After suffering a major emergency or disaster, up to 40 per cent of businesses never re-open. During the June 2013 floods, Calgary was able to mitigate their losses and have only a handful of businesses close their doors.
There are things you can do to ensure that your business can continue operations in spite of an emergency or disaster. The Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) encourages all business owners to think about how emergencies and disasters could impact them and how they plan to recover.
Business continuity is about understanding the risks your business could face, and developing strategies and plans to ensure continued operation during and after a disruption. These risks and hazards may be natural (weather-related such as flooding or severe storms), technological (supply chain, IT or telecommunications disruption) or human-caused (vandalism, cyber attack, or civil unrest). Emergencies and disasters may occur without warning but with preparedness and planning, you can help secure your business in the event of a disruption.
During the downtown fire and power outage this past October, over 1,000 Calgary businesses were affected. Many were without power for several days. There were also service disruptions for businesses outside the affected area, including loss of revenue for local restaurants and merchants who rely on downtown traffic.
A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) has five easy steps:
1. Analyze your business;
2. Assess the risks;
3. Develop strategies;
4. Make a plan; and
5. Exercise your plan.
According to a Calgary Chamber of Commerce survey, 58 per cent of Calgary businesses have developed a Business Continuity Plan since the June 2013 flood. 63 per cent of all Calgary businesses feel more prepared now for an emergency than ever before. Having a plan in place will help you to reduce financial losses, keep business doors open and protect your staff from harm.
CEMA and the Calgary Chamber of Commerce have developed a handbook to guide you through the steps to building a Business Continuity Plan. Visit CEMA's website for more information about preparedness and business continuity.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.