Disaster recovery toolkit

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Disaster recovery toolkit

Australian Bushfires

Sadly, we know that many people and communities are and have been impacted by the bushfires currently affecting much of Australia.

Understandably, the immediate concerns remain on community safety, food and shelter. In the weeks and months ahead, it will be the time to focus on supporting and helping communities to rebuild.

For any members who have been directly impacted by the fires and require any assistance from CPA Australia, contact us on 1300 73 73 73.

When the recovery phase commences, CPA Australia's disaster recovery toolkit, below, can assist you or your clients with the many elements of recovery.

When you are ready to turn your mind to tax affairs, visit the Australian Taxation Office's dealing with disasters page for more information on the support available. The Tax Practitioners Board also has relevant information and support for tax practitioners affected by the bushfires.

The Federal Government has also announced immediate small business support for bushfire affected communities. Additionally, the Small Business Bushfire Financial Counselling Support Line has been launched to assist small business in affected areas, call 1800 413 828 for assistance.

Read the full message from CPA Australia’s President and CEO, outlining CPA Australia’s support to relief funds, and how you can help.


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, a creeping disaster such as drought or disease, or a disaster that impacts a single business such as a factory fire or computer virus.

Best practice for businesses is to have a continuity plan to assist them to respond to such disasters and support recovery. For further information on what your small business can do to prepare for a disaster visit www.business.gov.au and search for “when things don’t go to plan”.

Unfortunately, experience shows that many businesses do not have a continuity plan or, if they do, it is inadequate. This makes business recovery more difficult.

Download the CPA Australia Recovery Toolkit to assist you or your clients with the many elements of recovery.


This toolkit is designed to assist small businesses impacted directly and indirectly by a disaster – especially where they do not have a continuity plan, or their continuity plan proves insufficient. It is intended to help such businesses take a considered approach to the many elements of recovery following a disaster.

This toolkit focuses on business issues we believe those affected by a disaster should consider. It covers:

  1. What to do immediately following a disaster
  2. Taking stock – guidance on how to analyse and evaluate the state of your business
  3. A new business plan – guidance on developing a new business plan to help recovery and how to fund that new plan
  4. Long-term disaster recovery – guidance on additional activities that may help your post-disaster business operate better than your pre-disaster business.

The toolkit includes checklists and templates to assist in the disaster recovery process. It also includes a case study of how a caravan park owner evaluated their business model and changed the direction of their business after being flattened by a tornado. Read the case study.

In addition to working through this toolkit, CPA Australia strongly recommends that you speak to your accountant for tailored advice following a disaster.

This guide does not focus on the myriad of non-business issues that you may face, including mental health issues. For those issues, we encourage you to seek support from appropriate professionals and organisations.


Gavan Ord is CPA Australia’s Business and Investment Policy Manager.
[email protected]

Useful Links and Resources

Many businesses and individuals affected by the bushfires may be eligible for or seeking loans. Practitioners asked by lenders to provide written assurances about whether their clients have the financial capacity to service loan applications are placing themselves at risk. Read the INPRACTICE article on the perils of giving credit assessments for banks.

The National Bushfire Recovery Agency has been established to lead and coordinate a national response to rebuilding communities affected by bushfires across large parts of Australia.

For resources and information to assist people in making financial decisions throughout the bushfire recovery process visit the ASIC MoneySmart website.

Read our quick reference fact sheet for general information to support you in making key financial decisions following a natural disaster or significant event.

Click here for resources to support the physical and mental wellbeing of you, your team and your clients.