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Work Ready

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Your 4 steps to being work ready

Work Ready

Emergencies can happen anytime, including during business hours. You can’t predict when they will happen, but you can take actions to help your business be more prepared.

If you are a small to medium-sized business or organisation and are finding it hard to make the necessary plans, this will give you all the information you need to get started.

The good news is that it is not as hard as you think!

Click below to listen to Hilary Ord, former owner of Verona Café, talking about surviving the 1998 Auckland Power Crisis which saw the power go off in Auckland's CBD for about six weeks:

Understand the risks to your business

Auckland is a great place to own and run a business. However, because of our location in the world we are vulnerable to a range of natural events like flooding, strong winds, fire, tornadoes and tsunami. We’re also at risk from power outages, water supply failure, terrorism and pandemics. 

When an emergency happens, Auckland Emergency Management and the emergency services will be busy helping the people who need them the most. So, it is up to you to make sure your staff and customers, as well as your family and the people you care about, know what to do.

Use our hazard viewer to find out more about what hazards may affect your business.  If you have staff, talk to them about the hazards they think are the most relevant.

An important step to being prepared is finding out what the hazards are and the impact they could have on your business.

  • Your building may be damaged.
  • The area where your business is located may be evacuated and you may not be able to get to your computer or important documents.
  • The power may be off for several days and your business may not have water.
  • Your staff may have been injured, need to look after family members or cannot get to work.
  • Your customers have moved away from the area or no longer need what your business sells.

Listen to an expert’s practical, user friendly advice on how to prepare your business for disruptive events, like COVID-19.

Prepare for an emergency

An emergency plan is a health and safety requirement.

As an employer, you have a legal duty of care to your staff, including keeping them safe during and after emergencies. All businesses must have plans in place to deal with an emergency.

Your emergency management plan should include:

  • Clear evacuation procedures. Decide on a safe meeting place that’s close to your premises.
  • A procedure to handle injuries. People may be injured and you may have to look after them for several hours until help arrives. Make sure you have blankets and a first aid kit.
  • Emergency contact details. Keep important contact details updated and handy. This includes phone numbers for staff, emergency services, clients, suppliers and your insurance company.
  • Emergency supplies. In an emergency, your staff may be stuck at work or unable to take transport home for many hours or even a day. Ensure you have enough supplies for everyone onsite, including customers and visitors.
  • Instructions for switching off electricity, water and gas supplies. Fires caused by gas leaks and electrical sparks are a risk after a disaster strikes. You will also want to save water. Make sure your staff know when and how to shut these off.

Exactly what's needed at your workplace will depend on the nature of your business, its risks, its size and location, and the number of people working there.

Start by involving your staff. Talk to them about what they, and their families, would need to get through an emergency.

Our simple Emergency Response Plan Template will help you put together a basic plan for your business. Download the Emergency Response Plan Template (save a copy to your computer before you start to fill it in), complete each section and place it on the wall where all your staff can see it.

Encourage staff to have personal workplace emergency plans, so they know who to contact at work in an emergency and have a plan to get home safely.

Downloadable resources:

Have a business continuity plan

Disruption is generally unpredictable and can happen at any time. You can’t predict when it will happen, but you can take actions to help your business be more prepared.

Business continuity planning – it’s not as hard as you think!

A business continuity plan identifies how your business or organisation can keep it's essential functions up and running during a time of disruption.

If you are a small to medium-sized business or organisation and are finding it hard to make time to complete a plan, then our business continuity planning guide is designed to help you. Planning will give your business or organisation a better chance of recovering quickly.

Our simple guide will walk you through the steps required to develop a business continuity plan. Download the Business Continuity Plan Template (save a copy to your computer before you start to fill it in) and complete each section by working through the easy to follow steps in the Business Continuity Guide.

Downloadable resources: 

Get involved in your community

Get involved in your local business community. In an emergency, you may be able to help each other get back up and running faster by sharing equipment, staff or premises.

Get to know your local Chamber of Commerce, industry organisations, business neighbours, competitors and suppliers. Talk to them about their emergency and business continuity plans.

Join your local Business Improvement District (BID)

If your premises are not affected, you may also be able to support your staff and customers by providing a meeting space and letting those without power charge their mobile phones and laptops or store medicine in your fridge.

Likewise, if your customers cannot come to you, make a plan to get your products and/or services to them.

Get involved in your community’s events