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Risk and Emergency Response Planning

What is risk planning?

Risk is a situation involving exposure to danger, harm, or loss. 

Risk Assessment is defined as a systematic process of evaluating the potential risks that may be involved in a projected activity or undertaking.

When it comes to your business, identifying potential risks and how you and your staff will deal with them could save money and even lives.

Potential risks or natural disasters like a fire, flood or earthquake. Remember Perth’s big hail storm in 2010?

Many businesses were impacted, with systems and assets damaged or lost. Planning for the potential impact emergencies like this, can mean the difference between business survival and failure.

Emergency Response Planning

Let’s talk Emergency Response Planning to ID potential risk areas and protect your business. A good plan will identify areas of your business that need protecting and how to prepare for and survive an emergency.

An Emergency Response Plan will include procedures, details and action lists.

For example, in an emergency there are important actions to take for yourself, your employees and your business i.e. having details of local emergency warning systems, contact details for emergency services, emergency office procedures, being able to easily locate important business paperwork and backup drives, contacting relevant people or parties about your whereabouts and situation.

Surviving the emergency is one thing. Then there is process of assessment and recovery after the disaster has passed.

Taking the time to prepare a detailed plan before an emergency means you can act quickly to firstly survive the emergency and secondly, return to business as usual, as quickly as possible.

What to consider

Things to consider include as part of your risk and emergency response planning;

  • backup options for services like telephone, internet, electricity, gas, water, fuel etc.
  • options for a temporary location to carry out business
  • whether setting up a virtual office service would be beneficial
  • what are the key skills and people needed to carry out your business
  • options for other ways to sell your products

When the dust has settled, so to speak, then comes the process of assessing any damage and the impact this will have on your business. Considerations may include how the market has responded and what actions your business may need to take to adapt. What is your financial situation? Can you increase funding? Negotiate with creditors? Chase debtors? Apply for hardship funding?

After an emergency, talk to your insurance company as soon as possible. Contact your bank for advice and talk to employees about their plans to return to work. Connect with clients about your situation and consider using social media to seek help and keep people in the loop about your business.

There are always lessons to learn and therefore add to an Emergency Response Plan. Having a plan in the first place will make a big difference to how you respond and will increase the chance of your business surviving.

Do you have questions?

Do you need some assistance or advice about identifying risks and preparing an Emergency Response Plan?

CVW Accounting staff are happy to sit down with you for a chat. Contact us today on 9219 1300.


This blog was originally written and published in August 2017. It has since been edited and updated in January 2019 and August 2021.

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