So often we focus on major incident scenarios that will rarely occur, for example a fire. However, every year there is a major risk of business disruption as a result of the severe weather we experience - witnessed by the "Beast from the East" in 2017. As snow has fallen in the UK this week please find below some BC considerations to aid you in your preparations.
- Is everyone accounted for? (at work or traveling)
- What is the potential impact on key skilled personnel?
- Is there sufficient gritting/snow clearing to keep paths clear – can staff be asked to help?
- Do staff working outside have appropriate clothing for the conditions?
- For staff working from home, do they have suitable work environment, and can they access the server?
- For those travelling to work, are their vehicles suitable and do they have spare / warm clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, thermos flask etc. Given that Line Managers might also be unavailable, is there a central work number to call in case of a major delay?
- Does a Department rely on another Department for an activity? If so, is the other Department still able to deliver it?
- If there was an emergency during this severe weather period, eg cyber-attack through to burst pipe or chemical leak, can sufficient responders mobilise to deal with it?
- Are valuable assets suitably heated/protected.
- Suitable protection from frozen pipes.
- Supply of fuel
- Resupply of raw materials, food, consumables etc.
- Gritting/snow clearing of paths, loading bays and car-parking areas.
- Potential risk from falling icicles/snow from buildings.
- Are there any areas of “suspicious” brickwork or masonry that might become lose and a risk as a result of the freezing conditions?
- Consideration of potential flooding following a rise in temperature.
- Potential loss of electricity due to power lines being brought down.
- Recommend that, where possible, key staff take IT home with them in case they can’t get to work the following day, and whatever paperwork might be required (within security limits).
- If not already practised, recommend that everyone tests their ability to log on from home and access folders.
- From experience, when the “Home Working” option is maximised, data speed and connectivity reduces. Is there an IT help-desk available for home workers?
- If there is an issue with IT during this period, can sufficient IT personnel be activated to make the repair?
- Are there critical supplies that could be delayed – including mail, water, food?
- Is there potential for distribution disruption that may impact on your contractual obligations?
- Grit and salt supplies will be a premium. Consider when to re-order so that your stocks are maintained.
- Could your waste management be disrupted, if so how long before becomes critical?