Responding to Riots – Case Study: London

Wow, just watching the news reports and reading the articles it is not hard to imagine how a city gone mad could seriously impact one’s ability to conduct business from the small, local establishment to large organizations with a presence in the area.

The impacts can range from your employees’ commutes being impacted due to blocked roads and shutting down mass transportation services to having your building engulfed in fires started by the mob.  Your customers may be prevented from getting to your place of business, key vendors may be impacted and your competition might be at risk as well – all events that could require some sort of coordinated response from your emergency preparedness and/or crisis management teams.

Has your company assessed the probability of a riot impacting key facilities and or the potential impacts should this occur?  Forbe.com has an interesting article on the potential insurance implications from the London riots with regards to English law.  It might be worth your while to investigate potential insurance policies your firm has covering potential losses due to riots or civil unrest.

I do not believe organizations need business continuity / disaster recovery plans for every type of scenario that could occur.  The strategies for responding to challenges employees face when transportation is shut down could be the same for strikes, hazmat spills, or even fear of being in public during pandemic scares – so, maybe you have a plan to address an immobilized workforce.  The plans you have for any event that damages your facilities may also work in this event, should your facility be in harm’s way of the fires that have been set.

I think it is valuable, however, to identify if you could be at risk to impacts from a riot and have an emergency response plan in place should the risk exist.  And, it may be a good idea to take a look at those insurance policies before an event occurs.

Referring to the Forbes’ article, I don’t care what you call it – if it impacts your ability to conduct business and puts your assets at risk – it is not a good thing.

Thank you for your input.