Fireproofing Our Business Continuity Plan in Spain

Validating our Business Continuity Plans (BCP) is critical to our resilience development process. In preparation for the upcoming Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) audits, the Europe & Africa region has been challenging its BCP to ensure readiness.

A crisis scenario drill was held on March 27, 2015 at our Spanish facility in Santander. The desktop exercise, conducted in a safe office environment, simulated an electrical fire breaking out in the neighboring plant, exposing the inter-dependence between our sites. Other fallout details were included: for example, the fire was to be followed by cold weather, and a media helicopter covering the incident would later crash into a feedstock tank, resulting in a major oil spill and subsequent explosion risk.

As the crisis unfolded, participants were presented with a series of situations that required decisions and actions. The team adopted crisis management approaches by discussing and agreeing on issues, risks and proposed actions. The exercise produced several valuable lessons, including the importance of external communications (more specifically, with the media), the impact and management of community relations and the need for greater BCP understanding.