Natural disaster recovery checklist

Find out what financial assistance and support is available if you have been affected by a natural disaster.

This natural disaster recovery checklist outlines the steps you can take to help get your business back on track after a natural disaster. These key steps will give your business the best chance of recovery after a natural disaster such as a flood, cyclone, storm or bushfire.

Read through this natural disaster recovery checklist and click 'Yes' or 'No' to answer the questions.

If you answer 'No' to any question, you will create a list of actions to complete to ensure your business can recover as quickly as possible from a natural disaster.

You can customise this checklist to include information specific to your business by typing into the 'Other' section.

Insurance

Have you:

Received confirmation from emergency services that it is safe to return to your business premises to inspect damage?
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Contacted your insurance company to make a claim (before you begin cleaning up and removing goods)?
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Recorded or photographed damage to your premises, fixtures, vehicles, stock, customer records and equipment?
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Asked your insurance company if you can make a claim under your business interruption or income protection insurance?
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Cleaning up

Have you:

Received confirmation from your insurance company that you can start cleaning, repairing or rebuilding?
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Assessed how much cleaning and repair work is required? Do you have enough employees, family, friends or volunteers to keep going or do you need more help?
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Contacted your local council for information on cleaning and kerbside pickup?
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Ensured undamaged stock is in a secure location to minimise theft?
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If you sell food, have you contacted your local council to find out if you will require an inspection before you begin trading again?
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Turned off all gas and electricity before you begin cleaning up?
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Contacted a licensed electrical contractor to inspect and verify your switchboard, wiring, equipment and appliances?
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Have you contacted a licensed gasfitter to inspect any affected LPG and natural gas appliances and equipment?
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Read Queensland Health's information about natural disasters and severe weather and the Red Cross's emergency resources and Workplace Health and Safety's advice on safely cleaning up after floods and storms?
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Assess the viability of your business

Have you:

Assessed whether you have (or have access to) the finance needed to reopen your business?
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Thought about whether you want to continue running your business?
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Considered how severely the disaster has affected you, your employees, your local community and local infrastructure?
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Assessed whether the market for your products or services has changed, decreased or increased?
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Considered options if you decide not to re-open your business, including exiting your business?
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Re-establish your premises and business records

Have you:

Salvaged and safely stored machinery, equipment and stock?
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Investigated options for your business including temporary accommodation, working from home, leasing premises or relocating by finding the right business location?
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Considered whether you need to buy, hire or lease equipment to ensure you can continue to deliver your product or service?
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Salvaged and safely stored your records, files and correspondence?
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Worked out what hard copy and electronic records you have access to?
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Repaired damaged records?
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Requested copies of records from key sources (e.g. the Australian Taxation Office, your accountant, bank, service providers and suppliers)?
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Assess your finances

Have you:

Completed a cash flow forecast to find out how much cash your business has available?
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Completed a profit and loss report to give you an idea of your financial position?
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Contacted your accountant or financial adviser for advice and support as you analyse your business's current financial position?
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Benchmarked your business to compare your performance with other similar-sized businesses in the same industry?
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Contacted the Australian Tax Office for information about dealing with disasters?
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Manage and pay your staff

Have you:

Considered how your employees have been affected? Is there anything you can do to help and support them?
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Assessed how many employees you have available for cleaning and repair work? Can you retain your employees and assign them other roles until your business is back up and running?
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Considered whether some employees might not return (e.g. leaving the area, moving to temporary accommodation elsewhere, unable to return to work)?
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Considered your employment entitlements during natural disasters or emergencies?
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Phoned the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 to find out if you can stand down staff without pay?
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Communicated with your employees to ensure they are well-informed about what is happening with your business?
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Communicate with key people

Have you:

Contacted your telephone and internet service providers to find out how they can help you stay in touch with your customers, suppliers and staff?
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Contacted your information technology support person to seek advice on restoring your computer systems?
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Communicated with your customers to find out how they are, and to provide them with information about when you will reopen?
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Researched your target market and identified customer needs (which may have changed after the disaster)?
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Talked to your suppliers and distributors to find out if they have been affected by the natural disaster and to tell them when you expect to start trading again?
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Discussed any concerns you might have about paying debts as openly as you can (many businesses offer flexibility after a natural disaster)?
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Reviewed your products and services to meet the current supply and demand?
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Communicated with your competitors to find out how they have been affected by the natural disaster?
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Contacted your industry association to discuss the health and direction of your industry?
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Plan for the future

Have you:

Reviewed your operations by sitting down with your business advisers to ask for advice on what you can do to improve the way your business is run?
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Checked your insurance policy to find out if you have the right insurance cover for your property?
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Spoken to your bank so you both understand the arrangements that are in place when a natural disaster occurs?
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Asked your employees what they would improve about your business if they could?
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Conducted a SWOT analysis to give you essential information about your business, and how you can improve your performance?
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Developed or reviewed your business plan?
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Prepared a business continuity plan?
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Considered what you can do to prepare your business for natural disasters?
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Other

Have you:

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Also consider...