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Neva brings quake experience to bear.

Byline: HENRYK ZIENTEK Business Reporter henryk.zientek@examiner.co.uk

A businesswoman is drawing on her experiences of a terrifying earthquake to help firms in Yorkshire prepare for the worst.

Neva Burns, who has joined business continuity firm Jermyn Consulting, was working for New Zealand's Inland Revenue (NZIR) when the earthquake hit Wellington in 2013.

A key member of the team that built and implemented the incident response for the organisation, she helped to ensure that NZIR was back up and running within 24 hours of the quake striking.

Her role involved developing plans for redistributing work to alternative contact centres and providing internal and external communications to staff and businesses ensuring critical operations were still being managed despite the disaster. With no access to the head office, she was also influential in assigning new roles and tasks to staff.

One of the immediate challenges was making contact with employees to ensure that they were all safe.

This was managed by the staff emergency hotline number that Neva helped to create as part of the incident response. It ensured that in the event of a crisis, staff were able to communicate with each other.

The hotline number was provided to everyone in the organisation via a card as part of the response strategy. The line was able to reach both islands of the country to keep staff across all contact centres and offices updated with the developments of the disaster.

"Communications were critical to ensure our people were safe and then to ensure the continuity of the business," said Neva. "Detailed plans were immediately put into operation to guarantee the smooth transition of work and continuation of business operations.

Neva is now bringing her first hand knowledge and proven expertise in plan development, incident training, crisis management planning and response along with team management to bear developing the business for Jermyn Consulting, which has offices at the Media Centre in Huddersfield.

Gary Donlon, the firm's director of consulting services, said that Neva's first hand experience would add another dimension to Jermyn Consulting's core services.

He said: "We are delighted to welcome Neva to our growing consultancy team. Her firsthand experience of implementing business continuity and incident management plans in New Zealand following the earthquakes adds a practical dimension to her technical knowledge."

Said Neva: "Business continuity continues to be a challenge for ambitious organisations keen to safeguard their operations. Incident management is a particular passion of mine and vital for the successful implementation of any Business Continuity strategy.

"Being directly involved in implementing a business continuity plan that I helped to develop, I understand better than most the challenges organisations face when the unimaginable happens.

"Companies often plan for such eventualities saying that it 'will never happen.' .' My own experience suggests it can and does. But having been there when it did has given me an insight many in our industry will never have. I relish the prospect of using that experience for the benefit of our customers."

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Neva Burns, of Jermyn Consulting, is bringing her experiences of the New Zealand earthquake to |bear in her new role
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Feb 17, 2015
Words:520
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