3. Businesses Prepared

Emergencies disrupting your business can have significant impacts on profits and operations with negative results for employees, shareholders, customers and communities alike. Getting prepared in the workplace can significantly reduce these impacts and support the recovery for your business.

By following a few simple steps you can be sure not to be surprised by the unexpected and stay safe if an incident occurs.


Experience has shown that people who had Business Continuity plans in place were quicker to recover from emergencies than those who had failed to prepare such plans.

Top tips!

  • Consider your critical resources, what would you do if you lost power, telephony or if your staff were unable to work?
  • Make a list of your critical services and how you would continue to provide them in the event of disruptions
  • Think about your suppliers, if they failed how would that affect your business?

If you have any pets or livestock that would be affected, see our Animals Prepared advice.

Once you have done this, save it in more than one location and keep a paper copy handy. Regularly check back to make sure the plans you’ve made are still suitable.


Once you have a plan, think about what you need to make it work. Discuss this with your colleagues and employees to make sure they know what to do if you were away or unable to get to work.

Top tips!

  • Put together a grab bag of important items, and store it somewhere accessible to everyone
  • Make a plan to protect your premises, this may involve putting flood protection in place or moving equipment to higher levels
  • Make a communications plan for keeping your staff up to date – include multiple options in case one has failed

Once you have done this, test your plans to make sure they’re achievable – you should then be ready to keep operating in the event of an incident.


Remember, always stay safe. In an immediate emergency or where there is a risk to life, follow the advice of the emergency services or phone 999.

Put your plans into action to continue delivering your critical services, this may mean moving to an alternative location or stopping your non-critical activity.

Keep in regular touch with all your staff, make sure they’re safe and know what to do.


Incidents and emergencies are disruptive and distressing to those affected, with the recovery process being equally about practical tasks and emotional wellbeing.

Take the opportunity to learn from the disruption and incorporate the lessons into your plans.

Top tips!

  • Talk to your staff about the incident so you can understand their perspective of what happened, were there impacts you weren’t expecting?
  • Review your service delivery during the incident, were you able to keep operating effectively?
  • Consider overall, what went well, what didn’t go and what could be improved for the future

Use this information to review and update your Business Continuity plan, consider any future training that might be required and set a date to test the plans you’ve made.