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Last updated on November 11, 2015

Fact Sheet - Assessing disaster risk

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You can download this fact sheet here.

Use this fact sheet, along with your Business Continuity Plan, to help you consider the natural disaster risks to your business.

Your business is exposed to many different types of risks. Risk management enables you to identify, address and develop strategies to manage these risks. A risk management plan is important for your business continuity and can form part of your Business Continuity Plan. A Business Continuity Plan template is available from www.business.tas.gov.au

You can't prepare for all possible risks to your business, but some targeted research and planning can give you the best chance against the most likely disaster situations. If you are in a disaster prone area, consider getting a more detailed assessment from an authorised risk assessor.

Know your business

The types of risks you face are specific to your business and what it does. To effectively manage risk, consider both what you do in your business, what happens outside your business, what helps your business to operate and how disruptions to these activities could affect your operations.

Understand who and what your business relies on. Risks from natural hazards can combine with these areas of reliance within your business to create a significant impact on your operations. Understanding what areas of your business are most important will help you plan for disaster.

  • Understand   your important business areas and functions, including:
    • what   are the key services your business provides?
    • who   are your key staff?
    • what   are the key resources you use in performing or delivering your services?
    • where   do your resources come from? Who/what is your primary supplier?
  • Understand   who and what your business relies on, and who and what relies on you,   including whether your business is part of a supply chain, whether it relies   on a supply chain, or whether it needs access to certain supply routes.
  • Understand   how your important business areas, and what your business relies on, might be   impacted by disruption resulting from a natural disaster, such as:
  • loss   of power or water supply that means you can't deliver your services
  • road   closure that prevents access to your property
  • destruction   of property or records
  • injury   or death of you, your staff, customers or clients
  • disruption   to key suppliers and the flow on effects due to that disruption.

Some impacts of these disruptions could include an immediate downturn in visitors, closure of your business for an extended period of time, legal proceedings and limited cash flow. It is important that you consider ways to mitigate these impacts. One method is insurance. See the Business Insurance fact sheet at www.business.tas.gov.au for more information on insurance.

Know the natural hazards in your area

Knowledge of your locality and the risks and hazards that may arise from the location of your business will help you develop strategies to manage these risks. Note that if your business operates across multiple locations, the risks could be different for each location.

Research your local area: this will give you an idea of the pattern and frequency of natural disasters such as drought, storm, fire and flood. The following may be of assistance:

  • Land   Information System Tasmania (LIST) Maps provide information on fire history,   floodplains, and coastal vulnerability from Sea Level Rise, amongst other   hazards. To access, go to www.thelist.tas.gov.au
  • the   Bureau of Meteorology provides information on weather and warnings,   forecasts, past weather and longer-term outlooks for Tasmania www.bom.gov.au/tas
  • climate   profiles for individual councils in Tasmania are available on the climate   change pages at www.dpac.tas.gov.au These climate profiles contain   information on past and current climate, as well as projections for future   changes to rainfall, extreme events and other climate impacts. For primary   producers, Agricultural Futures information sheets are also available.
  • natural   hazard information on key hazards can be found on the following sites:   Tasmania State Emergency Services (SES) www.ses.tas.gov.au Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) www.fire.tas.gov.au and TasALERT www.alert.tas.gov.au


Some natural hazards that could affect your business include:

  • bushfire   –   proximity to bush, particularly where more bushfire fuel is available,   increases risk. The south and south-east is particularly vulnerable. For   further information on bushfire, see the TFS website www.fire.tas.gov.au
  • storms   –   affect all parts of Tasmania but the north-east, west and north-west are   particularly exposed. The highest storm risk is likely to come from a   broad-scale front moving from the west bringing thunderstorms and tornadoes.   For further information on storms, see the SES website www.ses.tas.gov.au
  • flood   –   there are two main types of floods that can affect businesses: flash   flooding, which occurs over a short period of time, and riverine flooding,   which occurs when rivers burst their banks. For further information on   floods, see the SES website www.ses.tas.gov.au

Longer term threats, such as sea level rise or drought may be applicable in some cases:

  • businesses   on the coast or near a significant body of water should check localised maps   for projected sea level rise, available on LIST Maps www.thelist.tas.gov.au
  • the   Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment has several   resources available to assist farmers to manage drought and other seasonal   conditions. For further information see www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au

Fact Sheet - Business insurance

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You can download this fact sheet here.

Insurance is an essential part of reducing risk, particularly those that may accompany a natural disaster. Your insurance requirements will vary depending on the type of business you have. In general, you must have the following types of compulsory insurance:

  • workers compensation – if your business has employees
  • third party personal injury insurance – if your business has motor vehicles
  • public liability insurance – for certain types of businesses.

Although not compulsory, you may like to consider insuring your assets, revenue and liabilities to protect your business against potential risk, such as those that may arise from a natural disaster.

Be sure to review your insurance policy carefully as coverage will vary from one insurer to another. For further information on insurance, visit www.business.tas.gov.au

Personal and workers insurance 

Compulsory

Workers compensation

It is compulsory to have workers compensation insurance if your business has employees.

Not compulsory, however, all options should be considered

Income protection or disability

May cover part of your normal income if you are prevented from working due to sickness or injury.

Trauma insurance

May provide a lump sum if you should be diagnosed with one of several specified life threatening illnesses.

Term life insurance

May provide your dependents with a lump sum if you were to die.

Permanent disability insurance

May provide a lump sum in the instance that you are permanently disabled before retirement.

Asset and revenue insurance 

Compulsory

Motor vehicle

It is compulsory to insure all company or business vehicles for third party injury and liability. Insurance includes compulsory third party (injury), third party property damage, third party fire and theft and comprehensive.

Asset and revenue insurance  

Not compulsory, however, all options should be considered

Building and contents

May cover the building, contents and stock of your business against fire and other natural disasters.

Burglary

May insure your assets against burglary.

Business interruption

Meets your expenses and maintain cash flow if your business is interrupted by an unforeseen event such as a fire.

Stock deterioration

May cover your business for the deterioration of refrigerated stock.

Electronic equipment

May cover your electronic equipment for theft, destruction or damage.

Employee dishonesty

May cover losses resulting from employee theft or embezzlement.

  Farm insurance

Insurance for farms which may cover things such as crops, buildings and machinery.

Goods and or property in transit

May cover loss of, or damage to, goods you buy, sell or use in your business when they are in transit. May also cover the theft or damage of items you use for business purposes that travel with you.

Machinery breakdown

May insure your business when mechanical or electrical equipment used in your business breaks down.

Liability insurance

Compulsory

Public liability insurance

May cover financial risk of third party death or injury, loss or damage to property and economic loss from your businesses' negligence. Public liability insurance is usually optional; however, in some situations it may be compulsory.

Not compulsory, however strongly recommended in all industries

Professional indemnity

May protect advice-based businesses from legal action taken for losses incurred as a result of professional negligence.

Product liability

May cover claims of goods causing injury, death or damage.

Checklist - Bushfire preparation

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General

  • Consider whether bushfire is a risk to your business. For further information on your bushfire risk, contact your local fire brigade or TFS regional headquarters, see www.fire.tas.gov.au
  • If you are in a bushfire prone area, you may consider getting an accredited bushfire risk assessment. Familiarise yourself with your Community Bushfire Protection Plan available on the TFS website www.fire.tas.gov.au or call 1800 000 699 for a copy.
  • Understand the Fire Danger Rating System and identify what Fire Ban District(s) your business operates in, see www.fire.tas.gov.au
  • Include risk mitigation strategies for bushfire in your Business Continuity Plan. A Business Continuity Plan template is available from www.business.tas.gov.au
  • Think about your insurance needs in relation to fire and make sure your chosen policy provides an appropriate level of cover for your business and that you understand any requirements.
  • Keep a back-up copy of critical documents and business data in a secure off-site location.

Infrastructure and property

  • Ensure general maintenance around your business premises is up to date.
    • Remove woodpiles, rubbish heaps, dry leaves and other fuels to a safe distance from buildings (to form a fire break).
    • Prune lower branches of trees close to buildings, remove shrubs and small trees selectively and clear roof and gutters of leaf debris. Check with your local council first to see if you need a permit or consent.
    • See the TFS Bushfire Survival Plan for further information on how to prepare your property www.fire.tas.gov.au
  • Consider making changes to your business buildings/property to protect against bushfire:
    • Install non-flammable areas (paths, driveways, lawns) around buildings.
    • Seal all gaps in your building – enclose areas under decks and floors; screen vents in to roof spaces, doors and windows with fire wire mesh; seal gaps in roof and wall cladding.
    • Replace highly flammable plants with plants with low flammability. See the Fire Resisting Garden Plants brochure on the TFS website www.fire.tas.gov.au for further information on low flammability plants.
    • Have firefighting water supply available (reticulated or minimum 10 000 static supply). If you have a static supply (tank), make it accessible by fire trucks and ensure that it is fitted with a hose and pump. Keep in mind that plastic tanks and pipes will melt. Steel or concrete is preferable.
    • Have a plan for animals and/or livestock in case of a bushfire. This includes livestock owners (including poultry and horses) registering their properties with Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment via the Property Identification Registration and Amendment System at pras.biosecurity.tas.gov.au/pras/ui
  • Have firefighting water supply available (reticulated or minimum 10 000 static supply). If you have a static supply (tank), make it accessible by fire trucks and ensure that it is fitted with a hose and pump. Keep in mind that plastic tanks and pipes will melt. Steel or concrete is preferable.
  • Have a plan for animals and/or livestock in case of a bushfire. This includes livestock owners (including poultry and horses) registering their properties with Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment via the Property Identification Registration and Amendment System at pras.biosecurity.tas.gov.au/pras/ui

Staff and business visitors

  • Ensure your staff and guests are aware of emergency evacuation procedures and familiar with their roles during an evacuation, including knowing the trigger for activating emergency plans, how information will be communicated, and knowing their exit routes and nearby safer places.
  • Ensure your staff and guests know where to access official sources of information in an emergency (for example, TasALERT website and social media, emergency broadcaster, ABC local radio).
  • Consider how you would communicate information to staff, guests or customers in the event of an emergency (e.g. bulletins, meetings, notice board, or social media).
  • Ensure a list of emergency and staff contact numbers is available to staff.
  • Ensure you have an appropriate number of staff trained in first aid and that the contents of your first aid kit are regularly checked and restocked. Further information about first aid requirements is available from WorkSafe Tasmania www.worksafe.tas.gov.au
  • Prepare an emergency kit and store in a large plastic container. Include an emergency radio (battery, solar or hand crank) and torch. See Part 3 of the Business Continuity Plan template for further information.
  • If staff travel in vehicles during the work day, make sure you have procedures in place for what they should do in an emergency situation.
  • Identify a place on your property where you can shelter if you are unable to leave your property in time and make sure to include this in your emergency plan. For more information on preparations for staying, see the TFS Bushfire Survival Plan on the Bushfire Ready Neighbourhoods page for further information on how to prepare your property www.fire.tas.gov.au
  • During an emergency, keep yourself, your staff and guests updated by checking the TasALERT website www.alert.tas.gov.au and social media, and by listening to the emergency broadcaster, ABC local radio www.abc.net.au
  • For general fire enquiries contact the Tasmania Fire Service on 1800 000 699.

Checklist - Earthquake preparation

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General

  • Consider whether earthquakes are a risk to your business. For further information on earthquake, see the SES website www.ses.tas.gov.au or check the Land Information System Tasmania www.thelist.tas.gov.au
  • If you are in a landslide prone area, consider having a suitably qualified professional undertake a landslide risk assessment for your property.
  • Know the possible earthquake or ground movement warning signs (for example, sudden changes in ground water levels and erratic animal behaviour for earthquake; trees tilting down-slope, water seepage and breaks in ground for ground movement).
  • Include risk mitigation strategies for earthquake in your Business Continuity Plan.
  • Think about your insurance needs in relation to earthquake and make sure your chosen policy provides an appropriate level of cover for your business and that you understand any requirements.
  • Keep a back-up copy of critical documents and business data in a secure off-site location.

Infrastructure and property

  • Ensure general maintenance around your business premises and store items appropriately:
    • brace tall, free-standing bookshelves and water heaters to stop them falling over in an earthquake
    • store heavy items on bottom shelves and secure suspended cupboard doors with heavy latches
    • store hazardous materials in waterproof containers in a secure cupboard
    • if you live in an earthquake or landslide prone area, consider seeking professional advice about ways to improve the safety of your business property in the event of an earthquake.
  • Check your emergency evacuation plan does not use elevators.
  • Check your incident response plan or evacuation plan includes instructions to turn off electricity, gas and water at the mains in the event of an earthquake.
  • Identify the safest place in which to shelter during an earthquake or landslide. For an earthquake, this place should be clear of windows, chimneys, overhead fittings, shelves and outer walls. For a landslide, seek shelter at the least affected end of the building under a strong table or bench.

Staff and business visitors

  • Ensure all staff and guests are aware of emergency evacuation procedures and familiar with their roles during an evacuation, including knowing the trigger for activating emergency plans and how this information will be communicated. Ensure your evacuation plan considers the potential for aftershocks to occur following an earthquake and details where staff and guests should go.
  • Ensure your staff and guests know where to access official sources of information in an emergency (for example, TasALERT website www.alert.tas.gov.au and social media and the emergency broadcaster, ABC local radio).
  • Consider how you would communicate information to staff, guests or customers in the event of an emergency (for example, bulletins, meetings, notice board, or social media).
  • Ensure a list of emergency and staff contact numbers is available to all staff.
  • Ensure you have an appropriate number of staff trained in first aid and that the contents of your first aid kit is regularly checked and stocked. Further information about first aid requirements is available from WorkSafe Tasmania www.worksafe.tas.gov.au
  • Prepare an emergency kit and store in a large plastic container. Include an emergency radio (battery, solar or hand crank) and torch. See Part 3 of the Business Continuity Plan Template for further information.
  • If staff travel in vehicles during the work day, make sure you have procedures in place for what they should do in an emergency situation.
  • Identify a suitable meeting place in case staff and/or guests become separated. Ensure that the location is well communicated.

During an emergency, keep yourself, your staff and guests updated by checking the TasALERT website www.alert.tas.gov.au

If you are indoors and an earthquake strikes, drop, cover and hold. Stay indoors until the shaking stops. If you are outdoors move a few steps away from buildings, trees, street lights or power lines, then drop, cover and hold.

Checklist - Flood preparation

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General

  • Consider whether flood is a risk to your business. For further information on your flood risk, contact the SES www.ses.tas.gov.au, your local council or Land Information System Tasmania (LIST) www.thelist.tas.gov.au
  • Include risk mitigation strategies for flood in your Business Continuity Plan.
  • Consider your insurance needs in relation to flood and make sure your chosen policy provides an appropriate level of cover for your business and that you understand any requirements.
  • Keep a back-up copy of critical documents and business data in a secure off-site location.

Infrastructure and property

  • Identify any problem areas and potential flood heights affecting your business property.
  • Ensure your business premises are well maintained and store items appropriately:
    • consider the potential for flooding when storing items around the office or other buildings, and identify high points for stacking and storing
    • secure objects that are likely to float and cause damage
    • store hazardous materials in waterproof containers in a secure cupboard to prevent leakage
    • store your equipment on a high shelf, in a plastic container where it can be protected.
  • Consider making changes to your business buildings/property to protect against flood:
    • consider installing flood-proofing devices
    • set up your business in a building that has flood resistant floor coverings, furniture and fittings that are easily cleaned and less likely to be damaged (for example, tiled floors on the ground level, raised electrical sockets).
  • Check that your incident response plan or evacuation plan includes instructions to turn off electricity, gas and water at the mains in the event of a flood.

Staff and business visitors

  • Ensure your staff and guests are aware of emergency evacuation procedures and familiar with their roles during an evacuation, including knowing the trigger for activating emergency plans and how this information will be communicated.
  • Ensure your staff and guests know where to access official sources of information in an emergency (for example, TasALERT website www.alert.tas.gov.au and social media and listening to the emergency broadcaster, ABC local radio broadcasts).
  • Consider how you would communicate information to staff and guests or customers in the event of an emergency (for example, bulletins, meetings, notice board, or social media).
  • Ensure a list of emergency and staff contact numbers is available to all staff.
  • Ensure you have an appropriate number of staff trained in first aid and that the contents of your first aid kit are regularly checked and stocked. Further information about first aid requirements is available from WorkSafe Tasmania www.worksafe.tas.gov.au
  • Prepare an emergency kit and store in a large plastic container. Include an emergency radio (battery, solar or hand crank) and torch. See Part 3 of the Business Continuity Plan Template for further information.
  • If staff travel in vehicles during the work day, make sure you have procedures in place for what they should do in an emergency situation.
  • Identify a place on your property where you can shelter and make sure to include this in your emergency plan.

During an emergency, keep yourself, your staff and guests updated by checking the TasALERT website www.alert.tas.gov.au For storm or flood emergencies (that are not life threatening) contact the SES on 132 500.

Checklist - Heatwave preparation

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General

  • Consider whether an extreme heat event is a risk to your business. For information on extreme heat, see the DHHS website www.dhhs.tas.gov.au
  • Include risk mitigation strategies for extreme heat in your Business Continuity Plan.
  • Think about your insurance needs in relation to extreme heat and make sure your chosen policy provides an appropriate level of cover for your business and that you understand any special requirements.
  • Keep a back-up copy of critical documents and business data in a secure off-site location in case you cannot attend the office during a period of extreme heat.

Infrastructure and property

  • Consider how heat affects temperatures inside your buildings. This will depend on past experience, building age, materials, design and aspect.
  • Review and consider how you will cool your work environment. If you don't have air conditioning, consider alternative cooling (for example, fans, windows, blinds, etc.).
  • If you have air conditioning, ensure that it has been recently serviced.
  • Consider sensitive equipment such as IT and communications equipment which may be damaged by extreme heat. Check the temperature in your server room and consider cooling methods if it gets too warm.
  • Animals can be particularly vulnerable to heat. If your business involves animals, make sure they have shade and cool water to last the day.

Staff and business visitors

  • Ensure all staff and guests are aware of emergency evacuation procedures and familiar with their roles during an evacuation, including knowing the trigger for activating emergency plans and how this information will be communicated.
  • Ensure your staff and guests know where to access official sources of information in an emergency (for example, TasALERT website www.alert.tas.gov.au and social media and listen in to the emergency broadcaster, ABC local radio ).
  • Consider how you would communicate information to staff and guests or customers in the event of an emergency (for example, bulletins, meetings, notice board, or social media).
  • Ensure a list of emergency and staff contact numbers is available to all staff.
  • Ensure you have an appropriate number of staff trained in first aid. Make sure that they know the symptoms and first aid treatment for heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke and that the contents of your first aid kit are regularly checked and stocked. Further information about first aid requirements is available from WorkSafe Tasmania www.worksafe.tas.gov.au
  • Ensure staff and guests know to stay hydrated during periods of extreme heat. It is recommended that individuals drink two to three litres of water a day, even if they do not feel thirsty.
  • If staff members are required to wear uniforms or personal protective clothing during periods of extreme heat, provide lightweight, light coloured options.
  • If required to work outdoors, provide staff with adequate personal protective equipment (for example, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen). Consider whether it is safe to work on high heat days.
  • Contact your suppliers during periods of extreme heat to confirm whether their deliveries and movements will be disrupted.

During an emergency, keep yourself, your staff and guests updated by checking the TasAlert website www.alert.tas.gov.au In periods of extreme heat, avoid strenuous activities, and keep hydrated. Cool your property by keeping curtains and blinds closed during the day and where possible, allow ventilation overnight.

Checklist - Influenza pandemic preparation

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General

  • Consider the risk of influenza pandemic to your business. Likely impacts include staff absenteeism and disruptions to supply chains, services and resources that your business relies on. For further information on influenza pandemic, see the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website's communicable diseases prevention page www.dhhs.tas.gov.au
  • Include risk mitigation strategies for influenza in your Business Continuity Plan, including strategies to mitigate the financial impacts from ongoing reduced consumer spending and investment confidence during pandemic.
  • Consider your insurance needs in relation to pandemic (for example, loss of income) and make sure your chosen policy provides an appropriate level of cover for your business and that you understand any requirements.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza from www.health.gov.au and Tasmanian Pandemic Plans from www.dhhs.tas.gov.au

Infrastructure and property

  • Consider holding a six-week supply of hand hygiene products (including alcohol-based hand gel), tissues and no-touch rubbish bins for staff and client/customer use during a pandemic.
  • Consider purchasing a six-week supply of face masks for use during a pandemic by staff who may have ongoing close contact (within a metre) with people at work, in line with advice provided in the 2014 AHMPPI (note, education on the appropriate use of face masks is essential to avoid unintended negative consequences).
  • Consider purchasing and maintaining technology and equipment (for example, laptops, mobile phones, video-conferencing equipment) to support flexible and alternative work arrangements during a pandemic where feasible.

Staff and business visitors

  • Ensure your staff and guests are aware of pandemic procedures and their roles, including knowing the trigger for pandemic plans and how this information will be communicated.
  • Ensure your staff and guests know where to access official sources of information during a pandemic (for example, TasALERT website www.alert.tas.gov.au and social media, Department of Health and Human Services website www.dhhs.tas.gov.au and listening to the emergency broadcaster, ABC local radio). Advice is likely to change quickly, especially in the early days as information about the new virus and how it behaves becomes available.
  • Consider how you would communicate information to staff and guests or customers in the event of a pandemic (for example, bulletins, meetings, notice board, or social media).
  • Ensure a list of emergency and staff contact numbers is available to all staff.
  • Ensure you have an appropriate number of staff trained in first aid and that the contents of your first aid kit are regularly checked and restocked. Further information about first aid requirements is available from WorkSafe Tasmania www.worksafe.tas.gov.au
  • Encourage staff to get immunised against seasonal influenza each year, to reduce the overall burden of influenza on the community, the workplace and health services.
  • Identify ways to support staff health and wellbeing during a pandemic; this may include providing access to counselling services and supporting employees who are ill or in home quarantine during a pandemic.
  • If you have staff who may be at higher risk of severe illness from influenza and who have ongoing close contact (within a metre) with clients at work, consider assigning alternative duties for the duration of an influenza pandemic.
  • Reconsider the need for staff to provide medical certificates to access paid sick leave during a pandemic. There will be high demand for doctors' appointments during a pandemic and GP clinics will also be affected by staff absenteeism.
  • Consider what effects unusually high rates of absenteeism could have on your business over an extended number of months, and determine minimum staffing levels needed to maintain normal service delivery or production levels.
  • Minimise key person dependency. Identify key positions and responsibilities and ensure there are staff trained to cover these roles as necessary. Maintain step-by-step guides for essential processes and procedures. Your business Continuity Plan will help you with this.

In the event of an influenza pandemic, keep yourself, your staff and guests updated by checking the TasALERT website www.alert.tas.gov.au The public health response to pandemic involves international agencies such as the World Health Organisation with the Commonwealth Department of Health and the Tasmanian Government's Department of Health and Human Services.

Checklist - Storm and severe weather

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General

  • Consider whether storms are a risk to your business. For further information on storms, see the SES www.ses.tas.gov.au or check the Bureau of Meteorology www.bom.gov.au/tas Storms affect all parts of Tasmania but different areas experience varying storm scenarios (for example, the west and north-west coast of Tasmania are particularly exposed to prevailing storm weather).
  • Include risk mitigation strategies for storm in your Business Continuity Plan.
  • Think about your insurance needs in relation to storms and make sure your chosen policy provides an appropriate level of cover for your business and that you understand any requirements.

Infrastructure and property

  • Ensure general maintenance around your business premises and store items appropriately:
    • get your roof checked to make sure it is in good condition, and repair any damage
    • trim tree branches overhanging your roof. Check with your local council first to see if you require any permits or consents
    • repair any corrosion, loose fittings and/or rotting timber
    • clear or secure any loose items that could cause damage if blown around in high winds (for example, outdoor furniture, potted plants, etc.). Clear gutters, drains and downpipes so that water can drain away quickly
    • store hazardous materials in waterproof containers in a secure cupboard.
  • If you live in a flood prone area, consider making changes to your business property to protect against flood:
    • consider installing flood-proofing devices
    • set up your business in a building with flood resistant floor coverings, furniture and fittings that are easily cleaned and less likely to be damaged (e.g. tiled floors on the ground level, raised electrical sockets)
    • identify where your equipment could be relocated or how it could be protected.
  • Ensure you have enough stock on hand to supply your business and customers in the event of severe storm damage.

Prepare for power outages

  • Check that your incident response plan or evacuation plan includes instructions to turn off electricity, in the event of a storm. Avoid using landline phones in the event of a storm.
  • Know how to manually override electronic access to your business or garage.
  • Keep TasNetworks' 24 hour fault number (132 004) in an accessible location. Call this number if you have an electrical fault or notice sparks from nearby powerlines.
  • Consider alternative power supplies for your business in the event of an outage. Note that portable generators should be used with extreme caution and back-up generators should not be plugged into your switchboard. See TasNetworks website for further information on power outage safety and preparation www.tasnetworks.com.au

Staff and business visitors

  • Ensure your staff and guests are aware of emergency evacuation procedures and familiar with their roles during an evacuation, including knowing the trigger for activating emergency plans and how this information will be communicated.
  • Ensure your staff and guests know where to access official sources of information in an emergency (for example, TasAlert website and social media, radio broadcasts).
  • During extreme weather events, such as snow, roads may be closed. Check the Tasmania Police website for updates on road closures www.police.tas.gov.au
  • Consider how you would communicate information to staff and guests or customers in the event of an emergency (for example, bulletins, meetings, notice board, or social media).
  • Ensure a list of emergency and staff contact numbers is available to staff.
  • Ensure you have an appropriate number of staff trained in first aid and that the contents of your first aid kit are regularly checked and restocked. Further information about first aid requirements is available from WorkSafe Tasmania www.worksafe.tas.gov.au
  • Prepare an emergency kit and store in a large plastic container. Include an emergency radio (battery, solar or hand crank) and torch. See Part 3 of the Business Continuity Plan template for further information.
  • If staff travel in vehicles during the work day, make sure you have procedures in place for what they should do in an emergency situation.
  • Identify a place on your property where you can shelter and make sure to include this in your emergency procedures.

During an emergency, keep yourself, your staff and guests updated by checking the TasALERT website www.alert.tas.gov.au and tune into the emergency broadcaster, ABC local radio. Stay indoors and disconnect all electrical appliances and avoid using the telephone. For storm or flood emergencies (that are not life threatening) contact the SES on 132 500.

Checklist - Tourism operators

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General

  • Identify the type of natural hazards that could affect your business. The following sources of information could help you with this:
  • Include risk mitigation strategies for these hazards in your Business Continuity Plan.
  • Think about your insurance needs and make sure your chosen policy provides an appropriate level of cover for your business and that you understand any requirements.
  • Keep a back-up copy of critical documents and business data in a secure off-site location.
  • Regularly maintain your property to improve its capacity to withstand a natural disaster (for example, repairs, trimming vegetation, clearing drains).
  • Consider making changes to your business buildings/property to protect against a natural disaster (for example, tiling the floor in flood prone areas).
  • Include provisions for interruptions of essential services and critical infrastructure during an emergency (for example, power, water, phone, fuel) as part of your Business Continuity Plan.
  • Identify an evacuation plan and route that is specific to your business property and location, record this in your Business Continuity Plan.
  • Identify safe refuge locations on your business property in case it is not possible or safe for staff, business visitors or guests to evacuate.

Emergency information

  • Identify the emergency arrangements for your area. For example, check your Community Bushfire Protection Plan for your Nearby Safer Place and Exit Routes at www.fire.tas.gov.au Note that a Nearby Safer Place should be a place of last resort, and not your only plan in an emergency.
  • Plan how you will keep informed during an emergency:
    • your local accredited Visitor Information Centre receives and distributes information on potential emergency and disaster situations to tourism operators in their area – contact them for further information and to join their contact list www.startwithi.com.au
    • TasALERT is the Tasmanian Government's official emergency information source www.alert.tas.gov.au
    • program your local emergency broadcaster, ABC, into a battery operated radio to receive news updates. Find your local frequency at www.abc.net.au

Staff, business visitors and guests

  • Ensure your staff, business visitors and guests are aware of emergency evacuation procedures and their roles during an evacuation, including the trigger for activating emergency plans and how this information will be communicated.
  • Ensure your staff and guests know where to access official sources of information in an emergency (for example, TasALERT website and social media, radio broadcasts).
  • Ensure a list of emergency and staff contact numbers is available to staff.
  • Ensure you have an appropriate number of staff trained in first aid and that the contents of your first aid kit are regularly checked and stocked. Further information about first aid requirements is available from WorkSafe Tasmania www.worksafe.tas.gov.au
  • Prepare an emergency kit and store it in a large plastic container. Include an emergency radio (battery, solar or hand crank). See Part 3 of the Business Continuity Plan template for further information.
  • If staff or guests travel in vehicles during the work day, make sure you have procedures in place for what they should do in an emergency situation.
  • Make plans for what to do about booking cancellations and forwarding in an emergency.

Communicating in a disaster

  • When a disaster that could affect your property or your guests, prepare a daily bulletin and keep it updated with information from emergency services, including maps. Keep the bulletin factual with an emphasis on following the advice of emergency services.
  • Review TasALERT regularly and use this to update your daily bulletin for customers and staff.
  • Make sure all staff are aware of what's happening, including those who are not currently at work. Establish your communication methods during an emergency. For example, phone, SMS or email.
  • Refer customers to the following official websites for information during an emergency:
  • In the event of a fire, make sure your patrons know where the nearest Nearby Safer Place and Evacuation Centre is, check your Community Bushfire Protection Plan www.fire.tas.gov.au
  • Make sure you can communicate if there is a power outage:
    • find out if your landline telephone uses electricity
    • charge your mobile phone.
  • Identify the trigger to activate your emergency management plan. For example, an emergency warning for your area. During an emergency, follow your emergency plan.

Prepare for power outages

  • Check that your plan for an emergency includes instructions to turn off electricity, in the event of a storm. Avoid using landline phones in the event of a storm.
  • Know how to manually override electronic access to your business or garage.
  • Keep TasNetwork's 24 hour fault number 132 004 in an accessible location. Call this number if you have an electrical fault or notice sparks from power lines nearby.
  • Consider alternative power supplies for your business in the event of outage. Note that portable generators should be used with extreme caution and back-up generators should not be plugged into your switchboard. See the TasNetworks website for further information on power outage safety and preparation www.tasnetworks.com.au/your-property/outages/power-outage-safety

Recovery

  • Assess damage and impact to your business, use the Part 3 - Reassess, recover and learn template is provided at www.business.tas.gov.au
  • Once you have reopened your business, consider how you will communicate that you are open (for example, advertising, social media, emails, etc). Contact your local accredited Visitor Information Centre to let them know you are open for business. Contact all forward bookings.

Recovery services contacts

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These services may help you recover your business following a disaster.

You can download this contact list here.

Business assistance

Enterprise Centres Tasmania

1800 440 026

Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

1300 559 122 or 6236 3600

Rebuilding assistance and advice

Master Builders Tasmania

6210 2000

Workplace Standards

1300 366 322

Emotional health and well-being

Anglicare Family and Relationship Services

1800 243 323

Relationships Australia

1300 364 277

The Salvation Army

6231 5440

Mental Health Helpline

1800 332 388

Lifeline

13 11 14

Suicide Helpline

1300 132 098

Mensline Australia

1300 789 978

BeyondBlue

1300 224 636

Rural services and environment

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

1300 368 550

Rural Financial Counselling Service

1300 883 276 or 6272 5992

Landcare Tasmania

6234 7117

Rural Alive and Well

6259 3014

Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association

1800 154 111 or 6332 1800

Useful websites

General recovery advice

Commonwealth Government Business www.business.gov.au

For recovery advice search for Succession planning, emergency management and recovery and emergencies and natural disasters.

Financial and legal advice

ASIC Money Smart www.moneysmart.gov.au

Rural disaster recovery

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au

For information on managing seasonal conditions search for Managing seasonal conditions to locate links to tools and resources to help with managing seasonal conditions including flood and dry conditions.

Tax assistance

Australian Tax Office www.ato.gov.au

For information on managing disasters select Individuals and search for Deal with disasters and hardship.

Employment conditions during a natural disaster

Fair Work Ombudsman www.fairwork.gov.au

For information on rights and obligations during natural disasters and emergencies search for Rights and Obligations fact sheets in Policies and guides in the drop down list.

Industry association or peak body

List available on the Business Tasmania www.business.tas.gov.au

Select Starting a business and search for Industry associations and networks under related resources.

Grants

Government Assistance - Disaster Assist www.disasterassist.gov.au

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