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1. Be prepared Plan ahead Page 5 • Prevention Page 6-7 • Preparedness Page 8 • Response Page 9 • Recovery Page 10 Develop a business continuity plan Page 11 Backup your records Page 12-14 Check your insurance Page 15-18 Compile your emergency kit Page 19 Prepare your workplace Page 20-212. After the event Assess the damage Page 22 Reconnect utilities & communications Page 23-26 Your employees Page 27 Assess the impact to your business Page 28 Make an insurance claim Page 29-30 Clean up Page 31-32 Notify customers, suppliers and key contacts Page 333. Resources Documents -Appendix 1: Business continuity plan template Page 34 -Appendix 2: Further examples of checklists Page 34 Queensland Government business and industry website Page 34 Web resources Page 35-36 Further business advice and support Page 364. Emergency contact information General Page 37 Townsville emergency contact information Page 37
This project would not have been possible without the supportand invaluable assistance from the following: Chamber of Commerce and Industry QueenslandWe thank the many individual businesses who supplied information on specificsubject areas.The advice and constructive suggestions from these organisations have been instrumentalin the successful completion of this project.
Business resilience is your ability to adapt and respond to disasters without any major impacts onyour business operations. A proactive approach to business resilience will help your businessrespond to a disaster quickly and cost-effectively.On Tuesday 20 March 2012 a severe storm impacted a narrow corridor of commercial andresidential structures in Townsville, causing substantial local damage. After the storm, theQueensland Governments North Queensland Service Centre started an internal disaster responseand recovery plan. To ascertain the extent of damage, staff contacted businesses affected by thestorm.A number of issues were identified including: • Loss of data due to inadequate backup or offsite storage • Loss of communication and IT systems • Inadequate insurance cover • Concerns about loss of trade.Feedback showed that businesses were generally not aware of existing business resilienceresources, had difficulty finding any resources online and would have liked information that did notrequire internet access in times of a disaster.In response to this feedback, an Economic Recovery Committee was formed. The committeeagreed that the best way to address these issues was to develop a kit - containing information andlinks to a range of online resources - that helps businesses prepare for, respond to and recoverfrom disasters. This kit will be distributed to businesses on a USB stick, but businesses can alsoprint out the information and keep hardcopies for emergency situations where power is lost.While most of the information in this kit is generic, some information was collated specifically forbusinesses in the Townsville area. Please note that some links are for local websites (e.g. theTownsville City Council). If your business is not in the Townsville area, please locate equivalentsites in your local area.
When a disaster occurs, your business can be totally overwhelmed.Confusion is common, and many questions will come at once: Where do I start? Whom do I call? What will happen to my business? Will I lose my customers?We would all like to think, “It wont happen to me”; unfortunately, sometimesit does.It is far better to be proactive and take the time to plan now, rather thanwaiting until a disaster happens.Planning may take a bit of time, but when a disaster hits time is a luxury youwill not have.To help prepare your business for a future emergency or disaster, youshould consider 4 elements of planning: 1. PREVENTION 2. PREPAREDNESS 3. RESPONSE 4. RECOVERYThis approach to risk management is called the PPRR model. Theinformation you gather from the PPRR process can help you tailor abusiness continuity plan for your business. When disaster strikes, you willknow exactly what to do to keep your business running.
Risk management planning - actions to reduce or eliminate the likelihood and/or effects of a critical incident In this initial stage, you should identify risks and put measures in place to reduce potential loss of life, property and business damage. Every business has risks. Some are predictable, others are not. You can, however, plan for and mitigate risks to your business. The risk management process consists of a series of steps: 1. Identify risks that could impact your business. 2. Analyse risks to assess their impacts. 3. Evaluate risks to prioritise their management. 4. Treat risks to minimise their impact. 5. Develop and review your risk management plan.
You can organise the results of this risk management process into a table. The following is an example of a risk management plan: Risk management plan Risk description Likelihood Consequence Priority Preventative action Contingency plans Loss of production L VH M • Arrange income • Make sure you can protection insurance get immediate access • Source alternative to personal resources production site while waiting for insurance payments Loss of staff H M M • Ensure all staff are • Contact recruitment agency properly trained to source short-term contract • Put succession planning staff until you can find in place permanent replacements • Locate recruitment agencies in your area Natural disaster M VH H • Make sure insurance • Make sure you can get is in place immediate access to • Develop a business personal resources while continuity plan waiting for insurance payments Loss of on M H H • Backup computer and • Use backup data to site records financial records restore lost files • Store a copy of all data at another location VH = Very high H = High M = Medium L = LowA risk management plan is not something you do once and then forget about. You will need to monitor and review this document on a regular basis.For more information, read our guides on risk management.
Business impact analysis - actions taken before a critical incident to ensure an effective response and recovery Once you have developed a risk management plan, you can conduct a business impact analysis to assess what impact these risks are likely to have on your business operations. This is the preparedness step in the PPRR model. Every business has a number of activities in its overall operations. However, only a percentage of these activities will be crucial to the survival of the business. It is important to gather information to determine basic recovery requirements for your business in the event of a disaster. You should identify: • your critical business activities • the resources you will need to support each of these activities • the impact to your business if these activities cease. Learn more about conducting a business impact analysis.
Incident response planning - actions taken to respond to a critical incident (i.e. containment, control and minimising impacts) This phase occurs as the incident happens and immediately after. If a disaster occurs, you should have a plan of action you can quickly carry out. Crises take many forms, including natural disasters, embezzlement, industrial accidents, systems failure, product recalls and economic downturn. Although you will never be able to plan your response for every possible event, you need to be able to react quickly to a critical incident. Your incident response plan should include: • Clear, direct instructions for the crucial first hour after a disaster • A list of personnel (and their back-ups), giving a detailed description of their role during a disaster - who does what? • A checklist of things to do (see section 3 Resources for an example) • An evacuation plan •An emergency kit containing critical documents and equipment which can be picked up and carried offsite •Contact lists for key external personnel, suppliers and business stakeholders •An event log to record information, decisions and actions following a disaster. Find out how to prepare an incident response plan for your business.
PREVIOUSRecovery plan - actions taken to recover from a critical incident in order to minimise disruption and recovery times A recovery plan will help you get your business back to normal operations in the shortest possible time. Recovery planning involves the following: • Establish a recovery team (and their back-ups) and make sure everyone understands their roles. • Establish a location where employees can work offsite if necessary. They should have access to backup systems, records and supplies. Assess the business location relating to flood, storm tides etc. (See Townsville City Council and search for storm tides.) • Determine which assets (including documents) are essential for recovery. Make sure you can access these assets and store documents offsite. • Make sure you have contact lists of all employees, key customers, suppliers and insurance company. • Find contact numbers for alternative suppliers. • Find contact details for businesses that can fix office equipment. Also have the contact details for businesses where you can rent office equipment. • Plan for disruptions to electricity, gas, water, sewerage and telecommunications. Do you have backup systems available? • Be prepared for cash flow emergencies. Keep enough cash on hand for immediate emergencies. Find out how to develop a recovery plan for your business.
Your business continuity plan should contain all the information you need toresume critical activities in the event of a disaster.If you have worked through the 4 elements of the PPRR model, you can then putthis information into a business continuity plan tailored to your business.Appendix 1 of this kit contains a business continuity plan template.Business continuity plans must be current and ready to implement. • Look at the plan on a regular basis and revise if necessary. • Hold staff meetings to identify problems and solutions. • Inform staff of the plan and their individual responsibilities. • Have a test run of the plan.Read more about business continuity planning or watch our business continuitywebinar to learn more about how to prepare for an unexpected disaster.Once you have followed the PPRR process and developed a business continuityplan, you can further prepare your business by completing the following: • Backup your records. (See section 1.3.) • Check your existing insurance to ensure it covers your risks. (See section 1.4.) • Create an emergency kit. (See section 1.5.) • Prepare your workplace. (See section 1.6.)
Losing business records can be one of the worst outcomes of a critical incident.Adequate insurance cover will replace your building, your equipment and yourvehicles, and may even provide income protection, but offers no recourse if youlose vital records.After the severe storm in Townsville in March 2012, businesses reported varyingdegrees of data loss. • A business lost 14 years of data because they had no backup system in place. They now have an offsite backup for financial information. • A second business, which did have sufficient backup for most critical data, lost 4 weeks of emails and faxes while their telecommunication lines were down. (Some businesses may be unaware of the options to divert facsimiles to an email address, and of accessing their email direct from their service provider.) • A third business lost no data because they performed daily backups to their second office. Their second office, however, had no backup system. Therefore, if this system had failed, they would have lost all data. Following the disaster they have realised the overwhelming benefits of backup and are now putting a server in place to provide backup to both locations.The damage caused by data loss can be varied and ongoing. Even when yourrecords are temporarily unavailable, your immediate needs to contact clients andsuppliers may be severely affected.
Choosing the right backup option To eliminate this risk, your vital information, including your correspondence, your financial records, your insurance cover and your work in progress, needs be backed up and the backup needs to be kept somewhere safe. The good news is that there are options to suit every type of business. To choose a backup method for your business, consider your risk tolerance and the importance of different records which you keep. Also pinpoint what data needs to be available for fast access if natural disasters disrupt your work. When selecting a backup system, consider: • how often you need to backup your files • how often you are likely to need to access the backup • how long you need to keep files. The table below shows the advantages and disadvantages of most common backup options.
PREVIOUSSuggestions: • Backup your records both to an in-office storage device and online. • In the event of a sudden disaster even a backup that is taken offsite to another location in the same area (e.g. your home) may not be sufficient, as the entire region may be affected. • Set backups to occur automatically and check regularly for integrity. • It is well worth asking an IT professional to arrange setup of your backup systems to work automatically both in-office and offline. • Test your backup systems regularly. It is not uncommon for businesses to find problems with their backup procedures when they attempt a restoration. Routinely test data restoration from backup archives, both online and onsite. • Check you have up-to-date virus protection, secure networks and firewalls and secure password protection procedures.
Do I have adequate cover for natural disasters?Most natural disasters are covered by business insurance policies which are typically issued byinsurers to small to medium business operators. However, certain types of damage are often notcovered in standard policies.After Queenslands January 2011 floods many policy-holders were left with nothing becausetheir insurance did not include flood cover. Many others had their claims rejected because theircover from rising stormwater did not include floods from rising rivers and waterways, only floodsfrom local rainfall.It is essential to check what your policy includes and look for any specific exclusion written intoyour policy. You should then assess the risk to your business. Depending on what types ofnatural disasters occur in your location, there may be gaps you need to fill with added cover oreven a separate policy. There may also be types of cover you are not able to obtain, and you willneed to consider other measures to protect yourself.Weigh up the cost vs the riskIn recent years, with an increase in natural disasters, business insurance has risen dramatically.This factor, combined with economic stressors and increases in outgoings, has seen somebusinesses lowering their insurance cover.Prior to the severe storm in Townsville in March 2012, a number of businesses in the affectedarea had cut back on insurance cover and increased excesses to reduce their premiums. Inhindsight, this was too great a risk despite the economic pressure to do so.Many businesses are faced with this decision in a tough economy. The question you need to askyourself is: Can I afford not to be insured?
UnderinsuranceThis is a large problem Australia-wide. Most people underestimate the value of their assets and often donot take into account the increase in building costs each year and other impacts (e.g. the carbon tax willimpact manufacturers who supply products to the construction industry and these costs will be passedon and result in increased building costs).When valuing your assets for insurance, you should consider a number of factors. These includereplacement cost of buildings, contents, plant and equipment, level of stock, cost of fireextinguishment, demolition of damaged property etc.Making insurance easier on your cash flowMost insurers for business require the premium payment at the start of the policy. However, there arefinanciers who offer premium funding. This allows you to purchase the insurance you really needwithout paying the premium in one sum.This funding is set up like a business loan, in which the financier pays your premium and you can thenpay off the loan in monthly payments. Like other business loans, interest rates will be added and costsassociated will be tax deductible.Business interruption insuranceBusiness interruption insurance is often overlooked by businesses. After the Townsville storm in March2012, the length of business disruption varied from 1 week to almost 3 months without trading.The option to include business interruption will cover loss of revenue while your business is notoperating. Some policies may cover loss of rent from tenants of a damaged building, costs included inoutsourcing work if your building is damaged, and advertising when your business reopens.Each policy wording may vary, so it is important to note what is actually covered.
Catastrophe allowanceA catastrophe allowance is usually available in most business insurance policies - either as an option,additional benefit or by making an allowance within the sum insured. The catastrophe allowance is onlyactivated if an event is declared a catastrophe by the Insurance Council of Australia. In the event of acatastrophe, repair and rebuilding costs may be inflated. The severe storm event in Townsville in March2012 was not declared a catastrophe.Removal of debrisThe cost of removing debris and cleaning up can become extensive, particularly if your workplace hasasbestos or is surrounded by trees. While removal of debris directly caused by or affecting yourbuilding can be included in your policy, it is a good idea to check you cover for specifics such asasbestos.Professional feesIf your building is damaged, you may need the services of an architect, surveyor or other buildingprofessionals. These costs may be added to the sum insured. Policies vary, so in all cases check withyour insurance professional.Extra cost of reinstatementThis is another that demands close attention. It refers to any extra costs which you may have inrebuilding. For example, building regulations may have changed since your original premise was built.Again, policies vary so it is worth checking your policy carefully as it may apply to your business.Uninsured propertySome types of property, equipment and assets are not readily insurable. Demountable structures, forexample, are generally classed as temporary and may need to comply with building regulations to beclassed as permanent (so that they can be insured). While this may seem like extra work now, it canbecome a problem if you are using a demountable for an office and it is damaged later.
PREVIOUSGet professional adviceSome small business owners aim to get by with minimal cover, while others overpay on insurance they dontneed. You can avoid both situations by consulting a business insurance expert to advise you on the rightcover.Ask questions and get a clear understanding of how your cover will work when you call on it. What you areaiming for is a policy or combination of policies which reduces your risk the most, for the best price, withoutduplicating cover. Together with your licensed insurance professional, read through the fine print, and comeup with a solid plan to cover risk.Scan your insurance policy to a computer backupImmediately following a natural disaster, the speed in which you can have your claim processed will have ahuge impact on your business.It is smart practise to keep an electronic copy of your insurance policy, which can be recovered from yourbackup files in the event of a disaster. We recommend taking photos of the current state of the building, plantand equipment as supporting evidence for insurance claims. The benefits may include faster processing,more accurate replacements, and less chance of disputes.Business insurance checklist • Do I have/require flood insurance? • Have I read the fine print to understand how my policy will work? • Have I insured my assets to their true value? • Have I considered premium funding? • Do I have/require business interruption insurance? • Do I have/require business interruption insurance to cover rental income? • Have I checked my policy for extras such as catastrophe allowance, professional fees, removal of debris, and extra cost of reinstatement? • If I have property or equipment that is currently not insured can I take steps to insure it? • Do I have a business continuity plan? (Insurers will quite often look more favourably upon a business that can demonstrate that it is aware of its own risk factors and has taken measures to protect and limit the impact of these factors on the business.) • Have I read my policy with an insurance professional to check that I have the best value cover? • Have I saved my insurance details offsite?
Key documents • Business continuity plan • Emergency and recovery contacts • Contact details of suppliers • Contact details of customers • Contact details of key personnel – accountant, creditors, Australian Taxation Office, financial institutions • Copies of insurance documents • Copies of vital financial documentsGeneral items • Portable radio • First-aid kit • Smartphone or other device with mobile internet access (e.g. laptop with dongle) • Car phone charger • Analogue cord landline telephone - digital cordless phones wont work without power • Torch • Plastic bags • Tarps • Spare batteries • Duct tape • Pen/pencil and notepad • Fuel • Spare gas bottleOther equipment • A generator • Water purifier (in case of contamination)
As an employer, you are legally obligated to provide a safe workplace for yourself, your workers,customers, onsite visitors and members of the general public. The checklist below will help youprepare a safe workplace that will minimise risk in natural disasters.Workplace maintenance • Where relevant, keep your roof in good condition and check it regularly. • Keep gutters and downpipes clear so water can drain away quickly. • Trim trees and overhanging branches close to the building (be aware of any overhead powerlines). • Check and fix any corrosion, rotten timber, termite infestations and loose fittings. • If your building predates current cyclone building standards, arrange for a professional builder to check your building and identify ways you can increase the structural security to withstand high winds. • Fit windows with shutters or metal screens for added protection during high winds. • If you are renting your premises, bring the above points to the attention of your landlord.General preparations • Identify your strongest room to shelter in if you are caught at work during a severe storm or cyclone. • Identify where and how to turn off the main supply for water and gas. Ergon Energy recommends that a licensed electrical contractor switch off the power at the mains switchboard. • Have items on hand such as water storage containers and spare fuel for your vehicle (ensure you store it safely). • If you have cylinders supplying gas, make sure chains around the cylinders are fixed firmly. You should also secure portable cylinders outdoors in an upright position away from strong winds and potential flood waters. • Have your premises electrically wired by a licensed electrical contractor with a transfer switch that will let you work from a generator.
If you workplace is located in a flood-prone area • Store all poisons and chemicals well above ground level. • Identify indoor items you will need to raise or empty if flood threatens. • Consider alternatives to carpet. • Relocate power-points to well above previous flood levels (using a licensed contractor). • Be prepared to be without power as flooding may force Ergon Energy to shut down its powerlines for public safety.When warnings are issued for a natural disaster • Unplug electrical appliances at the power point and external television/radio aerials. • Turn off gas main supplies if instructed. • Where possible move sensitive equipment and valuable items to the most secure location. • Move outdoor equipment, garbage, chemicals and poisons to an enclosed location. • Tie down outdoor items which are too large to move. • Fill buckets with clean water in case of interruptions to water supply. • Close windows with shutters or tape windows with strong tape and draw curtains. • Sandbag internal drains and toilets to prevent sewage backflow.
Visual assessmentPerform a visual assessment of the property as soon as it is safe to do so. It is importantthat neither you nor your staff enter a property that is unsafe. • If you see any fallen power lines stay away and contact Ergon (phone 131 046). • Never enter a building that appears to have structural damage. • Never enter flood waters.Now is the time to note down, in detail, all damage caused by the natural disaster.Make a preliminary list of damaged property and the degree of damage. Wherever possible,photograph items or record a video for comparison with pre-disaster records.If you have a pre-disaster inventory list, check it against your equipment to identify whichitems are missing. If you do not have a pre-disaster inventory list try to make one as soon aspossible after the event to identify what items may be missing.Workplace health and safetyWhen assessing the damage you need to outline a scope of works and be aware of anycleanup hazards, these can include: • structural integrity of the building and surrounds • services like gas, electricity and water • hazardous substances like asbestos, vermin and snakes • risk of infection from contaminated water • general hazards.
ElectricityIn the event of a large disaster, power supply can be disrupted for a long time.Contact Ergon to find out when power is likely to resume. To help speed up powerrestoration to your premises, check to see if the service wire from the power pole toyour property is intact and visibly undamaged. If damaged or down, an electricalcontractor will be required to repair or replace it to enable Ergon Energy to restoreyour power.If the property is undamaged and you have had a change-over switch installed by alicensed electrical contractor, you will be able to connect to a secondary source ofpower such as a generator.In the event of a large power outage you can keep up to date with power restorationand important electrical safety information on your radio station, or the internet viayour smartphone or mobile wireless device.Please note: As solar PV systems are powered by the sun, they can continue togenerate power even if the mains power has been disconnected, or the panels havebeen turned off at the switchboard. Contact your original contract supplier to ensureyour panels have been fitted with a DC and AC cutoff switch.Ergon contact details General enquiries: 13 10 46 (7am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday) Faults: 13 22 96 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) Facebook: www.facebook.com/ErgonEnergy (for disaster response info) Website: www.ergon.com.au (sign up for RSS feeds) Twitter: follow @ergonenergy
WaterIf power is lost, the effect on water supply and sewerage systems can be great.There is a high risk after a disaster (floods in particular) that the water supply can becomecontaminated with sewerage or other pollutants. Listen for alerts regarding contamination, and bealert for any signs of contaminants in your supply.Water supply can also be interrupted after a disaster due to burst pipes. Alert the council as soon aspossible if your businesss water supply has been disrupted. As it may take some time based on theextent of damage in the area, you may need to bring water from offsite.GasWhether you use piped (reticulated) natural gas or a gas bottle at your business, you should always beaware of potential safety concerns.The emergency number of your gas distributor should be in the top right-hand corner of your gas billunder emergencies or leaking gas. Keep this telephone number in your business continuity plan.Phone 1800 808 526 to report incidents, concerns or questions about gas leakages (Origin EnergyNatural Gas & LP Gas Emergencies).If your gas supply is interrupted as a result of a storm, turn off any gas appliances. This will prevent anunchecked flow of gas through appliances when the gas supply is restored. In the event of roadclosures and restricted access to properties, expect some delays in receiving gas deliveries.CommunicationWhile there are many telephone carriers, the infrastructure in most cases is still owned and managedby Telstra. For specific information on your telephone plan, contact your carrier.If your business has been extensively damaged, consider setting up a virtual office service (e.g.telephone answering service or remote secretarial service).
For short-term solutions: • Divert your business phone to a mobile number. - To divert all calls, press *21* enter the number that you are diverting to and then press # - To check that it is on press *#21# - To switch it off, press #21# RE CT • Divert faxes to email. E • Redirect or forward mail to alternative location. NN • Access emails directly from a service provider. COTelstra offers relief packages for small business customers affected by natural disasters.Assistance may include: • free call diversion from an affected landline to another landline or mobile • translation of mobile phone rates to landline rates during the affected time period • providing once-off credit.Affected customers should call Telstra on 132 203 to report a fault on their services and willalso need to register on this number for the applicable relief package.For more information, read Telstras fact sheet on disaster relief packages (PDF, 103KB).Other telecommunication carriers may have similar packages, so ask your provider what reliefthey can offer. Telstra Website: www.telstra.com.au/abouttelstra/commitments/mass-service-disruption/ Business customer service: 132 000 (divert business line to mobile) Faults: 132 999 Optus Customer service: 1300 300 314 (divert business line to mobile) Service difficulties and faults: 131 344
InternetADSL internet supply will generally resume to your computer once landlines arereconnected and power is restored.In the meantime, your mobile wireless internet service will be invaluable. If yourbusiness is in a regional area that depends on satellite broadband, check if yoursatellite dish is damaged. If so, contact your carrier as soon as possible toarrange repair.UHF radiosTwo-way radios are specifically designed for groups or work teams who need tocommunicate instantly. They are commonly used in work sites, factoryenvironments, security companies, trucking and fleet operators, retailenvironments etc. In the event of a disaster or power loss, if your business relieson you being able to contact your employees immediately, you may like toconsider UHF radios as a backup.
Using the contact list from your emergency kit, phone all of your staff to let them know of the damage to your premises and whether business will be interrupted.Where possible, it is important to speak with staff in person (rather than sending a text or an email). First ask about the staff members wellbeing and position.Find out if and how they have been personally affected. Their response to this query will frame the rest of your conversation. Be sensitive and as flexible aspossible. Think about how you can help them.If a staff member has not been greatly affected, they may be able to help you with cleaning up and resuming business.Managing stress and anxietyBe sure to keep your staff well informed about business operations and requirements and be sensitive to their needs. Disasters can cause much stress, anxietyand depression. Look after yourself and your staff. For more information, Queensland Health has a range of useful online resources. You can also phoneQueensland Health on 13HEALTH (13 43 25) or Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.Re-establish your payroll system and ensure employees are getting paid.If your business is interruptedIf your business has been forced to shut down as a result of a natural disaster, you may need to stand down your employees until further notice. “The Fair Work Act 2009 includes provisions which enable employers to stand down employees without pay, where they cannot be usefully employed during a period due to any stoppage of work for which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible such as a natural disaster.” CCIQ Video Standing Down EmployeesWhether you can stand down employees without pay will depend on whether the industrial instrument or employment contracts in question have any stand-down provisions. Some awards may require employees to take paid annual leave under such circumstances.The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) can help you find out what rights and responsibilities you have to your employees in relation to thisprovision. For more information, phone CCIQ on 1300 135 822If you are unsure of your workplace rights contact the Fair work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.
Go through the business impact analysis(part of your business continuity plan).Complete the following steps: 1. Assess the impact the damage will have on your business. 2. Rank the list according to significance. 3. List the steps needed to recover. 4. List what resources you need to get the job done. 5. Assign someone to complete each task. 6. Work out a timetable for completion.
Before contacting your insurer, make a preliminary list of damaged property and the degree of damage to each pieceof property. If possible, photograph items or record them on video for comparison with pre-disaster records.File an insurance claimContact your insurance company as soon as possible. Listen to the radio for details on One Stop Shop RecoveryCentres where insurance representatives will be available to process claims.The Townsville City Council website for disaster information recommends the following: • File a claim even if your business is not specifically covered for the type of disaster that has occurred. It is possible some of the damage can be attributed to causes that are covered. For example, you may not be covered for flooding, but may have cover for water entering under the roof or under the door as result of poor rain runoff. • Erect an identifying sign on your property if destruction is widespread to help claim adjusters locate your property. Include your name, street name and number, insurance company and contact number if you are not on site. • Provide the adjuster with your list of damages, but note in writing that it is only a partial list. You may remember more items later. • Fully explain all losses and be sure to write down all explanations. • Take note of all conversations with insurance adjusters for future reference. Use the table provided in your emergency plan for recording all of these communications, along with the name of the representative, the time and the date of the conversation. • Do not be afraid to get a second opinion from qualified professionals about the costs of repairs and replacements. Compare these with figures being offered by your insurer. • If you are unhappy with an adjusters settlement, appeal to a higher level of management in the company. • Dont rush to settle with your insurance company. Dont accept insurance cheques as final, as you may need to file additional claims later. Consider legal advice before signing any waivers.If requested, Ergon can provide a form that you will need to fill out in order to obtain a letter for your insurancecompany. This letter will confirm that an outage occurred at a specified time.
Financial Ombudsman ServiceIf you have further concerns about your claim, the Financial Ombudsman Service has set up a dedicated hotline to provide information andassistance on financial hardship, insurance claims and other financial issues experienced as a result of natural disasters. Calls to thehotline will be put directly through to their disaster helpline team.Phone: 1800 337 444Email: FOSdisaster@fos.org.auLegal AidLegal assistance is available for getting an insurance claim paid or for legal clarification.Phone: 1300 651 188Website: www.legalaid.qld.gov.auLeased premisesCall your landlord or real estate agent to discuss cleanup, insurance issues, and recommencement of trading and payment of rent.Take photos of damage. Your landlord or real estate agent may require these later.Your lessors obligations and your obligations are covered under the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 (PDF, 271KB) and Retail Shop LeasesRegulation 2006 (PDF, 352KB).There may be clauses in your lease that may allow a reduction or cessation of rent depending on theseverity of damage to the property.For more information read the Department of Justice and Attorney-Generals retail leasing guidelines (PDF, 271KB).Other useful contacts include:Retail Shop Leases RegistryPhone: 1800 807 051Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: www.justice.qld.gov.auQueensland Retail Traders and Shopkeepers Association (QRTSA)Phone: 1300 721 730Website: www.qrtsa.com.au
Planning for clean up“It is important to remember that businesses have legal obligations under the Workplace Health and Safety legislation to ensure health and safety of themselves,their workers, and all others including contractors, helpers and volunteers at all time.”WHS Assessing the Damage VideoWhen planning for clean up you will need toconsider the following: • timing • scheduling of work • resources • equipment • how the work will be managed • how hazards will be controlled.To ensure safety you will need to consider thefollowing control measures: • safe workplace • safe access to and from site • personal protection equipment • hygiene • required skill.Brief all site members before starting, outlininghazards and the precautions they should take.Advise your workers to report any additionalhazards and soon as they arise.
Taking action to clean upIt is essential that you supervise and monitor all workers on site,including contractors and volunteers. Make sure workers are: • working within their capacity • abiding by agreed safety rules • using personal protection equipment • undertaking only assigned tasks • taking breaks and having a good supply of fluids and food.Local councilAfter a disaster, your local council may assist with the removal ofdebris. Contact your local council to find out what arrangement is inplace for rubbish removal. For information and updates check theTownsville City Council website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.Insurance and securityIf the external envelope of your building is damaged (doors cant belocked, windows are broken etc.), your contents insurance may betemporarily voided from that point onwards, from any further losses bytheft or other causes, until such time as the building is made secure.(Cover can usually be extended to cover the cost of temporary repairs,or protection to the building following damage caused by an insuredperil.)Once you have recorded and reported your initial claim, you may needto immediately take action to protect and secure your remainingcontents or to remove them from the building.
Once you have assessed the damage and can calculate the time it will take to get your businessback to normal, it is important to contact your customers, suppliers and other key people.CustomersIt is vital to keep in contact with your customers and clients. Advise them of any future plans foryour business as soon as possible. (If you are moving, send out emails to advise of new addressand contact details. If your business has been impacted, let them know an approximate date forresuming business.)If you do not communicate with your customers they may go elsewhere and you run the risk oflosing your client base. Adjust contracts with customers if necessary.Remember, media does not always reflect the true situation. Your customers from out of town orinterstate may be getting a very different picture of the status of your business. Contact them assoon as possible.SuppliersNotify suppliers as soon as possible if you cannot accept deliveries. Make necessaryarrangements to either postpone or cancel deliveries or suggest an alternate drop off point.Other key contacts • Contact your financial institution to discuss your current situation and options for renegotiating the terms and conditions of any loans and lines of credit. Ask if they are offering specialised business support. • Contact your accountant and explain the situation. Ask for business and tax relief action advice. • Notify creditors as soon as possible about lost bills or difficulties in paying bills. Try to negotiate an agreement to reduce payments or spread them over a longer period. • Notify power, phone and gas companies if your business is damaged or destroyed, so that billing can be adjusted.
DocumentsAppendix 1 - Business continuity plan templateThe business continuity plan template contains examples of actions to be taken whenplanning your response to a disaster. This guide will assist you to undertake a riskmanagement plan and business impact analysis and create incident response andrecovery plans for your business.Appendix 2 - Further examples of checklistsThe Australian Government has a number of useful checklists for emergencymanagement and recovery. These include: • prepare your business checklist • take action checklist • business recovery checklist.Appendix 2 contains key actions which have been extracted from 2 of the checklists.The first checklist contains suggested actions to be carried out before a disaster andthe second checklist notes suggested actions to be completed immediately followinga disaster.Queensland Government business and industry websiteFor more practical information, resources and support to help prepare and rebuildyour business after a disaster visit our business and industry website and follow us onour Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.
Web resourcesAustralian Government: www.business.gov.auAustralian Government Business Recovery checklists:www.business.gov.au/BusinessTopics/Emergencymanagementandrecovery/Pages/default.aspxAustralian Government – Emergency Management & Recovery Plan:www.business.gov.au/BUSINESSTOPICS/Pages/default.aspxAustralian Taxation Office - www.ato.gov.au/Bureau of Meteorology: www.bom.gov.au/Bureau of Meteorology – Queensland Weather and Warningswww.bom.gov.au/qld/index.shtml?ref=hdrCCIQ Advocacy Report: Six Months on from Queenslands Natural DisastersCentrelink: www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/home/index.htmCPA Australia – How to manage a business following a disasterwww.cpaaustralia.com.au/cps/rde/xbcr/cpa-site/disaster-recovery-toolkit.pdfErgon web site- www.ergon.com.auErgon Twitter – follow@ergonenergyErgon FacebookFinancial Ombudsman Service Natural Disaster Insurance Claim SupportNorth Queensland Small Business Development Centre – Townsville-based not -for-profitorganisation providing advice and assistance to small and medium sized businesseshttp://nqsmallbusiness.com/
QRAA - may release grants and low interest loans for primary producers, business and not-for-profit organisations -http://qraa.qld.gov.au/Queensland Government for business and industry www.business.qld.gov.au/businessQueensland Government Disaster Management www.disaster.qld.gov.au/Queensland Government Disaster Management – Get ready Queensland www.disaster.qld.gov.au/getready/Queensland Government: Tune in to Warnings InformationQueensland Health http://access.health.qld.gov.au/hid/HealthConsumerInformation/CopinginaCrisis/stressManagement_is.aspTelstra Natural Disaster Relief PackagesThe Australian Early Warning Network www.townsville.qld.gov.au/resident/Disaster/Emergency/cyclone/Pages/default.aspxTownsville City Council Cyclones and Storms www.townsville.qld.gov.au/resident/Disaster/Emergency/cyclone/Pages/default.aspxTownsville City Council: Disaster RecoveryTownsville City Council: Disaster Recovery on FacebookTownsville City Council: Making an Insurance ClaimTownsville City Council: www.townsville.qld.gov.au/Pages/default.aspxTownsville Storm Tide Evacuation Guidewww.townsville.qld.gov.au/resident/Disaster/Documents/Storm%20tide%20brochure_FINAL.pdfFurther business advice and supportAustralian Taxation Office (ATO): 13 28 61 to discuss the possibility of an extension on all taxation commitments, The ATO mayalso be able to offer support if you are suffering financial hardship as a result of a disaster.Chamber of Commerce and Industry QueenslandNorth Queensland Small Business Development Centre: 07 4723 8491Queensland Government Business Support Centre: 1300 363 711Queensland Government Disaster Recovery (freecall): 1800 173 349QRAA (freecall): 1800 623 946
GeneralPolice/Fire/Ambulance (life-threatening emergencies): 000Police/Fire/Ambulance (if you have a speech or hearing impairment phone through your TTY): 106Ambulance (non life-threatening calls): 13 12 33Australian Tsunami Threat Information: 1300 878 6264 (1300 TSUNAMI)Bureau of Meteorology Warnings (call costs apply): 1900 955 360Ergon Energy Loss of Supply & Emergencies: 13 22 96Origin Energy Natural Gas & LP Gas Emergencies (leaks only): 1800 808 526Queensland BOM Land Weather and Flood Warnings: 1300 659 219 Townsville emergency contact informationQueensland Coastal Marine Warnings: 1300 360 427 Fire brigade (non life-threatening calls): 07 4771 2111Queensland Government Traffic and Travel information: 13 19 40 Townsville City Council Emergency (after hours): 1300 878 001Queensland Health: 13 43 25 Townsville Hospital: 07 4796 1111Queensland Northern District Service (call costs apply): 1900 969 925 Townsville Local Disaster Management Group - Coordination Centre: 1800 738 541Queensland Tropical Cyclone Warnings: 1300 659 212 Townsville Police (non life-threatening calls): 07 4759 9777Lifeline: 13 11 14 Townsville City Council contact detailsRACQ Road Reports: 1300 130 595 Locations : 103 Walker St 86 Thuringowa DrRSPCA: 1300 852 188 Telephone : 1300 878 001 (business hours)SES Flood and Storm Emergency Assistance: 13 25 00 1300 878 001 (emergency after hours) SMS : 048 8355 822Telstra Faults: 13 22 03 Email : email@example.com