National restrictions are in place. Learn what this means if you live or work in Westminster.

Preparing your business for emergencies

If your business had to close for a day, a week or a month, do you have plans in place to cope? Without a tried and tested recovery plan, it might struggle to survive. Success may depend on the ability to operate under the most challenging circumstances. 

A business continuity management plan may help you return to ‘business as usual’ as soon as possible.

Download the council's 10 Minute Business Continuity Management Self-Assessment: 

1. Understanding our risks

The unique make-up of Westminster means we face a wide range of hazards. Disruption has the potential to impact not only the local, but national and global economies.

  • we have a residential population of 250,000, and 1 million people pass through the borough each working day.
  • 98% of the UK’s annual tourist population visit the borough.
  • we have the greatest concentration of theatres, cinemas, restaurants, bars and clubs in the country.
  • with 46,000 registered businesses, we are home to a major portion of London's businesses.

Click on the hazards listed below to find out how they could impact your organisation

2. Creating a business continuity plan

To make a business continuity management (BCM) plan you need to consider the following questions:

  • what are your organisation’s key products and services?
  • what are the critical activities and resources required to deliver these?
  • what are the risks to these critical activities?
  • how will you maintain these critical activities in the event of an incident, for example, loss of access to premises, loss of utilities etc)?

There are six elements in the business continuity management cycle:

  1. BCM programme management
    Assigning responsibilities to staff, establishing and implementing BCM within the organisation and establishing an ongoing management process.

  2. Understanding the organisation
    Undertaking business impact analysis and risk assessments to recognise where hazards and vulnerabilities exist.

  3. Determining BCM strategy
    Identifying the actions that can be taken to ensure the maintenance of critical activities for your organisation.

  4. Developing and implementing BCM Response
    Ensuring the management of an incident and continuity and recovery of critical activities that support essential products and services.

  5. Exercising, maintaining and reviewing BCM arrangements
    Keeping your organisation’s BCM arrangements valid through regular exercise and review.

  6. Embedding BCM in the organisation’s structure
    A successful BCM programme relies on embedding it into the culture of your organisation.

    Your BCM plan should be supplemented by general good practice, such as focusing on staff welfare, building maintenance and physical and cyber security.


3. Emergency notifications and resources

Subscribe to alerts from our partners and other organisations:

Met Office

Environment Agency

Transport for London

Cross-sector Safety and Communications

Useful Twitter accounts:

Westminster City Council

UK Resilience

Metropolitan Police Service -Westminster

London Fire Brigade - Westminster

British Transport Police

Transport for London

Met Office

National Grid

UK Power Networks

Thames Water

Cadent Gas

Further information on business continuity management:

The Business Continuity Institute

The BCI is a not-for-profit organisation registered in the United Kingdom.

London Prepared

London Resilience coordinates institutions and communities to prevent, handle, recover and learn from disruption, and adapt to change. 

Cabinet Office - Preparing for Emergencies

This guidance helps people, businesses and communities to identify and prepare for the hazards and threats that may disrupt their lives.

Last updated: 13 February 2020