With The Bureau of Meteorology’s announcement of a third La Nina season and the widespread devastating floods affecting Victoria and New South Wales at the moment, it’s important to know what lies ahead this summer and how to keep you, and your workers safe.
So, what is “La Nina?”
As expert consultants, that’s the first question we hear when talking to our clients about the upcoming months.
Simply put, La Nina is a weather pattern that occurs every so often that creates wetter than normal conditions across much of Australia. This means you are likely to see:
- Increased rainfall across much of Australia which may cause flooding
- Shift in temperature extremes
- Greater tropical cyclone numbers
- Earlier monsoon onset
All of which can have potentially debilitating affects if not properly planned for.
How do I prepare?
Receiving expert advice is key when planning for the upcoming months. Speaking to your local State Emergency Service Unit is a great place to start. These volunteers have dedicated themselves to learning about your area and the risks that may affect it and may be able to offer some insight on where and when dangerous conditions occur.
Another great source of information is the Bureau of Meteorology. The “BOM” as it’s affectionately known as, tracks the statistics of all flooding events that have previously occurred, river heights and flooding levels, and provides predictions and warnings surrounding future weather events. Bookmarking their website (hyperlink: www.bom.gov.au) is a sure way to access quick and easy information should a weather emergency occur.
Lastly, seeking professional advice from Workplace Emergency Management would greatly elevate your decision-making abilities if and when an emergency should arise. Our expert consultants have decades of combined experience in keeping businesses safe and providing intuitive advice for preparing and responding all of life’s misadventures. Consider giving us a call at 1300 831 694 for a free, no obligation chat about your workplace emergency needs, and let us guide you and your business to peace of mind when dealing with the wet summer ahead and other emergencies that can take place at your location(s).
When Things Start to Get Wet
With all types of emergencies, it’s best practice to have a plan (hyperlink: https://workplaceemergencymanagement.com.au/emergency-plans-every-workplace-needs-one/) in place, in case of an emergency and to follow it as per your company policy, although, the following advice may also one day save your life:
- Never walk, ride, play, or drive through flood water as even 30cm of water is enough to stall an engine!
- Listen to your local ABC radio station and follow or visit your local State Emergency Service website and social media pages as all are reliable sources of current information
- Follow all road closure signs and listen to all directives emergency service personnel give you, as they are meant to keep you and your employees safe from harm in an emergency
- Flooding can occur at any time even if it isn’t raining, keeping up with warnings on the Bureau of Meteorology’s website (hyperlink: www.bom.gov.au/warnings) ensures you have the most up to date information and advice in your local area
- Avoid storm drains and pipes, ditches, ravines, creeks, and rivers.
- Consider the consequences of road and bridge closures and water over roads and make alternate arrangements for work, children, and travel.
- Businesses in areas likely to be impacted by flooding should raise their assets, including waste and chemical containers above expected flood height
- For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the State Emergency Service on 132 500. For life-threatening emergencies, ring 000 (Triple Zero) without delay
After The Crisis Fades
If an emergency were to happen during La Nina, when it seems to die down, there’s still work to be done!
Remember to check in on your employees, everyone responds to a crisis differently, and as such, some may have the desire to talk, or take some time off. These are perfectly acceptable responses, work with your employees to return to normality and be aware that it may take some time and effort.
Also be sure to debrief with your employees, did you follow your emergency plan? Did it work well? Are there improvements to be made? These are all questions you should be considering and reviewing when updating your emergency plan or in preparation for further potential emergencies.
You’ve Got This!
In summary, following the above tips, tricks, and advice will be sure to well prepare you, and your business for any emergency that arises from La Nina and should equip you with many tools to respond where appropriate.
No doubt you still have questions, or would like an expert opinion about your business, so reach out to the friendly and knowledgeable consultants at Workplace Emergency Management. We’re here to sort the hard stuff so you don’t have to.