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Crisis Management/Disaster Recovery


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  • 1. Crisis Management & business continuity planning: a programme for business survival Press & Public Affairs September 2005
  • 2. 1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This report has been produced by the Press & Public Affairs department of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry with expert advice from, and our thanks to: Mike O’Neil, Managing Director, Greymans Business Risk Specialists & Chairman of the LCCI Crime & Business Risk Forum Dai Prichard, Chairman, Resolution Security Ltd & Deputy Chairman of the LCCI Defence & Security Committee Bryan Smart, Managing Director, Smart Solution Ltd & former Chairman of the LCCI Defence & Security Committee Michael Cassidy, President, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry & Chairman of the Corporation of London’s Policy & Resources Committee (1992- 1997) © London Chamber of Commerce and Industry 33 Queen Street, London EC4R 1AP 2005
  • 3. 2 INTRODUCTION Crisis management & business continuity planning All businesses, irrespective of size, must have in place a robust, fully tried and tested and regularly revised contingency plan covering crisis management and business continuity planning. Disaster can strike at any time. It could result from computer hacking of a company’s IT system, fire, flood, fraud, suspect explosive devices, disgruntled employees, terrorist attacks or a chemical biological incident. Events in London during July 2005 have significantly increased the risk of the latter two threats, dramatically elevating the importance of business continuity planning. Research has shown that small and medium size enterprises are particularly at risk Contents: • Setting the scene Page 3 • Disaster Recovery Planning Page 4 • Coping with a physical disaster Page 8 • Role of emergency services Page 8 • Recovery period Page 9 • Support and advisory organisations Pages 10 Press & Public Affairs London Chamber of Commerce and Industry August 2005 © London Chamber of Commerce and Industry 33 Queen Street, London EC4R 1AP 2005
  • 4. 3 SETTING THE SCENE The terrorist attacks in London during July 2005 dramatically highlighted the need for businesses of all sizes to plan how they will deal with the disruption caused by a major crisis, emergency or incident. The London Chamber of Commerce believes the chronic lack of preparedness on the part of small firms is the greatest avoidable threat in the capital today. Firms should be aware that contingency plans to combat a terrorist attack can be identical to those required to withstand natural disasters such as a flood or operational failures such as power outages. A 2003 survey by the London Chamber of Commerce on disaster recovery revealed a worryingly low level of contingency planning by London businesses with 83% of SMEs having neither a written security policy nor a written contingency plan. When the survey was repeated the following year (June 2004) there was a marked improvement with 56% of SMEs having a plan in place. Even with this improvement the worrying statistic remains that several years after 9/11 almost half of SMEs in the capital have inadequate planning provision. • 73% have not trained staff to deal with a suspected explosive device and 76% of London SMEs have not trained their employees to deal with a suspected biological/chemical incident • Only 1% of respondents considered their business to be definitely at risk from a terrorist attack while 45% considered themselves not at risk at all • 50% of businesses questioned felt they were not significantly at risk from a terrorist attack where they are not the primary target The London Chamber of Commerce is currently surveying its entire membership to gauge to what extent the events of 7/7 and 21/7 have changed business attitudes. © London Chamber of Commerce and Industry 33 Queen Street, London EC4R 1AP 2005
  • 5. 4 DISASTER RECOVERY PLANNING All companies need to prepare a recovery plan to cover disasters such as IT and utility failures, terrorist attacks, fraud, sabotage, theft, extreme flooding and fire. The aim of this plan is to enable the organisation to protect its staff and assets during an incident, resume and maintain its key activities during the disruption and return swiftly to normal trading. Remember your work premises could be classed as a crime scene, further hampering your attempts to resume normal operations. How do we go about it? There is a five stage planning process that will enable you to develop an effective and robust plan to better prepare your business for coping with the effects of disaster: Stage 1. Analyse your business’ vulnerabilities and risks Stage 2. Assess the impact of those risks 5. Test and 1. Analyse review your your plan regularly business’ Stage 3. Define your strategy vulnerabilities and risks Stage 4. Develop and commission your plan Stage 5. Test and review your plan regularly 4. Develop and commission 2. Assess The London Resilience website provides further guidance your plan the risks to this process with supporting checklists (see attached contact sheet) 3. Define your strategy What measures ought to be taken immediately? • protect people, power supplies and key facilities. Identify staff with first aid or other medical training. Maintain the latest contact details on all employees including temporary workers and work experience students • valuable documents that are easily damaged should be sorted in reinforced boxes. Paper files are a fire hazard so enforce a clear desk policy • analyse key business applications. Identify which applications are critical to the business and which applications could be put on hold for a period of time without causing long term damage • prepare an inventory of all business equipment, procedures, activities, skills and the intellectual capital of the organisation © London Chamber of Commerce and Industry 33 Queen Street, London EC4R 1AP 2005
  • 6. 5 • ensure you have enough food and drink to sustain your employees. Your work premises may fall within an exclusion zone and you may be forced to remain in place for as many as 2 to 3 days. On 7/7 in London there were reports of offices running short of food and drinking water because employees were forced to remain on site all day • identify an alternative temporary business site to locate personnel well away from the main building and ensure that it is not served exclusively by the same utility companies or communication company as the main building • prepare a list of key operations and set daily and weekly time scales for the recovery of these operations • ensure that employees understand that if existing premises are severely damaged a different work location identified in the recovery plan will need to be operational • prepare an internal emergency communications plan • develop an external communications strategy • consider conducting background checks on employees and periodic checks of anyone with access to sensitive information Are there any other precautions that could be considered as part of disaster planning? • apply cross training across all teams in critical business processes • have a mechanism in place to borrow personnel from other departments or locations within the company • SMEs should consider approaching large organisations based nearby to act as a ‘buddy’ helping them to stay afloat in the aftermath of a serious disruption to business • incorporate contingency plan developments on the intranet and in monthly newsletter to keep all personnel informed • consider satellite phones to enable communication in the event of mobile closedown and investigate whether your business qualifies for the police chip which circumvents mobile closedown • more companies should start to make use of the pager alert system run by the City of London police, which gives live information on current threats for a cost of only £200 © London Chamber of Commerce and Industry 33 Queen Street, London EC4R 1AP 2005
  • 7. 6 • increase the odds of personnel and business survival by ensuring that it is company policy to prohibit key executives from travelling on the same aircraft • consider conducting background checks on employees and periodic checks of anyone with access to sensitive information • identify an alternative evacuation site in case your designated site falls within an exclusion zone. On previous occasions firms have found an evacuation site too close to the main site unviable • if you have CCTV keep it in full working order and cover as extensive a range as possible • far too many firms do not realise that terrorist cover has to be purchased as an additional item on most insurance policies Emergency pack It is very useful to have an emergency pack in the event of a disaster as it can provide a business with the bare minimum to keep working. The essential items listed below MUST be stored off-site. Other items are useful to have to hand in the event of such an emergency as a terrorist attack. What items should be contained in the emergency pack? Essential items: • business recovery plan, list of employees with contact details, IT providers, client and supplier details, building site plan and details of insurers • computer back up tapes/discs • spare keys, stationery, company seals Useful items: • torch and megaphone plus spare batteries, tape • message pads and flip chart • coloured pens and pencils, chalk • mobile telephone with credit available • dust and toxic fume masks • throw away camera © London Chamber of Commerce and Industry 33 Queen Street, London EC4R 1AP 2005
  • 8. 7 • clockwork radio How does a company communicate a disaster recovery plan to the employees? • contingency plans will need to be carefully communicated to employees without creating undue alarm and explained as a key part of business planning • regularly updated copies of the plan need to be available to all employees • if a disaster has occurred it will be necessary to issue the external communications strategy document to prevent loss of customers and goodwill • ideally educate personnel on the effects of traumatic stress and in ways to help themselves and others in a crisis What could a disaster mean for a company? • it could mean loss of income, goodwill, brand, image and reputation, inflicting potentially permanent damage to the company Should a company have a disaster recovery team? • all companies irrespective of size should have an identified and trained disaster recovery team • select a disaster recovery team by assessing the personal strengths and weaknesses of the personnel • ensure succession planning is prepared for all levels of personnel © London Chamber of Commerce and Industry 33 Queen Street, London EC4R 1AP 2005
  • 9. 8 COPING WITH A PHYSICAL DISASTER What should a company do if disaster strikes? • first check that all staff and visitors are safe and accounted for and are marshalled to an external assembly point away from the building • establish contact with the emergency services, utility companies and local authorities • transport employees home safely where necessary • provide leadership and crisis control • communicate with employees so that they are aware of plans and any emergency evacuation procedures. Ensure that all personnel from the Chief Executive to the temporary receptionist know what is expected of them in a disaster ROLE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES What is the role of the police, the emergency services and the local authorities in the event of a disaster? The police, the emergency services and local authorities will be heavily involved in any major incident The police will ensure that everyone is in a place of safety well away from the disaster scene. They will be responsible for keeping people away from the disaster scene In addition to saving lives and caring for the injured the ambulance service will alert hospitals to the disaster The fire service will rescue and save lives, fight fires and ensure safety management. The local authorities will support the emergency services and those affected by the disaster, co-ordinate the services of the voluntary sector and access the structural stability of buildings © London Chamber of Commerce and Industry 33 Queen Street, London EC4R 1AP 2005
  • 10. 9 RECOVERY PERIOD What systems should be in place to assist with a fast recovery programme? It is wise to have the following systems in place: • make daily or weekly back-ups of all computer data. • ensure that any tapes, disks, software, licence agreements and contracts are located in a secure offsite location. Although this will involve extra costs - consider outsourcing these IT activities to IT specialists • maintain a strict clear desk policy - documents stored in filing cabinets can help with salvage prospects • ensure that the company has sufficient insurance to pay for the disruption to the business, costs of repairs, hiring temporary employees, leasing temporary premises or equipment. Report the disaster to the insurance company immediately • use the skills of the in-house crisis management team who will have devised a plan of action • watch for signs of excessive stress or fatigue by the recovery team. Even exceptionally good performers can reach a period where they can no longer think clearly and serious errors could be made • identify “at risk” employees, those who are deeply affected by traumatic stress. See that they are moved to a safe environment under the care of counsellors or friends • put the planned communications strategy into operation to minimise loss of customers and goodwill. Reassure key customers that it is business as usual as soon as possible © London Chamber of Commerce and Industry 33 Queen Street, London EC4R 1AP 2005
  • 11. 10 FURTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION AND USEFUL WEBSITES How can a company obtain additional guidance on disaster planning/ crisis management? A number of organisations provide information or relevant services, and the following websites are particularly valuable sources of further information: The Government has a useful general website Preparing for Emergencies – What You Need to Know For London specific disaster recovery /crisis management advice contact: Corporation of London provides contingency planning in the City of London: The Corporation of London’s Contingency Planning Team can be contacted via email: Corporation of London provides a free security email service which circulates via email information regarding events in the City that may affect the security of City businesses and their employees. The website also gives details of the City of London Police Pager Alert Scheme: rmed.asp Police Priority Alert Schemes - offered by the Police to inform and alert the business community to emergencies: London Prepared - this website gives information and advice to Londoners, businesses and visitors on London’s preparations for major incidents and emergencies. For specific disaster recovery advice contact: The Home Office – covers terrorism: The Home Office also provides a handbook for managers on maximising business resilience to terrorist bombings: Civil Contingencies Advice to Business. This is the website of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat in the Cabinet Office and provides links to a series of documents designed to aid businesses in continuity planning: This site indicates how resilient a particular business is to disaster? MI5 The Security Service – website gives advice for businesses to protect against terrorism and other security threats: © London Chamber of Commerce and Industry 33 Queen Street, London EC4R 1AP 2005
  • 12. 11 Health and Safety Executive for guidance for businesses on handling mail: Biological/Chemical Threats by post: Health and Safety Executive for issues on the control of major accident hazard regulations (COMAH): Department of Health for briefing notes for the public on biological chemicals and diseases: Anthrax Botulinum toxin Plague Smallpox Ricin DoH Guidelines Ricin Q&A Department of Health - Guidance in Post Incident Response for social services departments. Includes descriptions of suitable immediate responses, de-briefing and links to a wide variety of policy documents which may also be useful to business. forceOnViolence/SelfAuditTool/SelfAuditToolArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4073975&c hk=9kDM56 UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) – publish National Guidelines on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD CG26 Post-traumatic Stress Disorder PSTD - Information for the Public (March 2005) ------------ Disclaimer Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the data published in this Guide is accurate. The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry does not take responsibility for the disaster recovery/crisis management advice given. © London Chamber of Commerce and Industry 33 Queen Street, London EC4R 1AP 2005