Disaster recovery toolkit

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Disaster recovery toolkit

The Fire Awareness Awards 2014

The Fire Awareness Awards 2014 has presented CPA Australia with the Recovery (Industry) Award for our disaster recovery toolkit for business. The Fire Awareness Awards recognise projects that reduce the effect of fires in Victoria and have been awarded since 1983. The awards are a collaborative venture between Victoria’s Country Fire Authority, the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board (MFB) and Department of Environment and Primary Industries.


Any business may fall victim to a disaster that may disrupt their business. The disaster may be an event such as fire, flood or earthquake, or a creeping disaster such as drought or disease.

Ideally, businesses would have a continuity plan to guide them through the initial impact of a disaster and assist business recovery. Unfortunately, experience shows that many businesses do not have a continuity plan or, if they do, it is inadequate. This exacerbates the impact of a disaster, making business recovery much more difficult than it should be.

This toolkit provides guidance to businesses impacted by a disaster – whether they have a continuity plan or not.

Following a disaster, it is anything but business as usual for you, your employees, customers, possibly your suppliers and the broader community. This guide has been prepared to assist you, as a business owner or manager, to take a considered approach to the many elements of recovery following a disaster.

The information in this guide has been grouped as follows:

  1. Immediately following the disaster – Aspects to consider in the first few weeks following a major disaster
  2. Steps to recovery – the analysis and evaluation each business should consider within the first few months following a major disaster
  3. The recovery plan – Guidance on developing a plan to restart your business
  4. Long-term disaster recovery – Additional activities to be undertaken post-disaster to ensure that the business operates more effectively and efficiently

Each section of this toolkit contains checklists and templates to assist in the disaster recovery process for your business as well as further references that can be reviewed if required.

This toolkit focuses on the business issues we believe those affected, directly and indirectly, by a disaster should consider. Where you have difficulties with such issues, we advise you to seek the support and assistance of your accountant, trusted advisers and businesses in your supply chain who have an interest in the success of your recovery.

This toolkit does not focus on the myriad non-business issues that you may face. For those issues, we encourage you to seek the support from appropriate professionals.



This updated version of the disaster recovery toolkit for business was prepared by Jan Barned CPA, principal of Financial Management Trainer, fmtrainer.com.au


We gratefully acknowledge the input of Mike Sewell FCPA, director of Market Gap Investments.