Business continuity - why your business needs a disaster recovery plan

Would your business be equipped to deal with a significant disaster if it were to occur tomorrow? Unfortunately, too many businesses wait for a crisis to happen before they think about their response, which can prove to be a costly oversight.

By identifying the risks your business faces, you'll be able to put contingency plans in place to help you mitigate or prevent the likelihood of a disaster affecting your business. It's peace of mind for you and your staff.

All employers are responsible for making sure employees are safe at work. These obligations are covered in the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992. In New Zealand, it is also compulsory for businesses to have abasic evacuation scheme.

Business continuity planning

It's vital that your business has a contingency plan in place to help you get back on your feet following a disaster. Think about how your business might be affected by a range of scenarios and jot down ways you might be able to work around these problems.

Start by drawing up a basic list of possible crises that could affect your business. Some obvious risks include natural disasters such as earthquakes and storms with threats of property damage, asset loss, and restricted access to your premises.

Your business could also be affected by other unforeseen events such as theft, fire, power outages, telecommunications failure, and failure of IT systems or critical equipment.

Prepare an emergency plan

Ensure your employees know what to do in the event of an emergency and draw up a checklist of procedures to follow. You might need to give your staff special training to deal with emergencies – particularly if there is a chance you could have customers onsite. It's a good idea to have at least one staff member with an up-to-date first aid certificate.

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Summarised from news on the business.govt.nz website, 22 August 2013.

Published in business and ICT.

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