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  • Kent Resilience Forum

Business continuity starts with you

Next week sees the return of Business Continuity Awareness Week with the theme ‘business continuity starts with you’.

The campaign by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) runs between the 17 and 21 May 2021 and focuses on raising internal awareness of the importance of business continuity, its basic and essential practices and how to embed it within organisational culture.

Here in Kent, business continuity has been a significant focus for local organisations over the last few years, with considerable investment, training and preparation in this area for potential disruption and changes to working practices due to EU exit. However, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has certainly tested many organisations’ business continuity (BC) plans to the limits and highlighted just how essential robust continuity planning is to being able to maintain essential operations.

Research from the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) has shown that businesses with business continuity plans in place were able to respond to the pandemic much more effectively compared to those without any measures in place. But is has also demonstrated that it is not just about having a plan, it is a process, a collaborative discipline that involves everyone with in an organisation – not just one individual.

According to industry experts, business continuity works best when employees are engaged and aware of their organisations plans in case of a crisis, when they know how to behave to mitigate risks and threats and how to react in certain situations.

The BCI has provided a toolkit of materials to support the campaign (available on their website), including videos and posters with quick and easy tips that your staff can implement in their daily routine. There will also be a programme of daily webinars on how to engage staff and embed business continuity within your organisation.

Top tips for staff include:

· Cyber security – ensuring your password is secure, your laptop is locked when you are not using it and that your department can move to paper to continue delivering your service while IT is down.

· Safe disposal of company documents and data when working from home

· Knowing what to do during an incident, knowledge of plans and the contacts for activating a BC incident.

· Business continuity practices while working from home.

KRF support is available

The Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) website, Kent Prepared, has lots of information on planning and preparation to ensure that your organisation can continue to operate in case of serious incidents or disasters, and is able to recover to an operational state within a reasonably short period.

For more information about the Business Continuity Week visit the Business Continuity Institute website.

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