Douglas Chamber of Commerce's tips to protect your business

DISASTER ASSISTANCE

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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The wet season has just begun; we’ve had a taste of a mini-cyclone, we’ve had to undergo considerable clean up, and there has already been significant rainfall.

But we cannot sit back and believe the worst is over. We must be prepared for any eventuality. 

In an innovative endeavour, The Douglas Chamber of Commerce is advising its members what to do when a natural disaster affects their tourism business.

In referring its members to the Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development’s website, members will learn the importance of three key steps to follow: Prepare, Respond and Recover.

The department has prepared the following vital information to support tourist operators affected by a natural disaster:

Plan to manage your risk:
• Develop and maintain a Business Continuity Plan and Emergency Response Plan
• Make contact with your Local Disaster Management Group for updates/advice
• Maintain an updated list of key emergency contacts
• Consider what advice you will need to provide your guests (see tourist information flyer)
• Minimise risk by having a risk management plan
• Consider adequate insurance (check the fine print!) and a clear cancellation policy.

The department points out that 80 per cent of businesses that don’t have a continuity plan, don’t survive more than two years after a major crisis.

“For every dollar invested in natural disaster mitigation, three dollars is saved in recovery costs.

“A natural disaster can affect your tourism business in many ways. Your employees, customers, competitors and the local community may also be affected.

Planning and preparing before a natural disaster happens can ensure that your business recovers quickly,” it says.

Where to find more help:

For assistance on how to prepare business continuity and emergency plans and other response and recovery materials visit Business Queensland or Australian Government’s ‘Don’t risk it!’ guide
• For information on how to prepare for different types of natural disasters, including checklists for evacuation and emergency kits visit Get Ready Queensland
• For weather warnings and emergency alerts visit Bureau of Meteorology and Queensland Government alerts 
• For road conditions and closures visit RACQ or QldTraffic 
• For recovery assistance visit Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements  or Business Queensland’s Grants and Assistance Finder 
• For translating and interpreting visit Translating and Interpreting Service or call 131 450.

To learn more about planning to manage your risk, read the Queensland Government's Natural Disaster publication.

 

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