The recent floods in Cockermouth and the devastating affect on the community have highlighted many issues which keep surfacing on an increasingly regular basis; climate change, flood defence, the importance of insurance, and the need to have an adequate disaster plan in place.
The Copenhagen climate change conference will seek to address the wider implications of our changing environment, the ABI (Association of British Insurers) have long championed and highlighted insurer issues and last years Pitt Review outlined the lessons learned from the 2007 floods and the actions required to minimise the impact on peoples homes, businesses and lives.
Where individual businesses can take measures to prepare for the worst is to ensure that when events of this nature occur, there is a ready back-up plan in the form of a disaster recovery plan (DRP) which is designed to get a business back on track as soon as is possible. Floods may be, at least for the moment, a rare occurrence, but what Cockermouth showed that it was not just directly damaged businesses that were affected.
Due to the geographical nature of the area, businesses found themselves cut off from customers, staff, and even systems housed in affected areas. It has also become apparent that where DRP’s were in place, they had sometimes been devised some time ago and left to sit in cabinets or on shared drives.
All plans of this nature need to be regularly reviewed to reflect the changing nature of your business and tested at least annually to ensure that contingencies put in place actually work.