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Security awareness seminar held at the Energus building, Lillyhall on 27th July 2010.

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Published Articles

Get yourself a sense of security
Production Journal

Securing your IT - and reputatiion
Whitehaven News

Cumbrian firms urged to be better prepared for floods
News and Star

Keeping newsroom information safe
Submitted to UK Press Gazette

Cumbrians must prepare for wave of Cyber Crime
Lake District Messenger

Can your web site be trusted?
Lake District Messenger

Cumbrian firms urged to be better prepared for floods

News and Star. 16th November 2010

A plea has been issued for bosses to ensure their businesses are better prepared should floods strike again.

Research carried out by Business Link Northwest has found the majority of firms in Cumbria do not have contingency arrangements to deal with catastrophe.

As many companies struggle to recover from the impact of last year's deluge, enterprise experts have warned everyone must have plans in place to ensure firms can be working again quickly if they are hit.

Contingency planning adviser Tony Wilson, of Aspatria-based firm Indelible Data, said: "Companies need to plan for the unexpected so should the worst happen they can keep their business running.

"That could be contact numbers for reserve staff and having a back-up premises. What is crucial is that everything has to be tested before a disaster happens. Do a test run.

"The larger the business, the more detailed a contingency plan needs to be while a small business may opt to use a simple checklist.

"It is not just your company that needs a contingency plan in place, check if your suppliers have one. "Looking back over the last 12 months, Cumbria has been subjected to flooding, road infrastructure failure and major crime and accident scenes which have all had an impact on the ability to trade.

"We should now be expecting the unexpected in business but judging from Business Link's report, this is not the case."

Business Link has provided support since the floods, helping 210 companies secure flood recovery grants through the Northwest Regional Development Agency.

Its staff have also provided free and impartial information and invested around 5,000 hours to help firms get back in business. Information is available from Business Link on how to draw up emergency plans.

Adrian Luckham, an adviser who has worked with many of the affected businesses, said: "Last year's floods were a stark reminder of how unplanned events can have a devastating effect on businesses.

"It isn't just freak weather events that pose a risk. Crises such as fire, damage to stock, illness of key staff, IT system failure, or even major crimes, can all make it difficult � in some cases impossible � to carry out normal day-to-day activities."

Contingency plans should detail the key functions needed to get firms running again quickly, with details included about insurers, customers and tradesmen staff may need to call.

Cockermouth Travel and the Toy Shop, in Main Street, were both supported by Business Link to secure an NWDA grant after the floods.