Emergencies – disruption related risks in businesses
All businesses from time to time experience some form of disruption related risks, including emergencies. In most cases these disruptions require only minor intervention and have little impact on the ability of the business to meet their critical objectives. Resilient organisations possess the capability to constantly adapt to change and bounce back from disruptive and damaging incidents. Incidents can be defined as situations that might be, or could lead to, a disruption, loss, emergency or even crisis. Resilience takes a holistic approach to help entities survive turbulent times, by integrating risk, emergency response, and business continuity management. Resilience arises from a combination of culture and attitude, process and framework.
The figure below (adapted from AS/NZS 5050:2010) provides a sense of the relationships between the several areas of focus for managing disruption-related risk. Before an event, there are opportunities to implement proactive controls that can make potentially disruptive events less frequent or severe, as well as making preparations for contingent controls that are activated once an event commences. These latter controls are aimed at reducing the scale and effects of disruption, returning to routine operations and a full recovery as soon as possible and seizing any opportunities that may arise. The pre-event preparations include regular maintenance and exercising of the contingency plans (including emergency plans) and contingent capabilities that enable the organisation to respond to the event in a practical and effective way, and transition back to routine management in a planned, timely and controlled manner.