PlanB Consulting

New Years thought – Be Prepared

Happy New Year to all readers I hope you had a good break and are raring to go for 2012!

Over the Christmas break whilst staying on the Isle of Coll, which is a small island on the West coast of Scotland, I had a very good example of being prepared. During the holiday we had horrendous weather, constant high wind and rain. On one of the first few days of the holiday we had a power cut, immediately we have to tell the children not to move so they didn’t trip over something and I had to fumble in the dark to try and find some matches. After bumping into a number of objects I found the matches and eventually some candles. We then had to raid the  spare Christmas present pile to find some torches, found some working batteries, got the torches working and settled down to candle light to play cards and wait for the power to go back on. After half an hour I looked out of the window to notice all my neighbours had power and from that worked out that our fuse had tripped and there was no power cut after all!

This episode taught me two lessons, firstly how critical power was and how we take it for granted. Without power we had no lights, heating (except for a coal stove), water (electric borehole pump), cooking, internet and entertainment. More importantly it taught me the lesson of being prepared. When we had a ‘proper’ 7 hour power cut, later in the week, we were prepared, we had working torches, we knew where they were and we knew where our candles were. Organisations always seem to get themselves properly prepared after an incident but by then it can be too late and irreversible damage may have been done, instead, if you prepare you will be ready to deal with the incident when it comes. My New Year’s thought to all readers is; Are you properly prepared for
an incident and if not, what should you be doing or putting in place now to make sure that you are ready for the next incident?

About Charlie Maclean-Bristol

Charlie Maclean-Bristol is one of the Founders and Directors of PlanB Consulting. He is also the Training Director of Business Continuity Training Ltd., a UK-based training provider accredited by the Business Continuity Institute. Charlie is a former Business Continuity Institute board member and one of the very few Fellows of both the Emergency Planning Society and the Business Continuity Institute.

A former Infantry Captain in the British Army, Charlie held several emergency planning, business continuity and crisis management positions within the energy and utility industry before founding PlanB Consulting in 2007. Over the past twelve years, Charlie has delivered business continuity consultancy in 6 of the worlds 7 continents, frequently providing full business continuity roll-outs to organisations of all sizes and in all sectors.

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