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Free Business Advice Event

This article was published in January 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Stay Calm, Prepare Today, Save Tomorrow
FREE Business Continuity Advice
for Bedfordshire and Luton Businesses

BLLRFTheft, fire, flood or data loss could drive a small company out of business but having a business continuity plan enables companies to recover quickly and get back on their feet. Without a plan half of local firms affected by an emergency go out of business within a year, but during Business Continuity Awareness Week 17-21 March 2014, companies wanting to create their own continuity plans can get FREE help from the Bedfordshire and Luton Local Resilience Forum (BLRFF).

"Planning for emergencies helps businesses survive disasters, lower insurance premiums and secure future contracts," explains BLLRF's Chairman, Chief Superintendent Mike Colbourne. "During Business Continuity Awareness Week in March 2014, our FREE, 30 minute sessions will help you prepare for, and deal with, emergencies like theft, flooding or data loss by providing a template for survival in times of crisis. In the current economic crisis a business continuity plan also helps reduce insurance premiums and enables you to compete for contracts that require a contingency plan to be in place."

The FREE sessions are being held between 8am and 6pm at Bedford Corn Exchange on Tuesday 18 March and the Tokko Building, Gordon Street, Luton on Wednesday 19 March. Working with professional emergency planners you'll create your basic plan and leave with a data stick containing your plan and other useful information. The session last about 30 minutes and pre-booking is strongly advised. There are also stalls and exhibitions by major responders from across the county.

"Getting started on anything is always difficult," says Chief Superintendent Colbourne, "but our message is stay calm, prepare today and save your business, and money, tomorrow. Our experienced emergency planners will guide you through an outline plan, assessing your business risks and helping minimise the impact of emergencies by creating a contingency plan which you can take away with you."

Attending the events will be police business crime experts, fire safety officers, environment agency, council trading standards, environmental health and health and safety staff, local business organisations like the Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses and other local emergency responders.

Please pre-book for the one-to-one business continuity planning sessions by contacting the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, [email protected], or by calling 01582 522448 (you do not need to be a member of the C of C or FSB to attend).

To get started why not check out the 10 minute checklist on the BLLRF website to assess your businesses' readiness to react to disaster and use the online resources to begin creating your own business continuity plan.

Why not join BLLRF's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter #BCAW201 and #BusWWYDI.

Community Emergency Response Teams

This article was published in September 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

The Bedfordshire and Luton Local Resilience Forum are looking to set up a Community Emergency Response Team

Is your community prepared for emergencies?

BLLRFTo help local communities in severe weather or during a major incident, like a power cut or evacuation, the Bedfordshire and Luton Local Resilience Forum (BLLRF) are looking for volunteers to set up local Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and help minimise the consequences of potential disasters.  

BLLRF brings together Police, Fire, Ambulance, local councils, health and government agencies, local businesses and resilience consultants to prepare and plan for disasters before they happen.  CERTs will be the key contact for emergency planning and community preparations for major incidents, helping create a Community Emergency Plan for their area and assisting locally when an emergency occurs.

"This is not about creating or identifying a new community network, or a one-off response to an incident," says Mark Conway, Emergency Planning Officer for Central Bedfordshire Council, "but developing existing community networks and personal relationships. Think about what already exists around you, who you already talk to, and how you could work together before, during and after an incident. Existing local community networks and groups would be an excellent place to start building a group to be prepared for a local emergency." … "This could be anything from helping clear snow and ice from vulnerable people's drives during a severe winter to checking people are alright if the power is cut off for a long period or manning evacuation centres if there's a major fire. Local people can assist the emergency services by providing support and local knowledge during emergencies and helping their communities get back on their feet after a crisis."

Free emergency training is available every month in the evenings for anyone with an interest in emergency response.

If you are interested or able to help in any way, please contact us now by sending an email to [email protected] or calling 0300 300 4145.

To find out more visit

Local Resilience Forum helps residents save water

This article was published in April 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

BLLRFAs the hose pipe bans comes into force today, the Bedfordshire and Luton Local Resilience Forum (BLLRF) has issued advice to help local residents save water.

The average person in England and Wales uses 150 litres of water a day, most of which is used for washing and toilet flushing. To help households save water, BLLRF have launched a new webpage packed full of useful tips such as reducing the amount of water used per flush and fixing leaking taps which can save a whopping 15 litres of water per day.

It is hoped the webpage will encourage residents to help conserve water after the driest winter on record. Despite recent rainfall, reservoir levels in parts of the country are still significantly below the average levels for this time of year.

The resilience forum are confident householders will be motivated to undertake the advice following the recent declaration of drought last month, and the opportunity to potentially save money on water bills.

BLLRF chairman, Deputy Chief Constable John Fletcher said: "The drought situation and the hosepipe ban will no doubt have an impact on almost every household in the county.

"We hope our advice will help residents conserve water and think about their water usage more carefully. By taking simple measures we can help to ensure we don't take this precious resource for granted."

For more information about way to save water please visit

Source: Bedfordshire and Luton Local Resilience Forum (BLLRF)

Local Resilience Forum warns of the dangers of storing petrol

This article was published in April 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

The Bedfordshire and Luton Local Resilience Forum is urging residents not to panic buy petrol, as domestic storage of fuel may be illegal and very dangerous. Instead the local resilience forum is urging locals to take a sensible approach to buying petrol and consider ways to conserve the amount of fuel they use.

BLLRF chairman, Deputy Chief Constable John Fletcher stated: "Petrol is a highly flammable substance that gives off flammable vapour even at very low temperatures. It can easily be ignited by sources such as a naked flame, spark or electrical equipment".

"Petrol is also a very toxic substance and can cause serious illness if ingested or inhaled; it may also cause damage to the skin, with regular contact. We strongly advise against stocking up on petrol and storing it in jerry cans, for the purpose of refuelling motor vehicles at home. To do so may be against the law, depending on the quantity stored.

The warning is further reinforced by an incident last week, which occurred when a woman from York was badly burned when petrol ignited as she transferred it between containers in her kitchen.

Deputy Chief Constable John Fletcher continued "Ultimately, panic buying will only lead to more panic buying which could lead to depleted stocks and fuel shortages, particularly in the more rural areas of the county. There is no strike planned over the Easter period and we urge residents to take a sensible approach by purchasing fuel as they would normally. Now might also be a good time for residents to consider ways to drive more fuel – efficiently. "

To help residents save fuel, BLLRF are directing residents to the government advice on Tips include ensuring types are pumped up, clearing out excess clutter and changing gears at the right time.

Anyone with information on the illegal storage of petroleum, or who wishes to receive further advice or guidance, is asked to contact the Petroleum Officer at your local council or call Bedfordshire Police on 101 or Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service on 01234 845000 and ask for the Fire Safety Department for advice

Further information on the safe storage of fuel can be found on HSE's Petroleum FAQs

Source: Bedfordshire and Luton Local Resilience Forum (BLLRF)