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Ed Hawkesworth/DFID

Chapter 2 Institutionalising DRR within organisations

Business continuity

Photo: Ed Hawkesworth/DFID

Organisations working on DRR and development must protect themselves against disasters. In other words, they need to maintain their own ‘business continuity’. This means they should have contingency plans in place to ensure that they can maintain their own functions and activities in an emergency, by ensuring that premises and staff are safe, that staff are able to get to work and that information and communication technology (ICT) and other support systems do not fail. They also need recovery plans for dealing with the aftermath of a crisis.

Risk management is a core element in corporate governance and most agencies follow some system of risk assessment and compliance. However, it is unclear how many DRR or development agencies have plans and arrangements for business continuity in emergencies, or how effective these are. There is anecdotal evidence of such things as offices in earthquake-prone countries that have not been built or retrofitted to be seismically resistant, and emergency operations centres that are at risk of flooding. Organisations should also consider the effects of hazards and disasters on their ongoing projects and the vulnerable people they are supporting.