By NATARIO MCKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
Small and medium-sized businesses have been urged to prepare their business continuity plans, a private sector executive noting that Hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew had demonstrated just how "ill-prepared" many were for catastrophic events.
Edison Sumner, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) chief executive, said that businesses, particularly small and medium-sized firms should ensure that they have their business continuity plans in place in the event of a disaster so as to avoid a repeat of what happened in the aftermath of Hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew.
Speaking with Tribune Business on the sidelines of a 'Business Continuity and Disaster Management" seminar hosted by the BCCEC, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Bahamas Telecomunications Company (BTC), Mr Sumner said: "When we came out of the last two hurricanes, we realised that a lot of small and medium-sized businesses were very ill prepared for catastrophes. They had no business continuity plan, no protocols in place and could not produce proper records to show what their businesses were doing prior to the storms. They did not know who to call and what to do. We want to sensitize the business community and prepare them so that they can be ready to respond quickly in the event of a disaster."
Mr Sumner stressed that the devastation and disruption to business operations caused by the two hurricanes underscored the need for preparedness. "We have to be prepared. We don't know when a storm can come our way. We have to find ways to keep our communications infrastructure up and running. We have to exchange information and develop protocols on how we should respond in the event of a hurricane and we should keep the public education up and running all the time."