SBA Urges Business Owners to Prepare for Hurricane Season

What Every Business Owner through the Hawai’i Islands Should Know
Release Date: 
Friday, August 2, 2019
Release Number: 
19-14
Contact: 
Sandra Cancinos: sandra.cancinos@sba.gov

HONOLULU- As the first tropical storms of the 2019 Hurricane season are quickly approaching the Hawaiian Islands, the U.S. Small Business Administration Hawai'i District Office would like to encourage all business owners on the islands to be prepared.

"We never think it will happen to us until it does," said Jane Sawyer, District Director for the Hawaii District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. "In 2018, SBA received over 1,000 applications for disaster assistance in Hawaii and was able to lend an estimated $45 million for the damage of Hurricane Lane, Kauai floods, wildfires, and the Kilauea eruptions. The key is being prepared and ready."

Just as important as a business plan is for success, you should also have a disaster plan and a contingency plan. The disaster plan should include a review of your custom Shelter-In-Place plan, 14 days of food, water, and other supplies, backing-up business data and checking your insurance coverage (to ensure you have flood insurance). You should know about evacuation routes and have a communication plan in place for employees and your family. SBA also encourages business owners to have a recovery plan in place for getting your business up and running after the storm has passed. 

A hurricane checklist can be found at sba.gov/hurricanepreparedness; this checklist can make it easy for business owners to prepare for a natural disaster.

SBA data shows that one in four small businesses who suffer damage during a disaster never reopen their doors. Many were not aware that SBA offers financial disaster assistance through low-interest disaster loans available to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used by eligible borrowers to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery, equipment, inventory and business assets  following a declared disaster. Be prepared by having appropriate documents for property and finances available.

Be Storm Ready.

  • Stay up to date on every approaching storm's progress via radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards receiver.
  • Determine safe evacuation routes inland as well as alternative routes.
  • Review your Shelter-In-Place plan, making sure your Disaster Kit is fully stocked, and fresh batteries & supplies are included.
  • Protect/relocate vital records, including your insurance policies. Be sure your risks are protected.
  • Ensure that any employees who volunteer to stay on-site have proper supplies and equipment (drinkable water, nonperishable food, medical, flashlights, walkie‐talkies). If an official evacuation order is in place; however, no employees should remain behind.

You can never be too prepared for a disaster. In the event of a declared disaster, an SBA Disaster Assistance Center will open, and their services will be announced through our local media. To learn more about emergency preparedness, go to sba.gov/emergencypreparednesschecklistandtoolkit.

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the Federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.