WITH fewer than 200 days to go until the London 2012 Olympics get under way, businesses in the Midlands are being warned to take security precautions and not fall into the trap of thinking the event will not affect businesses outside the capital.

According to Resource Services Group, there is a risk of communication overload and some businesses are failing to take the risks seriously enough.

Russ Smith, national security director for Resource Services Group and former West Midlands Police Chief Superintendent, said: “New security updates are being communicated every day from many different sources. This is making it more difficult for businesses to make the necessary preparations.

“First and foremost, we are advising all businesses to listen to the advice of their local police force and local authorities.”

The group said it was important for businesses of all sizes to have contingency plans in place to protect the security of employees and customers while also ensuring business continuity. The plans should also be maintained and rehearsed regularly.

Mr Smith added: “Businesses should start by considering the type of events that could prevent employees getting to or from their place of work and factor in plans to protect them if the unexpected happens.

“It may also be necessary to establish a fully-equipped crisis room complete with vital provisions and equipment such as access to telephones, water and food.

“In the event of an unexpected incident taking place, those responsible for the management of the business should have integrated response systems in place to ensure they liaise closely with the police and other emergency services.”

Some businesses might be choosing to do nothing because they believe it is impossible to prepare for the unexpected or they think the Olympic risk is only relevant to businesses operating in London. According to Mr Smith, such businesses are taking a significant risk.

He said: “Too many businesses still believe the Olympics will only impact London. However, there are many events taking place outside the capital.

“The Olympic Flame relay is likely to have a widespread impact on many businesses across the length and breadth of the country and contingency plans may be necessary to ensure they are adequately prepared.”