Kirkees emergency planners are to brief firms on how to cope with a disaster or system failure

HUDDERSFIELD firms are getting a helping hand to prepare for disaster.

A training event to help businesses cope with emergencies is being organised by Kirklees Council.

The event, called What If, is the first in a series focusing on issues which could hit firms hard - including terrorism, flooding and fire.

Speakers will include officials from Kirklees Council, the Environment Agency, West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Health Protection Agency.

The event takes place at 4pm, on Wednesday, January 24, at the Textile Centre of Excellence, Red Doles Lane, off Leeds Road.

Jason Shirazi, emergency planning officer for Kirklees Council, said: "The event will consider how your business can survive in the event of major disruption.

"There will be 15-minute talks on subjects such as terrorism, flooding, how to combat arson attacks, how to evacuate business premises and how to cope in the event of a flu pandemic."

He said: "The question to ask is would your businesses continue if you lost your premises or your computer systems or key members of staff."

Mr Shirazi said the event was aimed at small and medium-sized firms lacking the resources to put into emergency planning.

He said incidents such as the loss of gas in Marsden last March showed how badly businesses could be hit.

Hundreds of homes and scores of businesses were affected when a gas main broke - disrupting supplies for several days.

Clr Robert Light, Kirklees cabinet member for emergency planning, said: "I would urge all businesses to make contingency plans for how they would operate during an emergency.

"This training session will provide them with valuable information on how this can be done."

Firms can register to attend the event by ringing Jason Shirazi on 01484 226418 or emailing