This short document is relevant to Chief Executives and managers from all organisations, including local and central government departments, whether delivering a service or goods and whether in private or public ownership or within the voluntary sector. All organisations are at some form of risk from the hazards of everyday living. These hazards are either natural in origin, such as those arising from extreme weather conditions, flooding or drought, or are man made which includes fire, collision, falling objects, explosion or pollution, or some other consequence of personal, organisational or technological failure.
If the organisation is to recover and continue to provide satisfactory goods and services to its customers or the community it must develop contingency plans; indeed in many areas there is a legal requirement to do so. The only way to ensure that these plans can effectively be implemented is to test them in regular exercises to assess the validity of the arrangements and then to update the plans in the light of experience.