People in a London street

Business Continuity Week

18 May 2016

We have been watching the news from Canada with interest, sympathy and respect - the fire around Fort McMurray. Our thoughts are with people who have lost homes and livelihoods. Our respect for the volunteers and responders in the many agencies who are managing the impacts and consequences. Our interest is in the systems in Canada to deal with wildfires. Warnings are made through different media to the public.

There’s a wide variety of information for people who have been affected. The legal structure is clearly  different from England and Wales – the Province of Alberta has its own Emergency Management Act, giving Ministers powers to order evacuations and the like. Alberta also has mutual aid agreements with the USA, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia.

One of the team’s relatives is a firefighter in British Columbia and it has been interesting to see the scale of some of the fires that do not make it to the news in the UK.

The London Risk Register considers wildfire - it’s assessed as low but incidents occur from time to time. The images may not be as dramatic as those from Canada but the incidents highlight the risks.

All this week we’re supporting the international Business Continuity Awareness Week. Making sure that businesses are able to carry on after an incident, helps support local communities recover too. Take a look at our resources and search for #BCAW2016 on Twitter for more information.

Business Continuity can be defined in lots of different ways, but almost all definitions agree that it’s about making sure that businesses can continue to provide products or services in the face of disruption. Last week, representatives from London local authorities, businesses and insurers launched a range of resources designed to help small and medium businesses develop their own business continuity arrangements.

Whilst many of the risks facing smaller organisations are the same as those facing FTSE100 companies, case studies from the Battersea Arts Centre fire and a flooded independent toy shop in Cockermouth helped convey specific the challenges facing smaller businesses.