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Information for businesses on how to prepare, stay safe and recover after a bushfire, emergency or natural disaster.

Employee at a Hills cafe making coffee


This page includes information about bushfires. If you find this upsetting and need support, contact LIFELINE at 13 11 14. In an emergency, always call 000 for medical help.

Preparation and recovery from bushfires and disasters for businesses

Information to help businesses prepare for bushfires and other emergencies. While it focuses on bushfires, it also covers natural disasters like storms and floods, providing the knowledge to stay safe and be prepared.


If you live in a high-risk bushfire area like the Adelaide Hills, being prepared for an emergency is crucial. Being ready helps you make smart decisions when faced with danger. Every step you take to prepare can keep you and your employees safe.

Prepare a written plan

Having a written plan can save lives.

Having a well-prepared plan is crucial for your business. It reduces stress during emergencies and ensures that everyone knows what to do.

Involve Your Team and Neighbours:

  • Include employees and neighboring businesses in your planning. If a bushfire affects you, it will likely affect them too.

Practice Regularly:

  • Rehearse emergency procedures with your staff. Expand fire drills to cover various emergency scenarios.

Build Strong Community Connections:

  • Create relationships with other businesses and local authorities. Connected communities handle disasters better.

Prepare your business

Maintain the surroundings of your business.

Remove leaf litter and long grass, clear gutters regularly, and store flammable materials safely.

Create an Emergency Management Plan.

An emergency management plan will guide your business before, during, and after an emergency. It should include:

  • Emergency contacts:
    • Insurance company
    • Bank
    • Building society
    • Employees
    • Suppliers
    • Other key people
  • Backup and secure data
  • Prepare an emergency kit
  • Review your insurance
  • Update your ABN details:
    • Ensure your ABN details and business location are correct on the Australian Business Register (ABR). Government agencies use this information to determine eligibility for financial assistance, grants, or support during emergencies.

Once you’ve made your plan, keep it accessible. Consider placing a one-page summary by the evacuation doors.

Prepare by knowing bushfire safe places

Ensure you and your employees know a safe place to go if there is a bushfire.

Prepare yourself and employees mentally

Being mentally ready is an important step in preparing your business for a disaster.

Research shows that people are more likely to follow a plan if they are mentally prepared for a natural disaster. Managing emotions during an emergency can save lives.

The Australian Psychological Society has helpful information on how to mentally prepare for natural disasters.


Business resilience is the ability to handle and adapt to adversity, stress, and disruptions, like natural disasters. Every business is unique, so there is no global approach to building resilience.

Knowing potential disruptions helps you prevent and recover from them. A resilient business can withstand and recover from challenges with strong planning, effective risk management, and flexible decision-making.

Resilience for your business

A well-thought-out plan is crucial for handling unexpected challenges.

The Disaster Resilience for Business Toolkit offers comprehensive guidance. Prioritising staff wellbeing is also essential, as a healthy and supported workforce can better manage disasters.

Free resources and tools to build a resilient business.

Resilient local business networks

Strong community connections make businesses more resilient to disasters.

Building relationships with local businesses and authorities now will help if disaster strikes.

In the Adelaide Hills, you can join various business associations and networks. These groups expand your business circle and offer support. Find the ones that best fit your business needs.


Recovering from a disaster can take days, weeks, or months. The faster your business resumes normal operations, the fewer losses the business will suffer.

Recovery involves restoring all aspects of your business, including employees, workspaces, and equipment. Good preparation leads to quicker recovery times.

We've compiled helpful resources for you, your employees, and your business. For detailed information, visit the listed websites.

Recovery support

SA Government

Emergency management in South Australia (prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery) is a shared responsibility among state and local governments, businesses, NGOs, and communities. If a recovery event is too complex for local capacity, the State Government coordinates efforts with Community Recovery Coordinators.

Federal Government is a Federal Government online hub for information and support for Australian businesses after a disaster, including grant programs and preparation tools.


Regional Development Australia (RDA) supports regional development through local RDA committees. The RDA Board for Hills, Fleurieu, and Kangaroo Island provides support and information for local businesses.

Rural Business Support

Rural Business Support offers Business Financial Counsellors to help small and family businesses in financial hardship.

Adelaide Hills Business Centre

The Adelaide Hills Business Centre supports economic recovery in the Adelaide Hills, Mount Barker, Mid-Murray, and Murray Bridge areas. The Recovery Officer is based at the Adelaide Hills Business Centre in Woodside.

Recovery resources


GrantGuru is a database of grants in Australia. The data is up-to-date and it's free to search. There are additional services you can buy if needed.

SA Business Chamber

Business SA, South Australia's Chamber of Commerce and employer body, offers services, advice, and training to help businesses. They provided support after the Black Summer fires. Check their website for current support details.

Business Council of Australia

BizRebuild, an initiative by the Business Council of Australia, offers practical assistance to small and local businesses affected by bushfires.

Legal Support

The Disaster Legal Support Program (DLSP) by Community Justice Services SA provides free legal help and education to disaster-affected communities. During disasters, they offer on-the-ground legal assistance and referrals, continuing with legal advice and education during recovery, especially for insurance claims and disputes.

These useful tips have been gathered from experts online to protect you, your family, your home, and your pets. We acknowledge the time, skill and research these organisations have invested.

Critical information

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