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How to protect your small business from extreme weather

Have a plan in place to secure your key assets and get back to business sooner.

NSW Small Business Commissioner Chris Lamont has urged small businesses in the path of extreme weather to take some key steps to prepare and have a plan in place to recover after the storms pass.

“Businesses which have a plan to deal with disasters are able to get back up and running much sooner,” Mr Lamont said.

He said an important resource in these circumstances was a business continuity plan, which aims to protect a business’s key assets, including employees, business records and stock, and have alternative plans for operating the business from a different location.

The Commission’s guide to creating a Business Continuity Plan provides easy to use templates and checklists that can be filled out, giving business owners a comprehensive plan unique to their business needs.

Tips to prepare your business

If you are able to prepare your business before the worst of the weather hits, consider these tips to protect yourself, your staff and your business.

  1. Have an emergency kit handy
  2. Ensure all work vehicles are covered and stored away from trees, powerlines and drains
  3. Ensure any signage out front, or items stored at the back of your premises, will not become airborne in strong damaging winds.
  4. Ensure the backups on your computer systems are recent
  5. Move your stock and computer technology as high as possible
  6. Unplug and avoid using electrical equipment connected to mains power, landline phones and modems.
  7. Keep local radio on to stay across all information, updates and advice.
  8. Speak to your staff to understand their emergency plans — find out how they get home from work, where they live and who their dependents are.
  9. When evacuating, switch off mains electricity and gas mains, and take your emergency kit plus some cash — you may need it.
  10. Call your emergency contacts to let them know what’s going on and notify customers and suppliers that you’re affected by the wild weather — social media channels can be useful for this.

Related information:
•    Prepare for the Unexpected – Build a Business Continuity Plan
•    Get Back to Business – a guide to recovering from disaster
•    Insurance claims for small business guide
•    Get Ready Business – five step guide to preparing for disasters

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