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Disaster resilience for business

Preparing your business to survive disasters.

Did you know that most disaster preparation is the same regardless of what the situation is? It might seem hard but preparing your business for disaster is easier than you think.

A disaster recovery plan will enable you to adapt more quickly to change so you can minimise the risk of disruption to your business. Make sure to share your plan with your staff so they know what to do.

When thinking about how to help your business survive future disasters, ask yourself:

  • What would make my business ready to adapt?
  • How can I prepare before a disaster?
  • How do I keep trading during a disaster?
  • What do I need to get my business back up and running?

The more you know about what could disrupt your business, the more you can do to prevent it.

Use the checklist for business response and continuity to help you when disasters strike.

Complete the toolkit to help your business be more resilient to future disasters.

Watch our video about five steps you can take to prepare your business for disruption and build business resilience.

What is business resilience, preparedness, response and recovery?

There are four areas to consider when looking at helping your business survive disasters:

  • business resilience
  • business preparedness and prevention
  • business response and continuity
  • business resumption and recovery.

Diagram for business resilience

What is business resilience?

A resilient business can adapt to disruptions and keep operating while looking after its people, assets and brand equity.

Business resilience is a whole-of-business approach. It helps owners and managers respond to disasters, shocks and disruptions.

The key to business resilience is knowing which processes, critical needs and workflows you need to keep trading.

The more you and your staff know about what your business needs to keep operating, the more resilient your business will be.

What is business preparedness and prevention?

Preparing your business is the step before a disaster, but it’s often forgotten.

Being prepared means knowing the risks your business faces. You’ll be more aware of how a potential disaster might affect your operations. And you can work out which risks you can prevent.

It’s important to make time every week or month to plan and prepare your business for potential hazards.

What is business response and continuity?

Once a disaster occurs, your business must put the safety of people first. You also need to protect business assets as you react to the changes around you.

Business continuity allows you to keep doing business until things return to normal. Your response team will action your emergency and evacuation plan while you focus on trading safely.

This section will help you to strengthen your ability to respond to disasters like bushfires, floods, cyber-attacks and pandemics.

So, what are the relevant high-level issues during a disaster?

  • evacuation and emergency contacts
  • people, assets, resources and operations
  • business information, data and systems IT
  • products, goods and services
  • finances and financial management
  • logistics, supply chains and insurance
  • commercial arrangements
  • professional support and networks
  • partnerships, customers and communications
  • grants and government funding.

What is business resumption and recovery?

After a disaster, you'll want to restore your business to how it was before the interruption. While business response and continuity is how you respond during the disaster, resuming your business begins once the situation has ended.

With a fast and cost-effective plan to support essential operations, you can keep serving your customers and clients.

Business recovery focuses on recovering all business processes, including employees, workspaces, equipment and facilities.

If you’ve prepared well, your business will recover from a disaster more efficiently in the short, medium and long term. Your reward will be high customer and client retention when you need it most.

Checklist for business response

This quick reference checklist will help you protect your people and assets as you respond to a disaster. It will also help you to continue operating until you return to normal business operations.

Checklist: Leading your business during disasters | fillable version (PDF 164.03 KB)PDF icon

Checklist: Leading your business during disasters | screen quality (PDF 118.75 KB)PDF icon

Checklist: Leading your business during disasters | accessible version (DOCX 24.54 KB)DOCX icon

Disaster resilience for business toolkit

The disaster resilience toolkit is an easy-to-follow framework suitable for every business.
Completing this toolkit will help you:
  • identify what will make your business resilient to disasters
  • understand how you can prepare before a disaster
  • keep your business trading safely during a disaster
  • get your business back up and running after a disaster.

Toolkit: Disaster resilience for business | fillable version (PDF 4118.21 KB)PDF icon

Toolkit: Disaster resilience for business | print quality (PDF 3697.05 KB)PDF icon

Toolkit: Disaster resilience for business (PDF 735.91 KB)PDF icon

Toolkit: Disaster resilience for business | accessible version (DOCX 4160.37 KB)DOCX icon