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Business continuity in 2016

Whether 130 mph winds battering the coast of Britain and causing structural damage while disrupting travel, or a fire that raged for days and cut power supply to nearly 4000 nearby properties, the UK 2016 has had its share of incidents that kept businesses on their toes and put their revenues at risk, says IT Specialists (ITS), a managed service provider.

To highlight the importance of UK businesses of all sizes having a business continuity and disaster recovery strategy in place, ITS put together research showing some of the biggest threats to business continuity over the last 12 months.

The firm compiled this research to raise awareness of the need for business continuity and resilience, and to highlight the natural and man-made disasters that can cause businesses extreme downtime, with no warning. ITS adds that it offers a number of services for its clients in the face of upheaval, including business continuity, IT support, field services and outsourced service desk, so clients are protected in the case of high-profile and smaller incidents that would otherwise threaten their businesses.

Without thorough business continuity, there is a risk of negative consequences such as lost inventory, reduced productivity due to employees being unable to work remotely, property damage and the all-important revenue loss, according to the firm.

Matt Kingswood, UK head of ITS, said: “Investing in forward planning can save valuable time, protect the organisation’s revenue and preserve its customer base. 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 business continuity.”


1. Storm Gertrude left thousands without power as 130 mph winds hit Britain and Met Office issued red alert – 29/01/2016

Cause: Heavy rain and wind gusts of up to 130 mph

The storm caused difficult driving conditions and disruption to travel, such as cancellation to ferry services and bridge closures.

Some buildings experienced structural damage, as well as disruption to power supplies.

2. Storm Katie: flights cancelled and property damaged – 28/03/2016

Cause: Storm with gusts of up to 106 mph

200,000 homes were without power.

Travel disruption included the closure of Dartford River Crossing and M48 Severn Bridge.

26 flights were cancelled and 23 diverted. Heathrow cancelled 61 flights and diverted another 20.

3. Saltley recycling site fire that raged for several days – 30/03/2016

Cause: Accidental fire

800 tonnes of metal and plastic were accidently set ablaze.

The power supply to nearly 4,000 nearby properties was cut off.

Landor Street, which runs alongside the recycling plant, remained closed for a day.

4. Cromer homes and businesses lost power after damage to electricity cable – 06/04/2016

Cause: Damage to an electricity cable by suspected third party

Over 1,000 homes and businesses in the seaside town lost power.

Several shops had to close for part of the busy Easter holidays trading day.

5. Major power fault affected UK-wide internet services – 20/07/2016

Cause: Power failure at London data centre

Multiple ISPs reported that the power failure affected internet connectivity for a large number of people across the UK.

The fault resulted in slower connection speeds and disrupted access to online services and websites.

The following day, broadband ISPs from across the country all reported similar internet disruption as a result of another possible power failure at a major London data centre.

6. Flash floods, lightning and landslides hit UK overnight, causing chaos for commuters as temperatures fell by 10 C – 16/09/2016

Cause: Thunder and lightning, flash flooding and torrential rain

Delays of up to an hour affected trains.

Hundreds of passengers were trapped.

7. Exeter fire: damaged the Royal Clarence Hotel so badly that it could not be saved – 30/10/2016

Cause: Fire from ruptured gas main

The blaze gutted the Royal Clarence Hotel.

The cordoned-off section caused disruption for local businesses inside the area.

Plans to knock down the remains of the hotel were discussed. Meanwhile, there was no end in sight for business owners inside the cordoned-off area.

8. Storm Angus brought 80+ mph winds and flooding to UK as thousands were left without power – 21/11/2016

Cause: Storm, torrential rain and flooding

The storm brought gusts of up to 84 mph.

Dozens of people were evacuated.

Thousands of properties in the south-west of the country were without power.

Travel services were disrupted, power supplies were interrupted, and buildings were damaged.

Greater Manchester’s fire service had 230 calls between 4pm and 9pm during the peak of the torrential rainfall.

9. Soho power cut: London’s West End was plunged into darkness after mass electricity outage – 25/11/2016

Cause: Power failure blackout

Blackout resulted in chaos with bars and restaurants forced to close, while office workers attempted to carry on with business in darkness.

One bar said the electricity being out for 30 minutes had already resulted in lost customers and money. Another bar was only accepting credit cards, as electricity being down meant it could not open the till.

The outage affected a number of businesses in the area and caused confusion on the streets for tourists and residents.

10. Massive floods in Angel after water pipe bursts – 05/12/2016

Cause: Burst water pipe

Around 100 people had to be evacuated from their homes after 2 feet of water engulfed the basements of shops, restaurants and homes on Upper Street.

Businesses in the popular street near Camden Passage were also submerged, and part of the A1 was closed to traffic.


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