Don’t get burnt by not prepping for disasters

When fire ripped through the Kelmscott and Roleystone in the Perth Hills in 2011 and razed more than 70 houses the focus of the nation was on those who’d been left without their homes.

While undoubtedly the costs were high – businesses were impacted too.

They faced road closures, power outages and a severe reduction in trade due to customers dealing with their own fire impacts.

Others just avoided the area as the Buckingham Bridge on Brookton Highway – a main access road – was entirely wiped out, forcing detours for an extended time.

According to the Office of Emergency Management state preparedness program leader Richard Pieper, communities impacted by natural disasters have a heightened awareness and are more prepared for only about three years after a disaster.

Then complacency sets in.

Being prepared can mean the difference between a business surviving or failing in the aftermath of an emergency. However, according to last year’s Emergency Preparedness Report, only 16-22 per cent of businesses and industries make a business continuity plan.

Pieper will provide a timely reminder of the potential risks and costs associated with natural disasters at the free Business Armadale Natural Disaster Roundtable on August 30 at the City of Armadale offices at 7 Orchard Avenue.

He says research shows extreme weather events are on the rise and of greater intensity as temperatures rise. Urban development is also contributing as with smaller blocks and higher densities, there are more things in the way when a disaster strikes.

The economic costs of natural disasters in Australia was more than $9 billion in 2015 but is expected to top $33b by 2050, unless communities plan better instead of thinking it will never happen to them.

CCI’s Safety and Risk Senior Consultant Rachael Lincoln will run businesses through the key processes involved in preparing for a natural disaster including conducting a business impact analysis and emergency response procedures.

CCI can provide your business with a free Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Workbook with step-by-step instructions and checklists to help develop a business continuity plan.


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