Why you need an emergency management plan

In Australia, natural disasters such as floods, fire and even earthquakes can strike without warning. During an emergency, your main aim is to ensure your business continues operating. By carefully researching and planning before an emergency happens, you’ll be ready to act quickly and effectively.

Our emergency management plan template includes 3 plans to help you before, during and after an emergency:

  • The continuity plan – helps you prepare your business for an emergency by identifying risks to critical areas and how to best protect them.
  • The emergency action plan – helps you and your staff know what to do during an emergency situation.
  • The recovery plan – guides your business’s recovery after an emergency.

Download our emergency management plan template

Our template guides you through the process of creating a solid, well-structured emergency management plan that's tailored to your business.

Develop your emergency management plan

Our template steps you through the process of creating your plan with links to extra information if you need it.

You may want to check out our tips below before you start.

1. Understand the plan sections

To prepare your business for an emergency, identify critical areas of your business and ways to protect them. Consider the following important areas of your business.

Products or services

List your most important or most profitable products or services. Describe current arrangements to provide each one and what you’d do if these arrangements failed – your back up options for an emergency.

Key customers

List important customers and how you’d contact them in an emergency to tell them what has happened.


Record the insurance policies you currently hold to cover your business risks.

Visit Insurance for more information.

Property and infrastructure

Record how you make your property infrastructure less vulnerable to damage. Is your property secured with alarms, security personnel or video surveillance from unlawful entry? Do you have fire retardant or flood resistant building materials? Are leaf litter, grass and gutters maintained regularly to minimise fire risk?

Business continuity strategies

Identify temporary office accommodation you could quickly access in an emergency situation. Record other strategies you’ll consider to help maintain business as usual. For example, a virtual office service, an e-commerce website or e-marketplace. Visit Buying and selling online for more information.

Staff training

List your staff, their relevant skills and strengths, and any cross-training requirements that would help you to continue business in an emergency.

Information backup

Record how you protect your business information such as customer records, financial records and contact lists. Explain your back up procedures.

You should include the following in the emergency action plan.

Emergency contacts

List your local emergency services numbers and any additional contacts you'll need to phone in an emergency. These should include the local state emergency, police, fire and ambulance services.

Emergency procedures

Briefly outline your emergency evacuation procedures. It may be useful to attach a copy of your detailed emergency procedures and floor plan with the location of emergency exits, emergency kit and safety equipment clearly marked.

Provide a schedule for emergency evacuation drills.

Emergency kit

Record where your emergency kit is located or stored. Make sure:

  • your staff know where it is
  • it's clearly visible and labelled.

List the contents of your emergency kit and the date each item was last checked.

Emergency team roles and responsibilities

Communication is essential when making emergency planning procedures. Consider allocating a person/people to be responsible for any emergency situation. Set clear roles and responsibilities and provide appropriate training.

Complete this section after an emergency happens. You should include the following in the recovery section of an emergency management plan.

Business impact assessment

Assess the damage to your business. List the main damage, its impact on your business, and what you’re going to do about it. Assign responsibility for any tasks you've identified.

Recovery contacts

List all of the organisations or people that will be essential to the recovery of your business.

Insurance claims

List any insurance policies you have claimed for and record discussions you have with insurers about your claims.

Market assessment

Based on your assessment of the damage to your business and/or surrounding area, list any areas of your market that have changed.

Marketing strategy

Detail your marketing strategy after the emergency. If your business is reopening, how will you get the message out? What channels will you use to target customers? Make sure you consider any changes in the market.

For example, you might consider a targeted marketing effort (such as a social media campaign) to let people know your business is reopening.

2. Prepare your supporting documentation

After you‘ve completed your continuity, action and recovery plans, list and attach copies of supporting documentation, such as:

  • detailed emergency procedures
  • evacuation maps
  • insurance information.

3. Review your emergency management plan

Regularly review your emergency management and recovery plan. It's also important to update your plan each time your staff change, or if you move to a new business location.

Practice your emergency action plan with your staff. You may find there are things missing or steps you need to change. This is your opportunity to make sure your emergency procedures are as efficient as possible.

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