Planning for Storms & Cyclone Jasper

Planning for Storms & Cyclone Jasper

The Storm & Cyclone season has started bringing with it severe thunderstorms, cyclone and damaging hail. Cyclone Jasper is expected to make landfall near Port Douglas with winds of 120km/h near its centre. The Bureau of Meteorology has regular updates and reports here.

Planning can help you and your business reduce injuries, amount of damage and impact to your business and customers. 

Wind, thunderstorm and flood preparation

These are common-sense strategies that help to protect your business, as well as your employees and customers. For example, do you know what the main weather risks are in your area? Have you checked whether your buildings are in a storm or flood prone area and have a plan to move stock, plant and machinery from flood waters? 

There are a number of state government websites with checklists or specific information for your area. Insurers also provide risk management advice like this from Zurich Insurance.

Of course, there’s the usual preparations for storm season, such as getting a builder to check that the roof, windows and doors are able to handle storms in your area. Also clearing out gutters, as well as trimming trees that are too close to buildings. 

It also pays to discuss your risk management with an insurance specialist. They are professionals who can help to minimise risks, including advising on Business Interruption Insurance, which covers your fixed costs such as wages and rent, if your business is damaged during a storm.

Emergency plans - basics

An up-to-date emergency plan is needed, which is understood by employees so they understand their roles and what is expected. This will assist to minimise injuries and damage.

The plan should include;

  • Monitoring local radio for updates on severe weather warnings in your district; 
  • Preparing a plan that includes key people contact info and their roles, including insurance details and adviser information;
  • Rehearsing responses for specific weather events and evacuation procedures;
  • Pre-packing an emergency kit that includes a portable radio, torch, spare batteries, first aid kit;
  • Having emergency equipment on standby (e.g., tarpaulins, rope, nails, hammer, timber, sandbags) to protect plant, stock and other building contents in the event that the storm damages the roof or wall structure.
  • Isolating water, gas and electrical power supplies when severe storms are forecast to prevent further damage and personal injury from ruptured pipes or fallen power lines.

It might also be good to speak with other business owners in your building or immediate area, so that you can work with each other, if needed. 

Maybe another business has a large warehouse that could be used to store vehicles undercover? Maybe someone else has a vacant building in another suburb that’s above the flood waters where vital equipment can be stored temporarily? 
Sometimes, however, despite doing all you can to minimise your risks, the worst still happens. Building’s roofs are lost, stock is water damaged or powerlines are brought down. That’s why insurance is important to manage the financial risk of storms and cyclones. 

You should make a time to call your insurance adviser to review your covers and ensure your sums insured are still adequate, taking into account inflation and increased labour costs.

To discuss storm and flood insurance for your business, talk to an insurance professional today and find your local adviser.

Important Information 

This communication including any weblinks or attachments is for information purposes only. It is not a recommendation or opinion, your business or personal objectives, financial situation or needs have not been taken into account. This communication is not intended to constitute personal advice. 

We strongly recommend that you consider the suitability of this information, in respect of your own personal objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. This document is also not a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or a policy wording, nor is it a summary of a particular product’s features or terms of any insurance product. If you are interested in discussing this information or acquiring an insurance product, you should contact your insurance adviser to obtain and carefully consider any relevant PDS or policy wording before deciding whether to purchase any insurance product.

SME Business Insurance

SME Business Insurance

Business Insurance is used by many businesses, but it’s best suited to SME-type operators.

Business Interruption Insurance

Business Interruption Insurance

From your family and employees to customers and suppliers, there are a lot of people who depend on your business opening its doors each day.

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