Be Prepared

10 years ago, I participated in my first ever 50km Coastrek, from Palm Beach to Balmoral Beach in Sydney. I was in one of two teams of friends who had decided to enter in this event to raise funds for the Fred Hollows foundation. Our two teams often trained separately, as it was hard to coordinate eight of us to be available at the one time.

When the day arrived, it was appalling weather, with solid rain, and blowing a gale from 6am to 6pm. Beaches were closed due to the high seas and weather conditions.

It was a challenging day — hard on our bodies, our morale, and our equipment.

One of the differences between the two teams was the preparation for the weather conditions. During our training walks, what we thought of as misfortune ended up a valuable experience as we had one walk in wet weather. As it turned out, this prepped us for what we needed on the event day.

Because we’d been through it on a training walk, we knew what wet weather gear we had, knew what worked and what didn’t, and were able to gather appropriate items ready for the final event.

Test out Your Risks

Emergency simulations and business continuity testing serve a similar purpose. It’s not until you test out your equipment that you know it works, or that the right people even know how to use it. It’s not until you try to restore a backup that you find out if your backups are working for you.

Have you identified risks in your business that you haven’t tested out?