Whether it was a fire that brought a halt to a bustling city centre, structural damage to a bridge that diverted 80,000 commuters daily or a 106-mph storm that disrupted 130 flights, the last 12 months had its share of incidents that kept businesses on their toes and put their revenue at risk.
As part of the Business Continuity Institute’s Business Continuity Awareness Week (BCAW) 2016, managed service provider IT Specialists (ITS) put together research highlighting some of the biggest threats to business continuity over the last 12 months.
It compiled this research to help businesses understand the types of incidents that could affect them. Without a thorough business continuity programme and the relevant insurance cover, there is a risk of lost inventory, reduced productivity, property damage and the all-important revenue loss.
“Investing in forward planning can save valuable time, protect the organisation’s revenue and preserve its customer base,” said Matt Kingswood, UK head of ITS. “We urge businesses to formulate a business continuity programme to identify inefficient processes that cost the organisation money on a daily basis and can prove a barrier to disaster recovery.”
Top 10 business continuity disasters
1. Holborn fire – April 9, 2015
Cause: Underground electrical fault, burned for 36 hours. 5,000 people evacuated, 3,000 properties left without power
2. Kennington floods – June 29, 2015
Cause: Burst water main, 10 fire engines and 72 firefighters needed, many properties affected as water reached depth of 18 inches, flooding basements.
3. Royal Berkshire Hospital power cut and flood – July 31, 2015
Cause: Burst underground pipe. A&E closed to all but critical patients. Fire in coronary care unit requiring patients to be moved. Fire crews from three separate stations needed, medical staff worked through night using backup generators.
4. Heathrow Airport power cut – August 4, 2015
Cause: Issue with power supplier, 3,000-4,000 people left without luggage as 50 British Airways flights took off without cases and other equipment. Power out for three hours
5. Hampton-in-Arden fire – September 26, 2015
Cause: Accidental fire at factory supplying 25% of UK’s toffee apples. Gas cylinders and oil drums on-site meant neighbours also at risk. Five fire crews and 25-30 firefighters fought blaze for two hours.
6. Storm Abigail – November 12, 2015
Cause: Extratropical cyclone, 84 mph gusts, 20,000 properties affected. Ferry services cancelled and schools shut
7. Forth Road Bridge closure – December 4, 2015
Cause: Crack in truss under carriageway, 80,000 vehicles diverted daily for 19 days. ScotRail added 6,500 train seats, 33 buses and 11,000 seats on key commuter services. £1.4bn replacement bridge required.
8. Storm Desmond – December 5, 2015
Cause: Extratropical cyclone, wind speeds up to 81 mph and severe rain. More than 60,000 homes without power, more than 1,000 people evacuated from homes.
9. Storm Katie – March 28, 2016
Cause: Extratropical cyclone, winds of up to 106 mph. 130 flights diverted, more than 20,000 homes without power.
10. Saltley recycling site fire – March 29, 2016
Cause: Accidental fire, 800 tonnes of metal and plastic ablaze, more than 100 firefighters tackled blaze. Power supplies to 4,000 homes cut off.