Update on Project NY18008: Preparing for business interruption

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Fire, flood, drought, storms, pestilence and even pandemics – Interruption to business can happen at any time and changes to daily activity need to be high on the agenda for production nurseries, long before they actually occur.

The levy-funded project, Nursery industry natural disaster risk mitigation and recovery plan (NY18008), assesses the potential for natural disasters and severe weather events to impact upon Australia’s nursery industry.

Managed by Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland (NGIQ) and funded by Hort Innovation using nursery industry levies and funds from the Australian Government, the project has developed a national Nursery Industry Risk Map, using data sets for cyclone tracks, wind gusts and will soon include live data maps from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

The Risk Map has recently utilised the Address-Based Natural Hazards Risk Ratings, developed by Risk Frontiers, specialists in assessment and management of risk across the Asia-Pacific region.

The purpose of the Natural Hazard Risk Rating Database is to provide an overview of the natural hazards affecting an individual address or geographical area.

Rather than the probability or severity of property damage, the address-based ratings focus on the severity of several perils including flood, hail, or coastal inundation. All perils within the database are ranked on 5-point scales with 5 referring to the most and 1 the least severe.

The Nursery industry Risk Map can inform nursery owners of their risk profile for natural disasters. This information will help nursery owners identify risks to their site, or if they are expanding the business, to assess risks of possible new sites.

The project has also subscribed to the BoM mapping sites, to add layers that include severe weather warnings, severe thunderstorm warnings, fire weather warnings, heatwave assessments and forecasts, river conditions, flood watches and warnings.

Another significant addition to the project, is the appointment of Barry Naylor, former NGIQ President and nursery owner to the project team. Barry has been heavily involved in risk and disaster projects in the past, most recently providing technical advice to the flood recovery efforts in North Queensland. Barry will be contacting Ecohort businesses to gain insights and input as part of the next phase of the project.

In this time of vulnerability and fear, increasing our access to information enables nursery owners to make informed decisions to prepare, alleviate stress and provide business direction, if and when there is a natural disaster.

Nursery industry natural disaster risk mitigation and recovery plan (NY18008) has been funded by Hort Innovation using nursery industry levies and funds from the Australian Government.