How businesses are helping the UK prepare for emergencies

Through BERG's Local Resilience Support Initiative businesses are providing tangible support to help local areas prepare for emergency situations. When a public sector group in the West Midlands received a donation of mass fatality equipment, BITC was able to assist with getting the equipment operational and emergency ready.

The Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG) is a Business in the Community campaign that brings together a network of businesses and strategic partners who work in the resilience industry.
One of BERG's programmes, the Local Resilience Support Initiative, collaborates with businesses to find ways to support Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) and the communities they serve during times of crises.
LRFs are multi-agency partnerships made up of representatives from local public services, including the emergency services, local authorities, the NHS, the Environment Agency and others. LRFs plan and prepare for localised incidents and catastrophic emergencies by identifying potential risks and producing emergency plans to either prevent or mitigate the impact of any incident. BERG's Local Resilience Support Initiative is one of the most tangible ways businesses can demonstrate their commitment to responsible business, by matching business resources to local needs identified by LRFs.

Business in the Community (BITC) emergency volunteers, representatives from BITC member companies, are a vital part of the initative. When LRFs identify a need for resources, whether it be in the form of expertise or assets, volunteers broker support from BITC members. They do this using BERG’s Emergency Activation Model, the process that BITC uses to respond to a request from an LRF. For example, during heavy snowfall LRFs would normally be able to source all their own requirements; however in an extreme situation businesses could step in and provide requested additional support such as four-wheel drive vehicles.
The network can also be a valuable resource during periods of planning and preparation. When the West Midlands LRF received a donation of mass fatality equipment, BITC was able to assist with getting the equipment operational and emergency ready.

Engaging with the Local Resilience Support Initiative
After learning more about BITC and the BERG campaign, Bethan Morgan, Director of Civil Contingencies at the Civil Contingencies Unit, a LRF in Staffordshire, contacted her local BITC Emergency Volunteer, Steve Adams, Emergency Response Team Manager at BT.

Bethan commented, “I thought I would see if it was appropriate to ask BITC members whether they had any expertise in managing and maintaining vehicles and large generators. As part of our mass fatality planning, we had been given two 500kva generators and a forklift truck but I had concerns about whether they were fit for purpose. We were taking on responsibility for storing the equipment on behalf of four LRFs but it could be requested by any LRF across the UK to support an emergency response. We had no experience of sourcing a company that would be competent to make that assessment and we needed to keep the equipment in a deployable condition, so we reached out to see if the BERG team at BITC could assist.”
Working with industry partners
BITC member, Landmarc Support Services, has three BITC Emergency Volunteers, and works with the Ministry of Defence to manage and maintain the national military training estate. Landmarc Support Services has a partnership with Briggs Equipment UK Limited to maintain all of the plant and equipment across the estate and connected Briggs with the West Midlands LRF to enable the servicing of the forklift truck. They also provided recommendations for local suppliers to help with the generators.

Landmarc’s Managing Director, Steve Utley, commented, “I’m pleased that we’ve been able to make a positive contribution to this vital network. Whilst this request may appear to be quite straightforward, if this equipment was not operational in an emergency, it could dramatically affect the LRF’s ability to respond.

Opportunities like these also help us to test the Emergency Activation Model whilst nurturing stronger relationships between the LRFs and BITC members. This means that when an emergency occurs, we can work together more effectively to provide the right level of response.

If you are a BITC member and happy to be contacted in an emergency situation please let your Relationship Manager know.