Quick tips on how to respond during a natural disaster
A natural disaster, such as a bushfire or flood, can disrupt and impact your business in many ways. Contact your guests, employees and suppliers to keep them informed of the situation and if you are open for trade, or when you plan to reopen.
Quick tip: Assess the threat
Consider the weather conditions, any warnings and the possibility that you will need to activate your emergency and evacuation plans in the event of an imminent threat. The Fire Danger Ratings give you an indication of the possible consequences of a fire, if one were to start.
Quick tip: Look after your visitors
- Keep everyone safe – make sure you have mobile phone numbers for all guests currently visiting you and stay in regular contact.
- Prepare evacuation messaging and instructions and share with guests, along with details of the local ABC radio station, so they can access up-to-date information in the event of mobile network interruption.
- Reach out to guests with upcoming bookings and provide clear updates and information.
Quick tip: Look after your employees
- Keep in touch with your employees and advise them of the impact the natural disaster has had on the business.
- Check in with your employees to see if they can work or have also been impacted.
- More information about your options and employee leave entitlements during natural disasters or emergencies, and what to do if your business temporarily closes, is available from the Fair Work Ombudsman by calling 13 13 94 during business hours or online.
Quick tip: Stay in touch with your distribution partners
Update your distribution partners, such as inbound tour operators (ITOs) and online travel agents (OTAs), through which your visitors have booked.
Keep them updated on:
- Safety status of your business and visitors.
- Experience or itinerary changes that you are implementing to keep current and future guests safe.
- NSW Rural Fire Service’s tips for visitors on Travelling in a Bushfire Area, which you can also share with your distribution partners to share with their guests ahead of travel.
- Cancellations required due to a natural disaster.
Quick tip: Social media during bushfires or natural disasters
- Acknowledge the event and post safety information. Ensure messaging on social media is in line with the traveller advice issued by the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) or local travel dashboard
- Post factual details about business closures
- Post sensitively and show empathy for affected regions at a time when they are vulnerable
Refer to the Prepare for the Unexpected guide from the NSW Small Business Commission to implement your business continuity plans, using the supplied templates and checklists.
Get accurate visitor information during bushfires
- NSW Rural Fire Service website
- Bushfire Information Line: 1800 679 737
- Fire Danger Ratings
- NSW Rural Fire Service on social media