Checklist - Tourism operators
During a disaster, your tourism-based business may need to look out for the well-being of your customers, as well as your staff and property. Even if you are not directly affected by a disaster, you could be negatively impacted by nearby damage and a possible downturn in customers for your business. Use this checklist to plan for these events in advance and assist in minimising these impacts to your business.
- Identify the type of natural hazards that could affect your business. The following sources of information could help you with this:
- Include risk mitigation strategies for these hazards in your Business Continuity Plan.
- Think about your insurance needs and make sure your chosen policy provides an appropriate level of cover for your business and that you understand any requirements.
- Keep a back-up copy of critical documents and business data in a secure off-site location.
- Regularly maintain your property to improve its capacity to withstand a natural disaster (for example, repairs, trimming vegetation, clearing drains).
- Consider making changes to your business buildings/property to protect against a natural disaster (for example, tiling the floor in flood prone areas).
- Include provisions for interruptions of essential services and critical infrastructure during an emergency (for example, power, water, phone, fuel) as part of your Business Continuity Plan.
- Identify an evacuation plan and route that is specific to your business property and location, record this in your Business Continuity Plan.
- Identify safe refuge locations on your business property in case it is not possible or safe for staff, business visitors or guests to evacuate.
- Identify the emergency arrangements for your area. For example, check your Community Bushfire Protection Plan for your Nearby Safer Place and Exit Routes at www.fire.tas.gov.au Note that a Nearby Safer Place should be a place of last resort, and not your only plan in an emergency.
- Plan how you will keep informed during an emergency:
- your local accredited Visitor Information Centre receives and distributes information on potential emergency and disaster situations to tourism operators in their area – contact them for further information and to join their contact list www.startwithi.com.au
- TasALERT is the Tasmanian Government's official emergency information source www.alert.tas.gov.au
- program your local emergency broadcaster, ABC, into a battery operated radio to receive news updates. Find your local frequency at www.abc.net.au
Staff, business visitors and guests
- Ensure your staff, business visitors and guests are aware of emergency evacuation procedures and their roles during an evacuation, including the trigger for activating emergency plans and how this information will be communicated.
- Ensure your staff and guests know where to access official sources of information in an emergency (for example, TasALERT website and social media, radio broadcasts).
- Ensure a list of emergency and staff contact numbers is available to staff.
- Ensure you have an appropriate number of staff trained in first aid and that the contents of your first aid kit are regularly checked and stocked. Further information about first aid requirements is available from WorkSafe Tasmania www.worksafe.tas.gov.au
- Prepare an emergency kit and store it in a large plastic container. Include an emergency radio (battery, solar or hand crank). See Part 3 of the Business Continuity Plan template for further information.
- If staff or guests travel in vehicles during the work day, make sure you have procedures in place for what they should do in an emergency situation.
- Make plans for what to do about booking cancellations and forwarding in an emergency.
Communicating in a disaster
- When a disaster that could affect your property or your guests, prepare a daily bulletin and keep it updated with information from emergency services, including maps. Keep the bulletin factual with an emphasis on following the advice of emergency services.
- Review TasALERT regularly and use this to update your daily bulletin for customers and staff.
- Make sure all staff are aware of what's happening, including those who are not currently at work. Establish your communication methods during an emergency. For example, phone, SMS or email.
- Refer customers to the following official websites for information during an emergency:
- general emergency information, TasALERT www.alert.tas.gov.au and Facebook and Twitter
- road conditions and closures, Tasmania Police http://www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/
- emergency broadcaster – ABC local radio www.abc.net.au
- weather and warnings, Bureau of Meteorology www.bom.gov.au/tas
- national park information and closures, Parks & Wildlife Service www.parks.tas.gov.au
- In the event of a fire, make sure your patrons know where the nearest Nearby Safer Place and Evacuation Centre is, check your Community Bushfire Protection Plan www.fire.tas.gov.au
- Make sure you can communicate if there is a power outage:
- find out if your landline telephone uses electricity
- charge your mobile phone.
- Identify the trigger to activate your emergency management plan. For example, an emergency warning for your area. During an emergency, follow your emergency plan.
Prepare for power outages
- Check that your plan for an emergency includes instructions to turn off electricity, in the event of a storm. Avoid using landline phones in the event of a storm.
- Know how to manually override electronic access to your business or garage.
- Keep TasNetwork's 24 hour fault number 132 004 in an accessible location. Call this number if you have an electrical fault or notice sparks from power lines nearby.
- Consider alternative power supplies for your business in the event of outage. Note that portable generators should be used with extreme caution and back-up generators should not be plugged into your switchboard. See the TasNetworks website for further information on power outage safety and preparation www.tasnetworks.com.au/your-property/outages/power-outage-safety
- Assess damage and impact to your business, use the Part 3 - Reassess, recover and learn template is provided at www.business.tas.gov.au
- Once you have reopened your business, consider how you will communicate that you are open (for example, advertising, social media, emails, etc). Contact your local accredited Visitor Information Centre to let them know you are open for business. Contact all forward bookings.