of loss or damage if necessary

During an incident:

  • if you or anyone else is in immediate danger, call 999
  • stay calm and activate your business continuity plan
  • take photo and video evidence if required for insurers
  • keep your staff, suppliers and customers informed
  • think about what business activities need to be put on hold, or what can continue

After an incident:

  • learn from what happened to help you plan better in the future. Ask what went well and what did not go so well
  • amend your business continuity plan accordingly
  • be prepared for a new normal after an incident

The Business Continuity Institute’s video offers an introduction to business continuity.

Cyber attacks

As a business there is a lot that can be done to protect against cyber attacks.  Cyber Essentials is a new government-backed and industry-supported scheme to guide businesses in protecting themselves against cyber threats.

Free to download, Cyber Essentials shows businesses how to address the threats and get better protected against the most common cyber threats. More information is available on the National Cyber Security Centre website.

Useful links