The Sunshine Coast has escaped major damage in the past but could local businesses cope if a natural disaster hit?
The Sunshine Coast has escaped major damage in the past but could local businesses cope if a natural disaster hit? Contributed

Could your business cope in a natural disaster?

COULD your business cope in the event of a natural disaster? 

Sunshine Coast Council is holding three Economic Disaster Recovery Information Sessions across the region next week to help local businesses become more resilient to natural disasters.

Economic Development Portfolio Councillor Stephen Robinson said the free information sessions would provide business owners with an understanding of how to be prepared for the worst of mother nature and how council can help businesses recover.

“Natural disasters like severe storms and floods can not only put lives at risk but also jeopardise the continuity of businesses and the income flows for business owners,” Cr Robinson said.

“While the Sunshine Coast has narrowly missed some of the major disaster events in recent years, our region has been hit by flash flooding from severe rain events like the once-in-a-century downpour in March 2012 that inundated a number of businesses in the Kawana, Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore and Mooloolaba.

“In January 2013 we also had those incredible scenes as sea foam whipped up by Ex Tropical Cyclone Oswald completely covered Alex Pde and caused significant damage to businesses in the area and caused a significant drop in tourism due to beach closures during and after that event.

“With a changing climate we may see more intense weather events like these hitting our region and next week’s information sessions will educate local businesses on the steps they can take now to be prepared for natural disasters and disaster recovery.”

Under the Disaster Management Act 2003, Council has primary responsibility to coordinate and manage disasters and emergency events if they occur in the region. This includes leading economic recovery.

Council recently developed the Sunshine Coast Economic Recovery Manual which aims to help it and the local business community become familiar with the processes that promote economic recovery.

Sunshine Coast Combined Chambers Alliance chair Michael Shadforth urged local businesses to protect themselves by attending next week’s sessions.

“Like all good insurance programs we hope we never have to use the information that will be provided at these sessions but it’s much better to be prepared for the unexpected,” he said.

“This might be one of the most important business meetings you will attend this year.”

The information sessions will be facilitated by Rai Whitten, one of Australia’s leading experts in disaster recovery.

You can book your seat online for one of the information sessions below. But get in early, numbers for each session are limited.

Session times are:

Monday, May 9: Nambour RSL, 6pm-7.30pm.

Tuesday, May 10: Maroochy RSL, 6pm-7.30pm.

Wednesday, May 11: Lake Kawana Community Centre, 6pm-7.30pm/