Risk framework - The decision making process for Climate Risk


The Risk, uncertainty and decision-making framework is a step-by-step process to help you assess what adaptation measures are most appropriate for your organisation or business.

It is based on standard decision-making and risk principles, and will help you answer the questions:

  • What climate change risks could affect my decision?
  • What adaptation measures are required, and when should they be implemented?


Principles of good Climate Risk Adaptation


Good adaptation is based on good information and communication within a community that is willing to adapt. It is important that all involved have an understanding of:

  • The objectives of the process.
  • Adaptation measures including feasibility.
  • A desire for successful and appropriate adaptation.


Exercise Watermark underway


Over the next week the largest ever civil protection exercise in the UK gets underway. The Exercise, called Watermark, involves 10 government departments, 34 resilience forums and many teams from emergency planning, water and energy companies, hospitals and schools as well as a host of Business Continuity professionals coming together to test their preparedness against a range of different flooding Sceanrios.
Exercise Watermark is supported by DEFRA, who are contributing £820,000 to the emergency services, charities and others to help pay for flood rescue equipment and training. All of the equipment will be added to the National asset register for flood rescue resources and will be called upon in the event of major flooding events.

Video - Showing your side of the story

This video is aimed squarely at the challenges of managing during a transport disruption. With the past few years in mind these lessons are both timely and relevant to any Business Continuity Manager
Tony Coll speaks on the kind of action you can undertake to illustrate just how your organisation can demonstrate the how your Business Continuity planning is kicking in, maybe turning you from the bad guy to the good one.
If you would like to know more about how Crisis Management and Communications can help your organisations Business Continuity Planning do get in touch with us directly here.

Video Advice on Negative Social Media comment

This video covers some thoughts on how you might address negative commentary appearing on Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network sites. We hope that you will find this useful in building the communications aspects of your organisations Business Continuity Management process. 
The short video from Ruth at AHA Creative sees her sharing advice on what you can do to mitigate the situation if you find the organisation being criticised on Social Networking Sites. 
If you would like to know more about how Crisis Management and Communications can help your organisations Business Continuity Planning do get in touch with us directly here.

Advice on managing a PR crisis - Video

This is a nice little video covering the principle points surrounding Media Communications that we hope you will find useful in building your organisations Business Continuity Management process.

SPECIAL EVENT - National Launch of VSAT - 17th Feb 2011 - London SW1

Please check out our Security Portal or search for more using the the word 'VSAT' 

We are pleased to invite you to the launch of a brand new tool that considerably extends our national capability to develop security, create continuity and build resilience. 
On February 17th in London the Vulnerability Self Assessment Tool (VSAT) will be launched at the prestigious Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, the Continuity Forum and the Home Office with the support of London First. 

About The VSAT Launch

We invite you to join us for the Launch of the Vulnerability Self Assessment Tool (VSAT).  
Lord ReidJoin our speakers Lord Reid of Cardowan, former Home Secretary, Deputy Mayor of London, Richard Barnes, Sir David Veness, ex Met Police Asst Commissioner and former UN Under Secretary General for Safety and Security and Russell Price, Founder of the Continuity Forum.
They will be supported by many other leading experts in the field for the launch of the VSAT who'll also be available to answer to your questions.
Lord Reid

Data Centres get CPNI Guidance to boost resilience and security

Business Continuity Forum

It is rare these days to find any organisation which does not rely in some way on computer data. From the very largest corporate through to the very smallest business the need to maintain access to information is absolutely vital. This seems pretty straightforward and it could be said almost simplistic, obvious even. Maybe so, but what about the data that has been removed from your direct control, that exists on the huge banks of servers and hard disks that are located across commercial data centres both in the UK and internationally.

A(H1N1) initial research suggests parallels with 1957 Pandemic


Media criticise health organisations, but threat continues to develop 

As Swine Flu starts to slide down the news agenda, some are already declaring that the worst is over and it was an overreaction. Indeed nearly half of people in the US think the media exaggerated the threat, mirroring the view in the UK.

Is the really the it over?

Well no and Business Continuity planners to need to heed the warnings coming from World Health Organisation and the US CDC as well as the Department of Health.

The A(H1N1) is still continuing its spread and Keiji Fukuda of WHO is stressing that they continue to be worried about what will happen as the southern hemisphere starts to enter Winter. Richard Besser of the CDC speaking on the 10th May warns that Mexico is still seeing significant transmission and there continues to be an upswing in infections in the US. Fukuda continues stating that “there is a good chance that the virus will re-emerge in the autumn and winter months in the northern hemisphere and that it could become more virulent.

Science Magazine is reporting the results of an initial study in the Mexico Swine Flu outbreak led by Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College, London confirming that the virus is a virulent as the 1957 pandemic, but not as bad as that seen in 1918. Estimates have calculated the more than 2,000,000 around the world in 1957.

The international teams provisional findings suggests that the case fatality rate for the A(H1N1) ranges between 0.3% and 1.5%, less dangerous than 1918, but still a substantial threat. The study also estimates that infection characteristics could change as the virus evolves and that we need to continue to develop information quickly to more fully understand its development.

Across the world and in little more than a month more than 5000 have been infected and 50 have died in this initial phase of the outbreak, certainly substantial enough to be case for considerable concern amongst informed experts and BCM planners should share this concern. It is far too soon to draw back from Pandemic planning or to be influenced media naysayers.

The Continuity Forum would stress the view from the Department of Health statement on Monday that “all infections in the UK so far had been "mild", but it is right to prepare for the possibility of a global pandemic. The UK's arrangements are continuing to ensure that we are well-placed to deal with this new infection."

This is especially important as Professor Ferguson states clearly that it is difficult to quantify the impact on human health at this stage. This is especially important when the statistics developed so far confirm that A(H1N1) is more infectious than usual; seasonal flu affects 1 in 10 and this novel virus potentially 1 in 3 and that per 1000 infected between 4 and 14 could die.

Against this background it is folly to start dismissing the risk, but we are already seeing signs of this with some BCM planners telling us that they are not getting the support from organisations to ensure the robustness of their plans. Perversely many report a wait and see approach being taken despite the guidance coming from WHO, CDC, HPA and a host of others to act now and ensure plans are in place.

The Continuity Forum is urging organisations to utilise Business Continuity expertise and knowledge to develop and assess plans that will support your business quickly; take the threat seriously and match your response.

Taking responsibility for your organisation and its personnel now and develop a better understanding of what you can do to mitigate the risks. Through active planning you can help reduce the spread of the illness across society and importantly your staff, limiting the financial and personnel impact on the organisation. You'll also be demonstrating prudent and professional management to clients and suppliers.

For more information on or assistance in planning please do get in touch. If you would like to comment on this feature please do contact us directly.

to find out more or attend our Special Summit on Pandemic Planning please follow the link from the front page.




A(H1N1) threat needs careful balance - Continuity Forum


Continuity Forum urges organisations not to be complacent

5th May 2009

Swine Flu, or A(H1N1) as the World Health Organisation would prefer it called continues to dominate the news media internationally, with nearly 1100 cases in 21 countries now reported with 27 fatalities.

Good reaction, planning and Tamiflu intervention appears to be working and the symptoms are being described as Mild. This appears to be good news and in the last few days accusations are being levelled of the whole Pandemic scenario being hyped out of all proportion.

Radio phone-in's and media commentators articles are suggesting an over reaction by WHO, governments and the media in the face of what they describe as a relatively 'minor' Health scare. Despite information from the World Health Organisation and health agencies urging against complacency, many people are starting to trivialise the threat posed despite the warnings being given.

Pandemic transmission

Above is the predicted spread of an influenza Pandemic as developed by Professor Neil Ferguson and submitted to the House of Lords Science and Technology committee, which has responsibility for Pandemic Influenza.

As can be seen, the peak shows infections rising over time to over 1 million cases a day after about 7-8 weeks from the first UK infection. As with all modelling, it is an educated interpretation based on experience and analysis and Professor Ferguson's model may be incorrect or have errors that misrepresent the spread of infections (if it is, then so are many others that have been published), but look closely at the curve above.

We have had the A(H1N1) virus for just one week here in the UK; the government and HPA have done a sterling job, but one week in and the media are talking about the second phase potential. This is happening just four weeks BEFORE the research shows the rapid escalation of cases in the first phase model … we at the Continuity Forum think this is a little premature at least and potentially quite dangerous.

At the moment the instantaneous news media is giving immediate opinions on matters that need to be thoroughly understood. The epidemiology of A(H1N1) needs to be understood in much greater depth, and it is rash to dismiss this 'initial' stage of the current outbreak as over or under control just yet.

More needs to known about the source in Mexico and particularly the rate of fatalities that has not yet been seen elsewhere in the world. The death of 25 people from 590 cases suggest a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 4.24% which is much higher than Seasonal Flu and towards the upper levels of the worst case planning scenarios, yet in the US some 286 cases resulted in the death of one infant, a CFR of 0.35%.

Why is there such a huge difference?

Was it the source numbers underestimating the total number of cases in Mexico or was it something else?

Perhaps it is the early intervention with Anti-Virals given at the optimum time, stalling progression of the virus?

What ever the reason now is not the time to be suggesting the worst is over, and indirectly creating a sense of complacency in the minds of the general public and business.

The UK government is delivering advice to all homes urging vigilance and good hygiene protocols, trying to keep folks informed and aware of the potential risk of infection - and the simple steps required to mitigate them. This though is against a real mix of opinion in the general populace; some alert, informed and not unduly alarmed, but others dismissing it as Hype and overreaction!

Mexico will be returning to work tomorrow with shops, businesses, schools and restaurants all reopening. Hopefully the worst is past for them, but over the next few weeks we'll see what happens both in Mexico and the other countries as the Virus continues to develop.

Yes, we did say develop, as this is exactly what a virus does. It'll continue its evolution, changing and mutating, trying to find new ways to propagate itself. We are still at the the very earliest stages of this situation and our knowledge of it, and we should exercise caution in rushing to judgement.

Careful consideration of the potential impact and sensible measures addressing them should be developed to help your organisation, and importantly be rehearsed and communicated. Of course, the naysayers could turn out to be right and the threat may fizzle out, but what incredible folly would it be to do nothing when the window of opportunity exists to really bolster resilience and create the potential for far better continuity.

The Continuity Forum can help and advise your organisation please mail us here Pandemic Support

Any organisation requiring advice or support should contact us immediately, we are also holding a Continuity Forum Special Pandemic Summit on June 26th for more details follow the front page link or contact us directly. More information on pandemic research

We are changing our registration systems and if have yet to complete the new registration process please click on the link above.


For more details on our events, workshops and industry development work, as well as the general activities of the Continuity Forum please contact us directly on +44 208 993 1599 or mail us HERE! Please do contact Sara McKenna or Russell Price .


If you would like to know more about how your organisation can get involved and benefit from working with the Continuity Forum, please email us HERE! or call on + 44 (0) 208 993 1599. 

WHO upgrades Alert level to 5 ... what next?

Current level of influenza pandemic alert raised from phase 4 to 5

29 April 2009

Following discussions and further assessment of all currently available information, Dr Margaret Chan, WHO's Director-General has raised the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to 5.

She stated that all countries should immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans. At this stage, effective and essential measures include heightened surveillance, early detection and treatment of cases, and infection control in all health facilities.

WHO raises threat level

BCM - Flu Support and Advice - Swine Flu - H1N1 - April 28th

In an important step the World Health Organisation has raised the Pandemic Alert status to level 4.

Phase 4 is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.” The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Any country that suspects or has verified such an event should urgently consult with WHO so that the situation can be jointly assessed and a decision made by the affected country if implementation of a rapid pandemic containment operation is warranted. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion.

A(H1N1) Resources & Links

Category Business Continuity Management BCM - Flu Support and Advice - Continuity Forum - Swine Flu - H1N1

Useful Resources for Swine Flu (H1N1)

Below is a list of resources that may prove useful to a wide range of organisations. Much of the planning and preparation undertaken for Avian Flu is completely appropriate for Swine Flu. Whilst the situation concerning Swine Flu is developing quickly organisations should thoroughly review their plans, protocols and the measures proposed for their organisation. Of particular importance are the following:

  • Hygiene and Healthcare measures
  • Policies on Staff availability and absence issues
  • Impact on Supply Chain, Critical relationships and dependencies
  • Stake-holder Communications
  • IT security and Distance/Teleworking protocols
  • Staff travel policies and issues

The Continuity Forum provides support and guidance for organisations of all types on Pandemic Planning. If you need help or advice please do contact us directly on +44 (0) 208 993 1599 or via email on


OTHER PANDEMIC FLU LINKS (You can also contact us directly and we'll do our best to help)

WHO EPR Update Link - World Health Organisation

National Pandemic Plans by Country

WHO Outbreak Communications Planning guide

Pandemic Flu - National Framework Document responding to a Pandemic Cabinet Office/Dept of Health

Pandemic Flu - Advice for Business

Pandemic Flu - Guide for Hospitals and Healthcare - useful for Business and organisations to understand local considerations in planning

Pandemic Flu - Surge Capacity & prioritisation planning for Hospitals - useful for Business and organisations to understand local considerations in planning

Department of Health: Pandemic flu, frequently asked questions Pandemic flu and its impact on society - updated 19 Oct. (.pdf, 16 pages, 104KB)

Department of Health: Important information for you and your family This leaflet describes pandemic flu, the risk of it occurring in this country, what makes it different from the 'ordinary' flu we get every winter, and what the UK is doing to prepare for a possible influenza pandemic. Updated 19 Oct (.pdf, 16 pages, 1MB)


Foreign Office: Advice for Travellers and Business

Any organisation requiring advice or support should contact us immediately.



For more details on our events, workshops and industry development work, as well as the general activities of the Continuity Forum please contact us directly on +44 208 993 1599 or mail us HERE! Please do contact Sara McKenna or Russell Price .


If you would like to know more about how your organisation can get involved and benefit from working with the Continuity Forum, please email us HERE! or call on + 44 (0) 208 993 1599

The Strategic Emergency Plan London's co-ordinated response to a catastrophic incident.

Comprises synopses of the key plans on which London's resilience is based - for example the Command and Control Protocol, the Communication Protocol, the Mass Fatalities plan, the large-scale evacuation framework and the Site Clearance plan.

The full plans, which have been agreed by the London Regional Resilience Forum, are held by the departments, agencies and organisations involved in delivering them, but have not been made public because the nature of some of the detail is operationally sensitive.

The Strategic Emergency Plan is a blueprint for effective handling of any disruptive incident in the Capital. It is an example of collaborative working across all those in the London Resilience Partnership, including the substantive work of LESLP, who are committed to making London a safer, more resilient place.

To access the Strategic Emergency Plan you will need to be LOGGED IN!



Evacuate or Shelter in place?

Taking Decisions about Evacuation during a Chemical Incident

From a Business Continuity or Emergency Planning perspective is it better to evacuate people in the vicinity of a serious chemical fire or should they remain where they are?

A study* comparing the health outcomes in sheltered and evacuated populations after a chemical fire suggests that there are health advantages in people sheltering rather than evacuating. The study is published in the BMJ and was based on a real incident in 1999. It involved collaboration between public health staff at a local health authority and national health experts (now at Bristol University and the Health Protection Agency).

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