Be prepared -- don't let a cyclone threaten your business
Queensland businesses are invited to register for a free State Government webinar Wednesday night on preparing for cyclone, storm and flood season.
"Cyclone season traditionally runs from November to April and Queensland often bears the brunt of it," said John Woods, Manager, Office of Small Business, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation.
"The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting an increase in the number of cyclones to hit Queensland this season and more are expected to make landfall.
"Cyclones have wreaked more than a $1 billion worth of damage to Far North Queensland in recent years. Earlier this year Cyclone Ului caused widespread power loss, disrupting businesses across the Mackay region.
"Once personal safety plans are in place business operators can then prepare to lessen the impact of disaster on their business."
Mr Woods said the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation was offering a free webinar at 7.30pm 17 November detailing how to prepare your business for the cyclone, storm and flood season.
"This webinar will help you develop a business continuity plan to help your business to be better prepared against the potential risks that could interrupt your business operations in case of disaster," Mr Woods said.
"The Business Continuity Plan is a step-by-step tool designed to help you identify risks associated with different disasters, assess the impact on your business and develop an action plan to mitigate them.
"The planning tool is available online as well at http://www.business.qld.gov.au/managing/233.htm
"There is also guidance on safe keeping of office equipment, contingency planning for business records, insurance information, back up equipment and links to support networks.
"Insurance should be reviewed every year and updated when appropriate. It's alarming how many businesses are not insured at all or are under-insured."
Along with storms and cyclones, the website covers other disasters business operators could face and need to prepare for, including floods, bushfires and pandemics.
Mr Woods said it was essential to ensure staff were informed of evacuation procedures and were aware of the available safety equipment and how to use it.
"Evacuation procedures should be regularly rehearsed, as should any staff notification systems. Being prepared is critical in a crisis and can save lives," he said.
"When a cyclone hits there isn't a lot of time to act so keeping an emergency kit at hand is recommended.
"Business owners should also put together a Business Continuity Plan and store a copy in their emergency kit to help keep their business operating following the event."
Mr Woods said the State Government's Building Business Resilience website included a disaster loss calculator.
For more information telephone 1300 363 711, or to register for the webinar, visit http://www.business.qld.gov.au/tools-resources/399.htm
DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION
15 November 2010
free webinar, Queensland Wide
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