Droughts, floods, fires all equal tough times

We must rise above the problems of drought.

What to focus on

On any given day, somewhere In regional, rural and remote Australia you will find communities suffering from either drought, floods or fires. It’s tough for communities, their businesses, non-profits, farmers and families who live there.

Family and friends

Family and friends relationships are essential for many reasons, not the least of which they will be worried, fearful and feeling depressed about their future too.

  • Make them feel secure and loved, which helps them to cope and help others
  • Overcome difficulties with household supplies
  • Make it easier for them to solve problems and resolve any conflicts
  • Give them the skills they need to build resilience.

Drought is painful for the whole family

It’s always worth looking at the relationships you share and thinking about how you can improve them.

As parents and a friend, while you’re juggling work responsibilities, household management and assisting people in the community, there are plenty of things you can do to maintain good relationships and achieve desired outcomes.

  • Take time each day to catch up with what is going on
  • Use a little time together to talk and share a laugh
  • Have one-on-one chats to strengthen individual relationships
  • Do regular, fun things together as family and friends
  • Make decisions together about how you will all recover from the adversity
  • Set aside time with your partner, remember they too will be taking the brunt of it
  • Show appreciation for those helping you, your family and friends.

Financial matters

For many, money concerns are a regular source of anxiety, which is understandable given the uncertainties of droughts, floods and fires. It’s important to remember that worry doesn’t solve much but answering the question of how to overcome financial problems does.

Here’s are some ways to help reduce your money stress and get motivated to take control of your finances

  • Set out precisely the financial problems you have
  • Rework your budget, income and particularly your cash flow
  • Sure up your relationships with banks, and suppliers
  • Negotiate better financial arrangements
  • Take control of the credit cards, no unnecessary spending
  • Be realistic about what you can achieve under the circumstances
  • If necessary maximise your liquid assets
  • Check your insurance coverage

It might be tough during a natural disaster, but if there’s anything you can do to prevent financial problems you don’t need, it’s to be prepared and be careful. With the right preparation, you can avoid a financial crisis from ever becoming a crisis. Then you will only have to deal with a temporary setback.

Your community

You will do well to remember your community looks after you and in times of crisis you need to help look after it. We find ourselves in what may be considered a most chaotic time during droughts and flooding rains which can easily damage the community’s social fabric.

If ever there was a time to turn our focus on building resilient and sustainable communities,  it’s during times of crisis. Look for ways to foster community resilience and become drought-proof and flood-proof into the future.

  • Shared community values
  • Resilience in leadership
  • Social cohesion and a shared commitment to recovery
  • Stress management, psychological interventions for those struggling
  • A shared perception of the gravity of the stressing event
  • Communications  and connectivity within the community
  • Adequate community resources

Your customers

Last but not least, in times of adversity, you need to be ready to supply the products and services which will be required. It might mean a complete reorganisation of your inventory, something which will be much more difficult when you are in the middle of a drought, flood or fire.  

How focused are you on the needs of your customers in times of adversity? Will, you be able to provide the customer experience customers under stress will be expecting? Just keep in mind, if you look after them in times of adversity, they will look after you in the good times.

When the going gets too tough seek advice immediately.

Sure as a business you too will be suffering, but you have to rise above that an look after your employees so they can look after your customers.

Customers today have many options as to where they go to satisfy their wants and needs. Regional businesses have to make a more concerted effort to keep their customers and win new ones, only because of the size of the local market. It’s no good for the community and jobs when customers have to source their requirements beyond your town or village.

To be more customer focused you could try the following:

  • Look for ways to increase your capacity under pressure
  • Become more proactive being reliable, practical, useful and helpful
  • Adopt a more practical customer-focused sales process
  • Provide employees with extra training as required
  • Always ensure your systems and methods are the best that they can be
  • Just because everyone is under stress doesn’t mean you can’t smile and have fun
  • Meet expectations and always keep your promises
  • Never take your customers for granted when they desperately need you.

Quotable Quotes

“As my father used to say, Peter, you don’t go and buy a farm, you buy water, then if the water is available to check the quality of the soil”. Peter Sergeant

“No matter the natural disaster I’ve covered, whether it’s a wildfire or flood, I always come back with a much greater perspective”. Ginger Zee

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