Floods high­light the need for firms to have re­cov­ery plan

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS -

THE FLOODS which brought chaos to parts of York­shire in De­cem­ber demon­strated the im­por­tance of con­tin­gency plan­ning and disas­ter re­cov­ery, ac­cord­ing to a lead­ing prop­erty lawyer.

Kevin We­ston, a part­ner and head of the prop­erty team at Ward Had­away in Leeds, said that the de­struc­tion and dis­rup­tion caused by the flood­ing across the re­gion brought home to many com­pa­nies why tak­ing pre­cau­tions and plan­ning for the worst is an im­por­tant part of busi­ness life.

Mr We­ston made the com­ments as the build- up con­tin­ues to the Ward Had­away York­shire Fastest 50, the an­nual run- down of the fastest grow­ing pri­vately owned com­pa­nies in York­shire which Ward Had­away or­gan­ises in as­so­ci­a­tion with The York­shire

Post.

Mr We­ston, who has more than 25 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence ad­vis­ing on prop­erty is­sues, said: “In gen­eral terms, when a com­pany is look­ing for premises, it is im­por­tant to carry out a long- term risk as­sess­ment of the po­ten­tial prop­erty, look­ing at its lo­ca­tion in terms of prox­im­ity to rivers and other wa­ter­courses and the flood risk pro­file of the area.

“Of course, this isn’t al­ways straight­for­ward – one of the fea­tures of the most re­cent flood­ing to hit York­shire was the fact that many prop­er­ties suf­fered from flood dam­age de­spite be­ing some dis­tance from ma­jor wa­ter­courses.

“It is also im­por­tant to stress that ur­ban lo­ca­tions can be just as badly af­fected as those in more ru­ral ar­eas – you only have to look back at what hap­pened in cities like Leeds and York to see that.

“As a re­sult, whilst it makes sense to carry out due dili­gence on a prop­erty’s sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to flood­ing, that is not a guar­an­tee premises will not be af­fected by the ef­fects of pro­longed heavy rain. This makes hav­ing a com- pre­hen­sive and work­able disas­ter re­cov­ery plan a real must for all busi­nesses, not least the kind of fast- grow­ing, am­bi­tious com­pa­nies such as those found in the Ward Had­away York­shire Fastest 50.”

Ideally, disas­ter re­cov­ery plans should cater for a wide range of sce­nar­ios and the preva­lence of flood­ing in re­cent years means deal­ing

with such a sit­u­a­tion is a key part of any plan.

He added: “There is a lot to con­sider when faced with such sce­nar­ios, but proper plan­ning is much more than just a box- tick­ing ex­er­cise.

“While even the best pre­pared busi­nesses are some­times help­less in the face of na­ture, they are the ones more likely to bounce back from such se­ri­ous set­backs.”

The Ward Had­away York­shire Fastest 50 2016 Awards take place at As­pire Leeds on Fri­day, March 18 when awards will be given to the fastest grow­ing small, medium- sized and large pri­vate­ly­owned busi­nesses in York­shire with one of those win­ners go­ing on to be crowned the over­all fastest grow­ing busi­ness.

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