On this page
- Staying alert during a fire
- Immediate assistance if you've been affected by a bushfire
- Recovering quickly from a bushfire
Staying alert during the fire
In the event of a bushfire that's likely to affect your business, these steps will help you keep you, your staff and clients safe, while giving your business the best chance of recovery:
- Activate your emergency plan early – and stick to it.
- Follow the advice of emergency services.
- Stay informed and keep your clients and staff informed:
Listen to ABC Local Radio – Victoria's official emergency broadcaster
Visit the VicEmergency website for up-to-date information on bushfires and emergency response programs.
A telephone-based warning system will also be used to issue warnings to communities if there's an emergency, including a fire.
You may receive a text message to your mobile, or a voice message to your landline phone. When a message is issued, it will go to all phones linked to properties in a designated area by billing address (not your actual location at a given time).
Don't rely on receiving a message
- You must still prepare and have an action plan ready even if you haven't received an official message.
- If you live in an area that has a mobile 'black spot' it's important to have a landline phone – the landline phone should not be cordless because it won't work if you lose your electricity supply.
- If you receive a warning, act on its advice.
- If you don't understand the message, ask family, friends or neighbours for help.
- For help with English, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on free call number 131 450 – ask them to telephone the VicEmergency Hotline.
- Unless you urgently need emergency services (police, fire or ambulance) don't dial 000 for information.
Livestock, pets and other animals
If your business involves larger animals you should prepare a livestock fire plan. Agriculture Victoria website has information about livestock fire plans.
Businesses involving smaller animals (such as vets, pet stores and animal shelters) should consider them in the business fire plan.
Recovering from a bushfire
If your business has been affected by a bushfire, its recovery will depend on many factors, some of which may be beyond your control.
It's important to focus on what you can do to improve your business' chances of a quick recovery.
For information on support services and programs to help people and businesses affected by fire, visit VicEmergency's Emergency Relief and Recovery web page.
The following organisations have support available for financial hardships after a fire. Major banks and some small banks also provide assistance.
- Australian Securities and Investment Commission Fee Relief
- Australian Taxation Office - tax obligations following a disaster
- Department of Health and Human Services Financial Crisis Support – links to immediate assistance for individuals including accommodation, food and clothing and a Personal Hardship Assistance Program
- Centrelink/Department of Human Services financial support services.
Other resources include:
- CPA Australia Disaster Recovery Toolkit
- Federal Government Disaster Assist
- Rural Financial Counselling Service – Gippsland
- Small Business Mentoring Service
Case Study: Recovering after a bushfire
'We were very lucky to have comprehensive insurance. Particularly as a new business it can sometimes be hard to get business insurance without being able to prove establishment and stability. Without our cover, it really would have been 50:50 if we could have kept on going.'
Kerrie Livingstone, Crumbs Gourmet Biscuits
Read more about Recovering after a bushfire.