Mike Still, Managing Director, Client Service at Marsh, Chairman of Business in the Community’s Business Emergency Recovery Group and The Prince’s Business Ambassador to Scotland, writes about a business led-approach that might just help a business swim, not sink, this winter.
October has arrived and the change of season usually signals unsettled weather for the UK. If we think back to 2013-14 - the wettest winter on record – we saw over 3,000 commercial properties and 7,700 homes flooded with long term impacts to business customers and suppliers, utilities and other infrastructure. Improved coordination, communications and response might just make a difference in helping businesses survive another wet winter.
Business Emergency Recovery Group
HRH The Prince of Wales' Business Emergency Recovery Group recognises that small businesses are the lifeblood of many local communities and that severe disruptions can often lead to long-term and sometimes unrecoverable knock-on effects. By working collectively to build greater business resilience, we can make a massive difference and help save vast and often unnecessary sums of money.
BERG helps to join up and mobilise businesses and is delivered through the charity Business in the Community, of which HRH is President.
BERG was initiated in response to the severe disruptions to local communities following the 2010 floods in the hope that better links between business might lessen the longer term impacts of flooding and improve the likelihood of successful, affordable and more rapid recovery.
Matching the resources offered by large businesses to the needs of small business owners during a crisis is one of the important functions that an organisation like BERG can offer at local level.
Our unique business-led approach aims to maintain business continuity during major disruptive events complementing services already on offer from Government and other service sectors.
With one in six properties at risk of flooding, BERG believes it is crucial that businesses prepare for such disruptions, identify how best to continue operating and minimise long term financial impacts.
In addition to helping businesses be better linked to each other and mapping where support exists, BERG is working closely with the Environment Agency and its Climate Ready support service to help businesses be flood aware by suggesting the following:
Use the Environment Agency’s maps to find out if you are at risk from flooding
Sign-up for free flood warnings for your area
Develop a business flood plan
Take a business resilience health check and get a FREE personalised report about how your business can prepare for flooding and severe weather.
BITC guidance Flood Relief – what businesses can do
Visit BITC's Water Knowledge Hub for information and resources