How to prepare commercial property for storm season

By Greg Bell

The Gold Coast is a wonderful place to live, work and play, but the weather can sometimes be a bit fickle. The risks posed by storm season shouldn't be ignored by anyone, even when the weather can be as beautiful as it is here. Don't forget storms like the one that struck the gold Coast in 2009, leaving a lot of areas exposed and worse for wear (to say the least).

So with this in mind, let's check out a few ways you can prepare your Surfers Paradise commercial property for storm season.

Get your information in order

Whether you're leasing an office block in Surfers Paradise or run a beachfront retail store, you need to get a lot of information together as part of your storm season planning. This can include the following inventory suggestions from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ):

  • Contact details of all employees (phone numbers, addresses, emails)
  • Contact details for customers and suppliers in the event of emergency
  • A full inventory of your stock and equipment
  • Sending your information to relevant customers / staff / suppliers so you can also be contacted
  • Insurance details and financial records (consider storing these digitally or externally)

This will prove important for your business, allowing you to ensure the safety of employees and providing a comprehensive record of any stock, plant or equipment that sustains damage during a storm event.

Have an evacuation plan at hand

This is pretty common sense, and is something that the Queensland Government's Get Ready initiative strongly communicates in its campaigns. However, do you have all the right details for the evacuation plan at your commercial property?

You'll need to have a clear chain of command in place. If you're the boss, you might have to take the lead and teach everyone the process. You need to establish triggers for an evacuation and let everybody know where the correct exits are. Meeting points and measures to deal with any dangerous chemicals will also be key, notes the CCIQ.

And remember, practise makes perfect! Holding evacuation drills can help everyone deal with an actual event much more efficiently and safely.

Pack for a rainy day

As a November 3 news release from the City of Gold Coast illuminates, having the right equipment for an emergency is essential. While the messages were targeted at younger students, the principles are important for anyone who owns or leases commercial property in Surfers Paradise and beyond. 

"Living on the Gold Coast we're all vulnerable to the risks of storms, bushfires and flooding and they don't discriminate. We know from years of experience that there are easy steps we can take to keep ourselves, our families, pets and properties safe," said Tom Tate, Gold Coast mayor. 

In your evacuation kit, you might want to have spare phone chargers and calling cards, warm clothing, torches and batteries, a radio, and of course plenty of water and food that won't spoil. Mr Tate adds that this doesn't just help out your business in the case of a destructive storm; it allows the state emergency services to get on with their jobs. 

Don't ignore the facts

It can be easy to dismiss the prospect of a heavy storm hitting your retail store on the Gold Coast, but it's better to be prepared. When you buy commercial property in Surfers Paradise or nearby, we're sure you have the right insurance taken out to cover you. However, it's better still to minimise the damage from weather events. 

Take these steps and check with local authorities about how you can protect your real estate should we end up experiencing some nasty spots of storm weather. 

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