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Business Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity for SME (also accessed via bit.ly/preparedBusiness)

Why Business Preparedness? Competitive advantage and survival.

In a recent report, almost half the members of the Federation of Small Businesses said that business continuity planning gives them a competitive advantage. However, it's not only about thriving. It's also about surviving: 1 in 5 businesses are affected by serious disruptions every year, 80% don’t survive more than 18 months. The best plans are useless if your business lacks capabilities (know how) and capacities (resources). That is why we promote Business Preparedness because it is easy and accessible: GET A KIT - MAKE A PLAN - BE INFORMED.
99% of all UK business are small and medium sized enterprises, that's 5.2 million SMEs in 2014 with fewer than 250 employees and includes so called micro-businesses with up to 9 employees and sole traders. Small businesses are 'the backbone' of the UK as some say, providing economic diversity and livelihoods, the bedrock of resilient communities up and down the country and in cities not only London, where SMEs employ more than 2.6 million people, making up more than 99% of the capital's private sector employers. Worryingly, however, 73% of SMEs say they have no business continuity plan. Why is that? Perhaps the business continuity focus has been too much on large corporations and IT security in the past. Thankfully, however, this is now changing and many councils via their local resilience forums make available extensive information resources as our directory ready for emergencies summarises.  Business Preparedness is neither terribly complicated nor expensive. It simply brings together and extends what any business is legally obliged to do (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Management of Health and Safety at Work regs 1992, Corporate Manslaughter / Corporate Homicide Act 2007) in a very practical way. Business Preparedness forms an integral part of the very foundation of your business success. 

What kind of Business Emergency Kit do I need? Safe Evacuation and safe Invacuation/Lockdown/Shelter-in-Place

Office Emergency Grab Bag - EVAQ8.co.uk preparedness and business continuity
example of a standard  Office Grab Bag
Business Contingency Kit - lockdown/shelter-in-place supplies for business preparedness


You need 2 types of Emergency Kit: GO versus STAY

  • a so called Emergency Grab Bag containing essentials to be used in case of immediate evacuation and
  • a Business Contingency Kit to provide supplies for lock-down, invacuation or shelter-in-place

You also need a Business Emergency / Business Continuity Plan

Serious disruption to your business can happen anytime anywhere.
80% of small business never recover. It pays to be better prepared. Preparedness is easy: 

Preparedness for Business is easy: get a kit, make a plan, be informed

How do I build my own Business Emergency Kit?








First, build your Business Grab Bag

Disruptions and emergencies rarely occur during perfect weather. Disasters know no borders. Expect the unexpected and be better prepared for all kinds of emergencies.

Threat levels are high but it's not only about terrorism and security. Increasingly, severe weather events and other disasters impact the United Kingdom. Flooding is a widespread problem forcing people to evacuate homes and businesses. Unfortunately flooding and serious storms are set to increase both in regularity and severity. One reason is that the warmer air associated with climate change simply holds more moisture resulting in more frequent and heavier downpours. Living in an interconnected world also means that distant events both weather and security related can and will impact the UK in unexpected ways affecting supplychains, foodsecurity etc.

Nobody can 100% accurately predict the future, therefore ...

it pays to be better prepared 

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  - Benjamin Franklin




Business Grab Bag Contents List 
safe evacuation

For background, have look at our blog What exactly does safe evacuation look like? Broadly, you need to cover minimum four areas to build a Business Emergency Grab Bag as recommended by local authorities. These are:

This is a good start and for more details see recommended business grab bag contents. However, you may want to expand on the above to increase your capacity in dealing emergencies and disruptions. Many businesses store more than one type of WORKPLACE KITS, i.e.  Office Grab BagsWorkplace Emergency Packs, Site Evacuation Kits as well as basic kits such as a so called Battle Box or Personal Evacuation Packs. Each business is different. Only you know what your business needs to be better prepared.  If you don't see exactly what you need to make your business more resilient, simply get in touch for a competitive bespoke quotation. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is happy to help. 



Now build a Business Contingency Kit

For background, start by reading our Resilience Blog:
What are “invacuation”, “lock-down” and “shelter-in-place”? How do they link to emergency preparedness and why is that important for business?

Business Contingency Kit Contents List
safe invacuation, lock-down and shelter-in-place

  For a contingency kit to support a number of people (how many do you need to support, staff and visitors?) the following areas need to be addressed

Again, this is a good start but you need to carefully evaluate just what types of resources you will need. Hygiene is another area to consider as is 'survival equipment' more generally in case of shelter-in-place (SIP). Some businesses store emergency food supplies including nutritious self-heating MRE's (meal ready to eat) for their critical support and field staff. However, only you know what resources your business needs to be better prepared. If you don't see exactly what you need to make your business more resilient and prepared, simply contact us.

How do I make my own Business Emergency Plan / Business Continuity Plan?


Luckily there are a lot of excellent resources and advice available online.

Your local authority has a mandate to provide information with regards to emergency preparedness and business continuity so that is an excellent place to start.

Get in touch with your LRF (local resilience forum). Not only do they hold and update the local risk register that is more relevant to you than perhaps the NRR National Risk Register, they are also able to provide guidance and templates which are a good start to begin tackling Business Continuity and Preparedness. 

For additional resources, simply see our directory Ready for Emergencies and our information hub for individuals Emergency Plan. Our 'Resilience Blog' also has entries such as What Disaser, why Preparedness? and Business Resilience – Business Continuity – What does it mean? you may find interesting. The latest NaCTSO guidance on crowded places (06/2017) contains extensive advice and checklists, including crisis kits.

With regards to kits, remember that if you don't see exactly what you're looking for in our standard workplace kits section check out custom-made emergency kits for more information. 


Preparedness for Business is easy: get a kit, make a plan, be informed



Raising awareness for Emergency & Disaster Preparedness in the UK since 2005

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This page was last reviewed on 17Oct2016 | This page was last updated on 17Oct2016

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