Prepare your business for severe weather

Disasters can strike with little or no warning and it’s important for Brisbane businesses to be prepared. These steps will help to ensure your business is prepared for any emergency. Brisbane City Council has a range of free tools and resources to help businesses understand their local severe weather risks and take steps to prepare their operation, property and staff. These include:

  • Flood tools and business video - Understand your property’s risk of flooding using the Flood Awareness Map. Council has also created a video on how to prepare for an emergency and how to minimise any flood impact on your business. 
  • Early Warning Alert Service - Council offers a free alert service to provide advanced warning of approaching severe weather. Encourage your staff to subscribe or download the app, giving time to prepare your business and the journey home.
  • Interactive business tool - Use this graphic to quickly see what things you should be doing in your business to prepare for severe weather.
  • Continuity plan template - One of the most important things a business can do to help survive a natural disaster or major severe weather event is to develop a continuity plan. Time spent planning your preparations, response and recovery will lead to a more resilient business for you, your customers and staff. Download the plan:

Be prepared for any emergency

Here are some more steps you can take to help your businesses be prepared.

Create a resilient business

  1. Identify the possible risks to your business (these may include flooding, severe storms, bushfire, and/or human-caused threats).
  2. Prepare an emergency kit.
  3. Ensure you have a business continuity plan, keep the plan up to date and store a copy in a safe, disaster-proof location.
  4. Familiarise yourself with Brisbane City Council’s Local Disaster Management Plan.

Prepare your staff

  1. Keep staff informed during a severe weather event.
  2. Have a list of allocated tasks for staff to carry out before, during and after a disaster event.
  3. Have an evacuation plan for your business and ensure all staff are aware of its contents.
  4. Have a list of emergency contact numbers, including staff contacts.
  5. Ensure your staff are trained in evacuation and first aid procedures.

Prepare stock and equipment

  1. Ensure enough stock is on hand to supply your business and customers after an event.
  2. Identify any vehicles and equipment that may need relocating or protecting during an event.
  3. Ensure there are enough spare parts on site to keep equipment operational after an event.
  4. Plan for the possibility of an extended power outage (obtain a generator and fuel if needed to maintain your business during a power outage).
  5. Establish reciprocal help arrangements with similar businesses to provide support during and after the event.

Infrastructure

  1. Check flood plans and records in your area using Council tools.
  2. Ensure your building is in sound condition.
  3. Trim overhanging branches and clear your property of loose items.
  4. Clear guttering and downpipes.
  5. If applicable, form a wide firebreak around your building(s).

Insurance

  1. Check there is adequate insurance to cover your business for different types of disaster.
  2. Check with your insurance company whether there are any policy specific preparations you need to make prior to the event.

Business documentation and records

  1. Ensure critical documentation (insurance, financial, legal, and identification documents, etc.) is packed in a portable, waterproof container.
  2. Back up critical data to a portable storage device and store it in a secure location or use cloud storage.

More information

For further information and checklists, refer to the Queensland Government’s Business and Industry Portal for disaster resilience and recovery.

03 March 2017