Small businesses lag behind in major incident planning
by Gill Montia
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is calling on the Government to do more to ensure that small businesses can survive a major incident.
According to the Association, 80% of small businesses affected by events such as a fire, flood, an act of terrorism, or a pandemic close down within 18 months.
However, research commissioned by BIBA indicates that 45% of businesses don’t even have adequate plans to deal with the effects of flood or storm damage.
BIBA Technical Services Manager, Steve Foulsham, comments: “There have been slight improvements since our previous research in 2006 but we still have concerns that businesses are still not adequately protected.”
He adds: “The Buncefield Oil Depot fire, 7/7 bombings and continued incidents of flooding illustrate the need for all to plan for the unexpected.”
As an essential first step, BIBA advises businesses to develop strategies to replace machines, equipment and stock; consider what would happen if computer or telephone system were down for three days; organise how a business would cope in the first hour following a disaster; consider the effects of a major supplier or customer suffering a disaster; plan for continued operation of the business if 50% of staff are off sick.