Upper Hutt businesses urged to plan for disruption

Rhys Pasley, owner of Liberty Books in Upper Hutt and Ainslie Ryder, Emergency M

Disruptions can happen at any time. Whether it’s due to seasonal flu, a power outage, or a significant event like a large earthquake, Upper Hutt businesses are being urged to plan for disruption. 

Next Tuesday evening (22/10), businesses are invited to make a start on planning by attending a free continuity planning workshop at Upper Hutt’s public art gallery.

Register for the workshop now

The workshop is hosted by the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) and Upper Hutt City Council (UHCC) at the Expressions Whirinaki Arts and Entertainment Centre on Tuesday 22 October 2019. The evening starts at 5:30pm with drinks and nibbles and runs until 8pm. There will be an opportunity to explore the ‘Beyond the Cordon’ exhibition, which features remarkable imagery of the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch through the eyes of the New Zealand Police photographers.

One Upper Hutt business owner relocated his second-hand book shop from Christchurch to Upper Hutt following the 2011 earthquake which devastated the city. Rhys Pasley, the owner of Liberty Books, shares his personal experience: “The front fell off our building on Manchester Street, Christchurch. It was incredibly lucky that my shop manager and three customers managed to escape unharmed. Unfortunately, the damage to the whole area meant we made the difficult decision to relocate. That was seven years ago, and I’m just starting to feel more secure. It’s tough as an independent business, earning goodwill and expanding your customer base takes a long time. Anything you can do in advance to be more prepared and learn how to protect your business is worthwhile.”

WREMO provides business continuity planning resources and workshops to help small to medium-sized businesses to plan for disruption with the aim of helping communities be more resilient in the event of a disaster. The two-hour workshop will use recently updated resources to outline the steps required to create a business continuity plan. It draws on lessons learned from other businesses around the country, including those affected by the Canterbury earthquakes.

Stuart Grant, Economic Development Manager at Upper Hutt City Council, said: “In an emergency, we want to know that we are ready to be there for each other and business continuity planning helps get us to that place.”

The workshop will be facilitated by Ainslie Ryder, an emergency management advisor at WREMO. She explains: “The workshop will step through the ways that you and your staff can be better prepared for disruption. We also provide a template to help you build a basic plan. We often think of the immediate impact of an emergency, but full recovery can take a long time - years. Even a basic business continuity plan will help to put your business in the best possible place to survive disruption and recover afterwards. If you’re finding it hard to make time to plan, then get started by attending our free workshop or check out our online resources.”

WREMO’s role is to lead and coordinate the effective delivery of Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) services for the Wellington Region. It does this on behalf of the region’s nine councils.
To view the new business continuity planning resources and register in advance for a free workshop, go to GetPrepared.nz/businesses. Alternatively, email info@wremo.nz or call 04 830 4279. Please note, spaces for each workshop are limited.