New business model to reduce disaster risk

READY FOR ACTION: Resilient Ready founder Renae Hanvin presented the Limestone Coast with the BCR Toolkit in hopes to encourage businesses to adapt a more disaster-ready approach to their daily lives. Picture: TYLER REDWAY

Tyler Redway

A NEW business toolkit was presented in Mount Gambier last week to help businesses assess how certain disasters could be prevented.

The Business Community Resilience (BCR) Toolkit was designed by Resilient Ready, an organisation which aims to drive a new ecosystem in business community risk reduction and resilience.

Resilient Ready founder Renae Hanvin said the toolkit was designed to ensure all businesses could “thrive and survive” while she visited Mount Gambier last week.

According to Ms Hanvin, the toolkit is currently a free program which was funded by SAFECOM’s Disaster Risk Reduction Grants.

“For Mount Gambier, the businesses are the community’s economic and social heartbeat so the toolkit is not something you’re going to spend 20 hours on to never understand it,” Ms Hanvin said.

“The toolkit is really about helping in small steps, almost in five minute intervals like little tasks which build resilience in you and also your business.”

Ms Hanvin said disasters could be defined as either major, such as bushfires, floods or cyber attacks, or minor issues such as power outages, roadworks or pest problems.

She said any factor had the ability to disrupt a business, which was why it was important to be prepared for most situations.

“The main thing people need to do, particularly in a small business, is with your time, staff and cash, you’re working in the business to get through the day, but what people need to do is commit to taking a bit of time to step back and work on their business,” she said.

“I think it’s not about preparing for those big disaster events, because most of the steps we help people learn about and change behaviours that will help them in the good times.”

Ms Hanvin said she was inspired to help businesses understand the risk of disasters after witnessing the effects of previous floods in Brisbane on smaller businesses.

Before starting her own business, Ms Hanvin said she had previously worked with Australia Post at the time of the Brisbane floods.

“I was looking at the independent Australia Post stores so things like newsagents with the mums and dads having to sell stacks and they really struggled and were so not ready,” she said.

“The corporates didn’t know what help they needed which I think triggered something in me into thinking we need to help businesses understand how to be ready.

“For the small business person who doesn’t have any risk experience or resilience, it’s about what they need to know and how they need to know it in roughly five minutes and then how they can learn things which will change their behaviour.”

Ms Hanvin said her long time goal was to create a certification process which allowed businesses to show they would be ready for any kind of disruption to their organisations.

The Limestone Coast BCR Toolkit first began in July and will run until October 2023.

More information about the toolkit can be found on Resilient Ready’s website.