Much of Australia has already been impacted by severe weather conditions throughout Spring. Events like LaNina brought rain, cooler days, tropical cyclones and unfortunately, widespread flooding in the whole country over the past few years.
It’s not always easy to predict when the weather is going to turn nasty and damaging events are going to occur.
The good news is that there is plenty you can do to minimise the effects of the severe weather conditions on your business. Read on for our top four actions.
1. Make a Plan
Every business should have a holiday and weather management plan. These are plans for when your business may be closed for a period of time or when your business may experience a significant weather event.
For a holiday plan, ensure your property is safe and secure. Consider equipment that you might want to disconnect. For example, any non-essential electrical appliances and IT equipment.
Ensure your property is adequately secured, and your security system is working properly. Think about rubbish and mail collection so that your workplace doesn’t look abandoned. You want to ensure that your property appears like someone is checking on it regularly to deter a potential break in.
For a weather plan, think about the safety of clients and employees and what you need to do to protect stock and equipment.
Ensure you have an evacuation plan which is easily visible and that your team members understand what to do. Consider the setup of your office or shop and what you can do to protect your assets or stock. Are they stored appropriately? What can be easily moved to a second location?
Remember, a plan needs to be shared with team members and discussed regularly so that people know instinctively what to do.
2. Minimise the effects of severe weather conditions on your business with maintenance and repairs
No matter if your business is in a metropolitan or regional area, regular maintenance and repairs can help minimise damage if an event occurs.
If you are renting the property, engage the landlord for repairs well before the property gets too run down.
Where you own property, ensure it is well maintained by regularly removing old debris and cleaning gutters and downpipes. If there are trees around the property, get an Arborist to assess and trim them. Strong winds may uproot trees or break branches that can cause significant damage.
3. Setup your workplace to minimise damage
If you operate your business in a flood or cyclone area, take some time to consider how your office or shop is laid out.
Ensure that all valuable goods, equipment and electricity cables are lifted off the floor, above usual flood levels are ideal. Consider if you can affix things to walls, or use cabinets or shelves so that items, especially technical equipment and valuable stock aren’t on the floor.
For those in areas where cyclones or high winds are prone, put window shutters in place, and get any outdoor items bolted down or have a plan to easily move and store them indoors.
4. Ensure your insurance policies are up to dateWe know that your business constantly changes. This makes it crucial to keep your insurance coverage up to date.
Over the past year, you may have introduced new products or services. For example, many cafes and restaurants are catering for more deliveries and at home meals. A new delivery driver or food services may affect the type of insurance you need or your coverage limits.
The value of your assets may have changed. For example, commercial property values are continually changing with interest rates, so it is recommended to have regular property valuations to ensure your property is insured appropriately.