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Be prepared for when disaster strikes, campaign warns firms


The offer comes ahead of Business Continuity Awareness Week next week (March 16-20). The forum warns that many Bedfordshire companies are at risk should disaster strike because they have not tested their business continuity plans.
Figures from the Business Continuity Institute show that only 39% of companies actually test their business continuity plans. A further 50% admit they will not test them in 2015.
BLLRF will be hosting a free and simple ‘table top’ exercise in March to coincide with Business Continuity Awareness Week.
Tony Green, Luton Borough Council’s emergency planning officer, said: “Any plan is only as good as its last test. If you do not test your business continuity plan, how do you know it will work when you need it?
“Using our simple desk top scenarios companies will be able to simulate emergency situations that might affect their business to discover if their current plan works. Does it protect vital assets? Does it enable your business to carry on? Will it save you money if disaster strikes?
“A plan that looks good on paper but does not work in reality is something you do not want to discover during a real emergency. Testing your plan now also gets your emergency team actively involved in understanding how your business might respond in a real crisis.”
The simulated scenarios will include the effect of a fire, flu pandemic or a power cut upon a business and will help those taking part work out how they can keep their company in business and weather the crisis.
Bedfordshire businesses can test their business continuity plans by downloading a scenario that could affect their business and a series of ‘injects’ to be used during the day/week to test their reaction to an evolving emergency situation.
Bedfordshire businesses can also get advice from emergency experts at Local Business Awareness Drop-in Day at Central Bedfordshire Council’s headquarters at Chicksands between 10am and 3pm on Tuesday (March 17).
The event is open to all and  attendees will have the chance to hear from guest speaker Duncan Stirling, who managed to steer his IT firm through the destruction inflicted by the Buncefield oil depot explosion in Hemel Hempstead in 2005.
The day features the Environment Agency, Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, Bedfordshire Police, Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses & Portakabin.
The council’s emergency planning officer Aaron Murphy said: “This is a great opportunity to make sure you, your employer, or your business are ready for a major incident. While we may prefer to think that it would never happen to us, we always need to be ready – as the incident in Buncefield ten years ago demonstrated all too well.”

Also visit the BLLRF stand at the Business Expo on 16 April 2015 at Bedford Corn Exchange.
Start planning for emergencies now, visit www.bllrf.org.uk 


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