Would You Be Ready? Guide for Small Businesses

Business in the Community (BITC) has created a quick guide and a checklist for small businesses to create their own bespoke emergency plans. Organisations can follow the eight practical steps to be ready for disruptive events, such as a flood, cyber attack or civil unrest.

Eight steps to help your small business prepare for disruptive events:

  1. Understand your business critical functions and activities
  2. Timeframes
  3. Assess your risk
  4. Reduce your risk
  5. Develop an emergency plan
  6. Develop an emergency communications plan
  7. Communicate and rehearse your plans
  8. Revisit and update your plans

About Business in the Community’s Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG)

These guides were produced by BITC’s Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG), created by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. The group helps UK businesses and communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. Convened by BITC, BERG is an influential network of UK business leaders and strategic partners that include national charities and UK government departments. BERG supports small businesses because they are fundamental to the success of the UK economy. Small- and medium-sized enterprises face a disproportionally greater of disruptive events such as a fire, flood or cyber-attack. Without proper preparation, any one of these events could result in business failure and potentially life-changing consequences for owners and employees.

Would You Be Ready?

Severe and inclement weather can hit at any time and businesses of all sizes can suffer their consequences. Almost 5,000 business were affected in the 2015-2016 floods1; two-thirds of businesses (65 per cent) in Cumbria suffered a negative impact from the 2015 storms and floods2. In the worse-case scenarios, adverse weather can mean reduced access to the essential products and services that businesses need to run. Being unprepared could ultimately lead to small businesses becoming insolvent or closing.

Cyber-attacks are more common than you think. We may think large businesses have all the requisite controls necessary to deal with a cyber disruption, yet businesses of all sizes are at risk. Moreover, small businesses do not always realise they can be the gateway to big businesses’ data loss. Impacts of cyber-attacks on small businesses can be particularly devastating: a breach could mean loss of reputation or contract, a GDPR fine or worse, it could ultimately lead to small businesses becoming insolvent and going out of business.

Therefore, businesses must have robust plans to be ready for extreme weather events and cyber security measures to be prepared for a cyber breach, as well as response and recovery plans should the worst occur.

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where people want to live and work.


1. Environment Agency; (2018); Estimating the costs of the winter floods 2015 – 2016 report. Available at https://www.gov.uk

2. BMG Research; (2016); Cumbria Business Survey 2015/16 – Flood Impact Report. Available at https://www.cumbria.gov.uk