How to keep calm and deal with a disaster
Natural disasters such as droughts, bushfires and floods have a serious impact on everyday life for those affected. While primary producers, such as farmers, are often the most visible victims, the knock-on effect for small business owners, such as those in the manufacturing, retail and tourism sectors, can be felt for months and even years.
Our step-by-step guide will walk you through ways you can plan for the worst and keep your business running after a natural disaster.
Protecting your business against a natural disaster doesn't just mean protecting your own workplace and assets. Your suppliers and clients may also be affected, so it's vital to map out where your business could be most vulnerable and how you can minimise your risk.
Each disaster will affect different businesses in different ways, but there are practical steps all business owners can take to protect themselves. Here's where to start.
First, prepare for a range of potential outcomes. This starts by knowing your disaster risk – understanding your vulnerabilities and putting necessary protections in place to safeguard yourself against physical damage. Depending on where you're based, this may include:
Don't just think about your premises. Look at the location of your suppliers and regular clientele and assess the risks and hazards they face.
From major bushfire disasters to historic flooding in Far North Queensland, many businesses have endured severe financial hardship and closure in the wake of a natural disaster.
It’s essential to prepare for the worst by taking proactive steps to protect your business. This may include:
Once you've taken steps to protect your business, create a disaster recovery plan and share it with your employees. This should include:
It may be hard but you'll need to keep your business running after a natural disaster.
This means putting your disaster recovery plan into action, conducting a business assessment plan following an emergency, getting in touch with all affected suppliers, and then following government advice on what to do after an emergency. This may include:
Remember, you can't control a natural disaster, but you can take control of your response to one.
Each business will need to make their own plans for a worst-case scenario. This includes, identifying the risks, developing an action plan for implementation, and training your staff accordingly.
This information does not take into account your personal circumstances and is general. It is an overview only and should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon. Consider obtaining personalised advice from a professional financial adviser and your accountant before making any financial decisions in relation to the matters discussed in this article, including when considering tax and finance options for your business.