Getting back to business as soon as possible after an emergency event will give your organisation the best chance of surviving the event.

Recovery can be a complex and on-going process. The sooner you can return your business to some degree of normality, the faster you can restore income, jobs, goods and services for your customers and community.

News travels fast and often perceptions are different from reality. It may be up to the individual business to inform staff, customers and suppliers of the business status and implement a marketing plan to assist with returning the business to operation.

In recovering from an emergency, you will need to consider:

  • Assessing the damage 
  • Replenishing supplies in Evacuation Kit for reuse
  • If you can continue trading
  • Communicating with customers, employees and suppliers
  • Contacting your building's owner, manager or agent if applicable
  • Updating website, voice messages, signage and other social media
  • Monitoring cash flow and revise your budget
  • Apply for relief and other assistance
  • Implementing a Marketing Plan

Disaster Recovery Toolkit for Business

Businesses may be affected by disasters directly and indirectly. For instance, businesses may not be directly caught in a disaster, but the resultant decline in trade will affect the business.

The CPA Australia Disaster Recovery Toolkit for Business provides information to assist businesses that are both directly and indirectly affected by disaster.

Steps to getting back to business

  1. Overall damage assessment
  2. Make an insurance claim if you have insurance
  3. Seek government assistance if eligible
  4. Evaluate your financial position:
    1. Reconstruct accounts
    2. Determine cash position
    3. Reconstruct balance sheet
  5. Evaluate your market
  6. Evaluate how your business was run
  7. Develop plan to reopen your business:
    1. Determine how much it will cost to reopen your business as planned and continue operations at that level
    2. Determine how you are going to finance the reopening
    3. Redraft plan or exit business to suit the finances available to the business
  8. Reopen business/exit business (whichever is relevant)

Source: CPA Australia Disaster Recovery Toolkit for Business - July 2009

Australian Taxation Office (ATO) - Guide to dealing with disasters

If you have been affected by a disaster, such as a flood, bushfire or storm, don't worry about your tax affairs right away. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will give you time to deal with your more immediate problems first and then help you to sort out your tax affairs later.

The ATO Guide includes information on:

  • More time to lodge, pay and respond
  • Early access to your money
  • Assistance payments
  • Damaged or destroyed property
  • Reconstructing your tax records
  • Fuel tax credits for individuals, businesses and others
  • Donations to assist disaster victims

Supporting communities affected by disaster

The beyondblue supporting communities affected by disaster section provides information to people impacted by disaster including:

  • Emotional responses after a disaster
  • Looking after yourself and your family after a disaster

Other useful information


The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) provides advice on pasture management, pest plant and animal control, erosion protection, animal health, livestock feed planning, crop and horticulture management and reforestation.

DELWP staff can also connect landholders to services and grants provided by other recovery agencies and organisations. Landholders can be connected to DELWP services in their area by calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line 1800 240 667.


The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) also has a range of flood recovery information designed to help farmers, horticulturists and animal owners to recover from the floods.