Plan & prepare now for Cyclone Gabrielle advises RANZ –

Plan & prepare now for Cyclone Gabrielle advises RANZ –

The Restaurant Association is urging hospitality businesses across the North Island to prepare for every event, as Cyclone Gabrielle arrives.

In its online resources it highlights the need to clear outdoor eating areas, compile stock takes, and consider backing up power supplies.

“Our advice to members is that you can never be over prepared for a situation like this,” said CEO Marisa Bidois.

“Hospitality businesses are uniquely affected by weather events such as cyclones so it’s wise to plan ahead to minimize the damage and business interruption.”

The Association has put together a checklist for businesses looking to get prepared ahead of the storm. This includes:

  • Ensure you are monitoring weather conditions regularly – things can change rapidly. Keep up to date with the advice of your local Civil Defense organisation.
  • For businesses with outdoor eating areas, ensure any chairs, tables and other loose items are secured or stored away safely.
  • Move everything off the floor that you can store elsewhere.
  • Ensure contact numbers (and emergency contacts) of team members are updated and easily accessible. Have a plan for communicating with your team.
  • Ensure any critical documents and business related data is securely backed up and accessible.
  • Check insurance is up to date and in place.
  • Ensure adequate supplies of torches, fresh batteries, brooms, mops and buckets as well as a backup water source.
  • Clearing any obstructions disturbing the flow of water down any storm water drains.
  • Do a walkthrough of the business and clear any materials around the area that can easily be considered flying debris during a cyclone.
  • Carry out a stock take of all supplies and equipment in case there is any damage or loss of stock. Take photos of high-value items.
  • Ensure vehicles are away from low lying areas (and insurance is up to date).
  • Create a business continuity plan.
  • Consider an alternate power source. Some businesses are able to operate during power outages if they have a generator. This can also ensure that fridges and freezers do not turn off and minimize stock loss.
  • Communicate with customers. Use your social media channels to keep people informed on whether you have been impacted or not.
  • Be sure to remind your team to also be prepared in their own homes.

β€œIt is really important to be prepared but also to remain calm. Our businesses have been under a lot of pressure over the last few years and it is important to look after yourself and your wellbeing. We have a number of resources on our site to help you through this.”

The Restaurant Association also urges diners to listen to warnings from local emergency information hubs and civil defense as well as communicating with local businesses.

For customers, it is important to listen to warnings from your local emergency information hubs and civil defense. Contact the business on the day to see if they are still open for business. Some of the feedback we have had from members has been that bookings are canceled often well in advance and at times unnecessarily so be sure to communicate. The businesses will also be in touch with you regarding any changes that may need to take place.”

Hospitality business owners can access the Restaurant Association resources here

Mental wellbeing resources can be accessed via the First Steps website here

Go to https://www.restaurantnz.co.nz/emergency-response-hub/ for more information.