Emergency management planning is more than just planning for natural disasters; it’s a way to operate your business. A business should know its strengths and weaknesses and put strategies in place to adapt to any likely scenario.

For example, a business may be affected by flood, with damage to information systems and most of its assets. Regardless of the damage, the impact of this disaster on business operations would be similar to that of a robbery if the same systems and assets were lost. Planning for the impact of an emergency rather than the emergency itself will give your business a greater chance of survival.

Emergency management planning can help you identify risks to your business, critical areas of your business and how to best protect them. It also covers continuity and recovery planning to help your business prepare for and survive any emergency situation.

Emergency Management and Recovery Plan

Business Victoria has developed an Emergency Management and Recovery Plan guide and template to step you through the process of creating a solid, well-structured plan tailored to your business.

The plan covers:

  • Continuity planning
  • Risk management
  • Critical business area analysis
  • Scenario planning
  • Insurance
  • Property and infrastructure
  • Business as usual planning
  • Emergency action plan
  • Recovery
  • Finances

Critical Information File

Small Business Victoria has developed a Critical Information List template to assist business owners to create a detailed file which can be used to access information in an emergency or by someone else to make decisions on your behalf. Copies of this file should be kept in multiple external locations to your business and include information on insurances, banking and other finances, customer and supplier contact information.

Asset Register

Businesses should develop and maintain an asset register which lists insured items and provides a detailed description of each item, location, date purchased, serial number and a photo. A copy of the asset register should be kept in your Critical Information File off-site which will assist after an emergency to fast-track insurance claims and prioritise what needs to be replaced.

In planning for an emergency, you should also consider:

  • Researching historical data
  • Data storage and back-ups
  • Ensuring property and equipment is properly maintained and serviced
  • Stock volume and location
  • Identifying plumbing and sewerage risks
  • Hazardous substances and dangerous goods
  • Engaging the services of an engineer
  • Viewing the property to determine the slope of the land and to identify any potential flood hazards

Other useful information


Property-Specific Flood Charts

Flood warnings always include a predicted maximum river gauge reading and estimated time of arrival of the peak. Property-specific flood charts, based on data collected in 2000, shows the approximate river gauge height when flooding of the property and floor level is likely to commence. Flood charts for your property can be obtained by contacting Council. 

Victoria State Emergency Service - Business FloodSafe Toolkits

It's not just homes that can be affected by floods, flooding may also be a risk to your business. Think of how much you could lose in stock, equipment and fittings due to a flood, along with the profits you could lose for the days and weeks it might take you to clean up after the flood.

One of the simplest ways to manage the risk of flooding to your business is to create a Business FloodSafe Plan. Being FloodSafe is not expensive or time consuming, but it may help save lives and prevent injuries, and also help you reduce the financial damage that floods can cause.

The online Business FloodSafe Toolkit is an interactive template which is self guided to assist in the development of your plan. You can customise the plan as much as you like, or you can simply use the suggestions provided in the template.

There are two versions of the toolkit, one for flash flooding and one for riverine flooding.


Country Fire Authority

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) website provides information on fire safety for your business or premises including caravan park fire safety, emergency plans for commercial properties and the safe storing of dangerous goods.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning - Bushfire Preparation and Plan

Farms located adjacent to forests may be engulfed by a bushfire in a matter of hours or days, while fast moving grass fires, fuelled by dried pastures can develop and devastate in minutes or hours.

It is important to plan and be prepared early, so you lessen the impact of fire on your property and livestock. Do not wait until the threat is imminent.

Pests, Diseases and Weeds

Pests, diseases and weeds are a constant risk for primary producers, as they can have a serious impact on agricultural production and market access.

Find more information about the prevention, management and treatment of these pests, diseases and weeds on the Agriculture Victoria website.

Anthrax in Animals

The Agriculture Victoria website also contains information for the benefit of the general public wanting to gain a greater understanding of Anthrax in animals. It explains a little about the history of the disease in Australia, it signs and occurrence, and Victoria's prevention and control methods.

RSPCA Emergency Planning

It's important you prepare now to ensure your animals are protected from disasters that may place your animals in danger. RSPCA provides emergency planning information to encourage you to not only prepare for an evacuation but implement a practice run through of your emergency evacuation plan.