Insurance broker and risk advisor Marsh has released a four-step plan to help businesses deal with the global coronavirus outbreak.
The World Health Organisation has declared the novel coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern. Businesses need to be prepared for the outbreak’s possible effects, Marsh said.
“While many firms plan for emergency situations that impact business continuity, most are not prepared for potential prolonged impacts on staff welfare, supply chains, and the broader economy arising from a globally spreading infectious disease,” Marsh said. “Organisations should take the time now to preview their resilience and crisis response strategies and plans so that they are well prepared for the potential impacts of the novel coronavirus.”
In order to manage the impact of the coronavirus, Marsh recommended a four-step plan:
- Identify your business’ main vulnerabilities. Convene a meeting of senior decision-makers to identify potential impacts on the business.
- Assess your preparedness. Review any existing plans and determine whether they are up to date. Begin building business-continuity and crisis-management plans specifically designed to minimise the impacts of a pandemic outbreak.
- Make sure your plans will work. Work with senior management to establish and implement response and recovery plans. Confirm that management understands its role and ensure you have the ability to monitor the situation and know when to trigger any special recovery arrangements.
- Make sure teams are kept in the loop. Assign clear responsibilities for internal and external communications.
“The ability to plan successfully for a novel coronavirus outbreak or similar crisis and mitigate the impacts on your business is the result of a full understanding of risks, comprehensive planning, regular training and exercises, and a strategy for maintaining these capabilities over time,” Marsh said.