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How to be prepared at work

While the Ministry is not engaged in risk management or business continuity consultancy, there are key messages that all businesses should understand prior to initiating or reviewing continuity planning arrangements:
  1. It is not an option to be unprepared. Disasters do happen, but you can 'make the mess less' and hasten a return to normalcy through prior planning and committing to mitigation and preparedness activity. This can save time and money in the long term.
  2. Risk assessment must consider risks posed by external factors; particularly interdependencies or out-sourced services/arrangements.
  3. Business continuity must protect business assets - staff, equipment, facilities, IT systems, reputation, market-share, liquidity, etc.
  4. Business continuity must protect both internal and external service capability, particularly in support of CDEM-critical activity (such as emergency services and medical facilities). Forecast and prioritise external demand before the event.
  5. Planning can only be effective if developed co-operatively with all business stakeholders so that responsibilities and roles are clearly understood and assumptions validated.
  6. Risk, asset, and emergency management or continuity planning processes must develop across an entire organisation, from hazard assessment through to exercising, audit, review and feedback.

Looking after Staff
Evacuation Schemes: Building owners are required by the Fire Safety & Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006 to establish and maintain evacuation schemes (related to fire threat). The regulations also enforce tenants responsibility for compliance with a landlord provided evacuation schemes.

Experience in the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010-1 and Cook Strait earthquakes of 2013 have shown that a fire evacuation scheme does not suit an earthquake. Evacuation of staff onto the streets immediately following an earthquake is likely to increase the risk of death or injury in many cases. The Ministry has offered guidance on what to do in the following media release:

Procedures for dealing with (all) workplace emergencies: The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 also requires tenants/employers to develop procedures (multi-risk preparedness - not just for fire) for preventing harm, identifying workplace hazards and managing them.

CD Cabinets
In terms of practical civil defence equipment/cabinets that could be made available for your staff, see the following guide to CD cabinets and food supplies.

Managing Risk
How do I develop a business plan?
How do we apply business continuity management organisation-wide?
How do business continuity management and planning relate to risk management?

ISO 22301:2012 Business Continuity Management Systems specifies the requirements for planning, establishing, implementing, operating, reviewing and maintaining a business continuity system. It is available from SAI Global.

Resilient Organisations (ResOrg) is a collaboration between New Zealand universities aimed at transforming organisations into those that both survive major events and thrive in the aftermath. Its website, offers a variety of useful publications and resources, including the Shut Happens resilience guide for small business.

Another source of guidance is the Good Practice Guidelines series offered as a free download from the Business Continuity Institute.

Other Sources

The following web sites provide continuity information.

Please note: Inclusion of a website does not necessarily imply endorsement by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management of the products or services offered.

The Business Continuity
Business Continuance Planning
Standby Computing
Kestrel Group
NZ Society for Risk Managementwww.risk
Risk Management
Disaster Recovery
Institute of Public Works Engineering

There are also a number of consultancies that specialise in Business Continuity planning. Respected NZ companies include:

Deloitte Touche Tomatsu
EY (Ernst & Young)
Marsh Risk Consulting
Plan B NZ

Lifeline Utilities should also refer to the Ministry's Lifelines page