Councils must assume that their key services could be interrupted and their facilities destroyed when they examine the worst-case scenarios for their disaster-recovery plans.
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According to a report by the Society of IT Management (Socitm), councils have to plan for events that seem unlikely or unbelievable because disasters cannot be second-guessed.
The “Lessons from experiences in business discontinuity” report examined the lessons learned from five disasters that struck local authorities in recent years. It showed how Carlisle Council unexpectedly lost the use of its civic centre when four rivers running through the city all burst their banks on the same day in January 2005.
The report said, “The one eventuality that Carlisle Council did not anticipate was heavy rain in three water catchment areas simultaneously. Consequently, the advice is to plan in terms of what happens if you cannot use a service or access a facility, rather than trying to second guess what nature might deliver next.”
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