Businesses not ready to cope in emergency
Most of Porirua and Tawa’s thousands of small businesses are not prepared for a disaster, the Wellington Region Emergency Management office says.
Emergency Management adviser Rebecca Jackson said a campaign to target small to medium-sized businesses was under way.
It was more than getting employers and their staff to have food and water stored, she said, but about a change in philosophy.
‘‘ A working and effective plan should be in place and we’ve prepared a really user-friendly checklist for people to go through,’’ she said. ‘‘Once it’s done, there might be a little updating in the future, but it’s done.
‘‘There have been a lot of lessons from the Christchurch earthquakes and one was the importance of businesses getting back on their feet quickly – it’s crucial for the community in general.’’
Jackson said issues such as being able to operate without power, employees being stuck at home and toilets not working all had to be considered in any emergency plan.
Supplies, essential equipment, relocation options, insurance, contact details and backing up records should all be considered. Setting tasks for managers, owners and employees was vital, she said.
‘‘ We want to be pushing businesses to be asking questions of themselves and thinking about what they need to do in case something major happens. We’re not just talking about earthquakes either — floods, storms and accidents on the motorway can all happen.
‘‘There’s a mentality with many businesses to have a plan in a drawer somewhere, but that’s not good enough.’’
Go to getprepared. org. nz/ busi nesses to get your free template, or to the Porirua iSite, council building in Hagley St or Porirua Library for copies of the ‘‘It’s Easy’’ business edition booklet.