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Despite the current success your business may be enjoying, disasters can happen at any time to any organisation big or small. Would your business survive?

This section provides advice for businesses on preparing themselves to deal with unforeseen emergencies and disruption.

The risks

Business operations can be threatened in many ways, consider the effect of losing:

  • Staff
  • Premises
  • Key systems
  • Records and data

Potential impacts

  • Loss of Customers
  • Loss of contracts
  • Loss of good reputation
  • Closure

What can you do

  • Make sure your staff know what to do in an emergency
  • Identify a different location or site to work from
  • Insure your business
  • Backup systems and data
  • Develop a Business Continuity Plan


Keep your business moving

At 23:00 on 31 December 2020 the transition period ended. This means that doing business with the EU has changed and you will need to follow new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring to ensure your business can continue to operate.

Business continuity

A carefully thought-out business continuity plan will make coping in a crisis easier and enable you to minimise disruption to the business and its customers. It will also prove to customers, insurers and investors that your business is robust enough to cope with anything that might happen.

Bomb threats and suspect packages

The vast majority of bomb threats are hoaxes designed to cause alarm and disruption. As well as the rare instances of valid bomb threats, terrorists may also make hoax bomb threat calls to intimidate the public, businesses and communities, to draw attention to their cause and to mislead police. Having a plan in advance makes the response to bomb threats, unattended items, or suspicious items as orderly and controlled as possible, reducing risk and the impact of false alarms on regular business activities. The following guides provide more information.


Many organisations rely upon information systems to support day-to-day business and employ digital technologies to manage safety and security. As a result, businesses can become vulnerable to threats that undermine their confidentiality, integrity or accessibility. The consequences of such incidents can be significant to organisations, leading to substantial financial loss, damage to assets, regulatory fines, loss of reputation and even physical injury.

By being aware of the cyber threat you can begin to take steps to secure your business. For more information read the guidance below.

Fuel disruption

Fuel is the life blood of our economy, over the last few years disputes in the fuel industry and higher prices have caused disruption to supplies. Below are some initial questions that you may wish to run through your Business Continuity Plans when considering the impact of a disruption in the fuel supply.

Getting to work:

  • Would all of your staff actually need to come to work during a period of disruption? For example, could some staff work effectively from home or from another site/office that is closer to home?
  • Could your staff make more efficient use of their private vehicles by car sharing with colleagues?
  • Could your staff make greater use of public transport to get to work?

At work:

  • Which of your business functions are critical and must continue during any period of disruption?
  • Of these, which critical functions must have vehicles in order to deliver them?
  • Which of your business functions are less critical such that they could be scaled back or even suspended during a period of disruption?
  • Of these, which functions normally depend on vehicles in order to deliver them – i.e. could your business reduce its overall demand for fuel during a period of disruption?
  • Could you multi-task your vehicles in order to make maximum use of their delivery capacity?
  • Could you make greater use of the vehicles in your fleet that have lower fuel consumption?

Infectious diseases

Infectious diseases, such as Pandemic Flu, may lead to localised, national or even international outbreaks if not rapidly controlled. 

If such an outbreak occurs it will almost certainly detrimentally impact employees, stakeholders, supply chains and the customer base. 

The following guides provide information to increase organisational preparedness to help protect employees, suppliers and customers and so reduce the risk to business. 

Severe weather

Whether cold, sunny, wet or windy, the UK is prone to weather extremes.

For businesses severe weather conditions can lead to a lack of personnel and resources and, in the worst case scenario, being unprepared for severe weather can ultimately lead to businesses becoming insolvent or closing.

You can help to safeguard your business by following guidance provided by Business in the Community (BITC) and the Met Office.  

  • For information on accessing local advice and support please contact the Disaster Management team via Dudley Council Plus or Email:

  • Information and advice is also available through the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Please contact Karen Woolley, Development Manager Staffordshire & West Midlands.

    Telephone: 01332 517176 (office), 07917 628923 (mobile)

  • The Black Country Chamber of Commerce helps firms of all sizes across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton to achieve more.

    Contact them at: Creative Industries Centre, Wolverhampton Science Park, Glaisher Drive, Wolverhampton, WV10 9TG

    Telephone: 0330 024 0820


Further resources: