In just 10 minutes on Sunday the Rockingham foreshore went from a peaceful oceanside park to a war zone.
A freak summer storm lashed Rockingham and surrounding suburbs on Sunday morning, tearing trees out of the ground, lifting roofs off buildings and sending beachgoers running for their lives.
The SES received 22 calls for assistance and the clean up took days.
The storm is a reminder that communities and businesses need to better prepare for and recover from natural disasters.
CCI has teamed with the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Home Affairs in a joint initiative to call on businesses to help better understand natural disaster preparedness, mitigation and insurance.
CCI Chief Executive Officer Chris Rodwell says improved planning and preparation by business and the community could significantly reduce the social and economic impact of natural disasters.
“We know that 90 per cent of WA is classified as ‘bushfire prone’ and that dangerous storms are the most common natural hazard in Australia. This makes it vital for businesses of all sizes to have adequate insurance and disaster mitigation readiness plans in place,” he says.
“It is also important that businesses covered by insurance are aware of what their individual policy covers and have a business continuity plan in place to further mitigate risk.”
Rodwell says the devastating 2016 Yarloop bushfire is just one example of how underinsurance can continue to impact on businesses and families long after the fire is extinguished.
“This bushfire saw half of the surveyed community or commercial premises destroyed or damaged beyond operational requirements, but only 60 per cent of those reported that their premises were covered by insurance,” he says.
“Many businesses believed they would be entitled to compensation from The Lord Mayors' distress relief fund. However, this scheme does not distribute funds to businesses or commercial operations.
“CCI is calling on all businesses to support this initiative by filling out our WA Natural Disaster Resilience Program online survey.
“Findings and recommendations will be used to provide an overview of potential business risk from underinsurance, and to inform future models of expenditure for mitigation, relief and recovery funding.”
►We want to hear from businesses of all shapes and sizes. Don’t miss your chance to have your say — complete the WA Natural Disaster Business Survey 2018 now.