You will remember that many homes and businesses in Somerset were flooded in the winter of 2013-4, and even with the dredging which took place in the summer, others may be flooded in future winters. Subsequent winters have seen flooding in the Lake District and in other areas close to rivers.
It is a sad fact that at least half of those businesses devastated by flooding will never recover, and those that do, may take a long time to get back on track.
Before they can repair and rebuild there is often the initial wrangling with the insurance company about how much they should pay out, but there are far wider implications to a business than just putting right the premises.
The problem is not just the flooding itself but the downtime the business experiences whilst the damage is repaired, and the consequences of that downtime.
Do you continue to pay your staff even when they are not able to work and if you do so, how do you afford a wages bill when you have no income coming in? Once even loyal customers have gone elsewhere, how do you persuade them back when you are up and running again?
These are the type of issues many businesses do not consider until forced to do so.
Flooding is one type of business catastrophe but there are many others all businesses should consider and plan for. The scale of the catastrophe will be linked to the importance of the occurrence to the business.
For example, if your business server fails how big an impact would that have on your business? If all your staff need to access information on that server 24/7 it could cost you dearly and clearly in that situation it is vital that you have a backup plan to cover just that type of emergency.
Alternatively, if you are heavily reliant on one employee what would you do if that employee goes off sick for an extended period of time?
Every business has its own ‘flood’ scenario and it is hugely important that you have a disaster recovery plan to mitigate against the worst effects of a catastrophic event. You need to build your flood defenses – first identify the scenarios which could do the worst damage, plan for how you would deal with those scenarios in the most effective way, and ensure you have the ‘backups’ in place.
Of course we hope never to use our backup plans, but at least if we have one in place, we are as prepared as we can be if the worst happens.