Small businesses urged to get Disaster Ready

Small businesses urged to get Disaster Ready

29/05/2023, 2:00 PM

The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is encouraging business owners operating in high-risk areas on the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island, and Bass Coast to take part in a new Disaster Ready program to run from June to September 2023.

In collaboration with the Country Fire Authority (CFA), Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Relations (DJSIR) and social enterprise Resilient Ready, this free program was developed to help business owners build resilience, and prepare for future emergencies.

By signing-up to the Disaster Ready program, you can:

  • Create your personalised business resilience toolkit
  • Upskill with 15 x 5 minute e-learning modules
  • Watch videos of local business owners sharing their disaster stories
  • Attend community and online workshops
  • Build regional connections with other local businesses experiencing similar challenges

Small businesses are the heart and soul of Victorian communities, so getting Disaster Ready is important for business owners operating in high-risk areas. Natural disasters such as floods and bushfires can deeply impact communities, which results in less traffic to popular travel and tourism hotspots. The program aims to build the capability and capacity of business owners to better understand their emergency risks and hazards and to prepare themselves, for severe weather events.

The Disaster Ready program covers 15 resilience-themed short modules, all of which discuss a locally-relevant topic. Each takes 5 - 10 minutes to complete. Each module includes two simple yes/no questions, a local business case study, and easy-to-understand worksheets and tools.

Community and online workshops will also be held to build local connections and facilitate a dialogue between business owners.

Program outcomes include:

  • Safer tourists and tourism operators
  • Increased knowledge across the business community
  • Positive behaviour changes resulting in better business
  • Data to identify local business community vulnerabilities.

The program has been produced with funding provided by the Australian Government, in partnership with the States and Territories, under the National Partnership Agreement for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Registrations for the program are open now via Disaster Ready Great Ocean Road and Disaster Ready Phillip Island + Bass Coast.

Quotes attributable to Barwon South West Duty Officer, Costas Chrysopoulos:

“We know that prepared communities are resilient communities, and that small business owners have an important role to play during an emergency and for a speedy recovery.

"Our volunteers along the Great Ocean Road, in Phillip Island, and around the Bass Coast are ready for severe weather events; they need you to get Disaster Ready too.”