Natural disasters in Australia are increasing and becoming more severe*. Over time there will be more floods, storms, bush fires and heat waves. Any natural disaster has an impact on local businesses with power outages, transport and communication interruptions.

Get Ready NSW have shared their five steps to preparing your business for natural disasters. Being prepared can help improve your business’ recovery.

1. Know your risk

Identify the disasters that might face your business. If you’re new to the area, it’s really important to understand how you might be at risk so you can know what to expect. Risks that can affect all businesses include storms, structural fire, infrastructure failure and heatwaves.

2. Plan now for what you will do

Sit down with your staff and make an emergency action plan so that everyone knows what needs to be done and by who if a disaster strikes. This could help save your life and the lives of your staff as well as protect the future of your business.

3. Get your business ready

There are some really practical and easy actions you can take now to prepare your business and plan for business continuity like developing a disaster finance plan, backing up all data on the cloud, ensuring fixtures and stock can be moved easily and conducting general premises maintenance. Find out more here.

4. Be aware

If a disaster does strike, knowing where to look for up-to-date disaster information could help save you vital time. Connect with key information sources now to receive regular alerts:

NSW Rural Fire Service

NSW State Emergency Service

Fire and Rescue NSW

5. Look out for each other

Neighbouring businesses can be one of the best sources of information and help before, during and after a disaster. Develop connections with local businesses and commit to helping one another.

Get Ready NSW has loads of free resources to help you prepare for and reduce the impact of emergencies on your clients, your employees and your organisation.

* Source: Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience & Safer Communities, 2016