As Australia swelters through another classic summer, there are businesses across our great southern land that will be hoping a natural disaster doesn’t affect their operation.
This might sound like an obvious statement, as no one hopes for a natural disaster, but businesses have at stake the health and safety of both their lives and their livelihoods. That is, their staff and their stock; their board and their bottom line; their friends and their funds!
When bushfire, floods, droughts and storms hit, your business needs to have its affairs in order as a means of protection and longevity. But we’re not talking sandbags and escape routes. As a responsible environmental consultant, WolfPeak advises at-risk businesses on how to prepare their critical systems for the worst-case scenario.
If you can’t afford to lose years of contact details, invoices, email chains and paper trails, it’s time to get prepared.
Your Emergency Kit
Some items in this section will be stored digitally, physically, or both. Whatever the case, we highly advise that you have them kept in a location that is easily accessible by all those who might need them in an emergency.
Business Queensland recommends compiling a business continuity plan, including a risk management plan, incident plan, and a recovery plan.
Other documents will include lists of suppliers and their arrangements, various key contracts, staff and stakeholder details, legal documents, financial records, reports and business strategies. Of course, this is all far too much to carry in one emergency briefcase, so we highly advise setting up a digital cloud folder with all the necessary information – and backing that one up too!
If you’re struggling to determine which documents apply to your business, WolfPeak will double-check your emergency kit and reveal any missing items.
Your emergency kit may also include an emergency plan with contact details, procedures, maps, and everyone’s roles in an emergency.
The physical items you certainly can’t store on the cloud include a first aid kit, PPE, radios, torches, batteries, spare keys, and many more items depending on the natural disaster at play. Consider what risks face your business and plan your inventory accordingly.
Backup Your Data
This point was covered above and still deserves its own subheading, as this digital age calls for increasingly secure data management. If your business is more carrier pigeon than cloud storage, we highly recommend digitising your data and backing it up to multiple locations. This protects it from cybersecurity risks and the risk of natural disaster.
There are many different options for cloud storage which consider price, storage space and security level. Make sure to consult WolfPeak to understand the different options.
Update Your Insurance
If this point isn’t high on your emergency preparedness list, it should be. Without insurance, your business is at a high-risk of losing everything in a natural disaster and your business will be forced to start from scratch. While physical assets may be wiped out in a disaster, insurance can at least give you some financial backing to start again.
If you’ve already taken out insurance and believe this step has been ticked off, we encourage you to read over your policy and make sure that it covers natural disaster. The last thing you need in such a catastrophic situation is to find out you weren’t covered.
Choose a Low-Risk Premises
If you’re just starting a business or plan to move location soon, consider how at-risk the planned worksite will be. Your ideal location might have easy access to suppliers and supply routes, have ample office space, and be next door to a great café, but if the river nearby is prone to flooding, or the National Park prone to bushfires, you may want to reconsider.
If you do choose a high-risk location, or you’ve already settled in one, we recommend putting several measures in place. You should install surveillance cameras and security alarms, reinforce the premises with fire-and flood proof materials, remove leaf litter and long grass, and clear your gutters often.
These actions will give your business the best chance to survive natural disasters, while protecting your staff and assets from damage.
There is always more you can do in a disaster, but as long as you’re doing as much as possible, you’ll put your business in a good position. If you’re unsure about the steps outlined above or you need further advice on natural disaster preparation, get in touch with our team as soon as possible.
We’ve helped dozens of businesses along Australia’s east coast to prepare for a hot summer and all the dangers that come with it, so join them in taking the right steps to a resilient Aussie business.