Disaster Preparedness For SMEs
(From Left) Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation president Sandeep Chauhan, USAID Climate Ready Project contractor Lee Baker and Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council chairperson Morika Hunter. Photo: Monica Aguilar
Small and medium sized businesses will be provided professional training on ways to prepare for disasters.
The Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council and USAID’s Climate Ready Project signed a Letter of Agreement yesterday to launch a training of trainer’s project supporting small and medium sized businesses across our country to improve their disaster preparedness.
The planning of the role of first responders and understanding of weathers patterns and climate change will are also part of the training.
Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council (FBDRC) chairperson Morika Hunter said: “Disasters are getting more frequent and intense, and businesses need to ensure they are prepared for this changing reality.
“Typically, businesses bear the brunt of disaster events, and they also have an essential role to play in supporting government and partners to respond.
“If businesses aren’t prepared themselves, they won’t be able to support by delivering the necessary support and supplies to communities.”
USAID Climate Ready Project contractor Lee Baker said: “Our focus is on building the capacity to address the negative impacts of climate change with both the government and private sector.
“If businesses are not prepared themselves, they will not be able to support by delivering the necessary support and supplies to communities.”
The Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council has worked on a toolkit to build continuity after a disaster and address climate change, which the training will be based on.
“After Cyclone Winston, so many businesses that were damaged had to go offline, so the training is to prepare businesses to confront or face the impacts of climate change,” said Mr Baker.
A few ways that businesses can prepare for disasters is by ensuring that the roof is firmly attached, the structure is properly attached to the foundation and that there are sufficient supply of materials, he added.
There is so much that can be done to educate entrepreneurs to prepare for disasters but having the finance, time and staff devoted to being disaster resilient are major constraints that is faced by the private sector, said Mr Baker.
Once the participants have completed the course, trainers will be certified to deliver Business Continuity Planning (BCP) training to businesses and private sector organisations across the country.
The training will be run in nine centres across Fiji, and delivered in collaboration with the Fiji National Disaster Management Office.
Photo credit: Monica Aguilar