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Are You Prepared to Be A Leader When A Disaster Hits Your Small Business?

Are You Prepared to Be A Leader When A Disaster Hits Your Small Business?

By Carol Chastang, SBA Official
Published: June 5, 2014 Updated: June 5, 2014

Most employees at small businesses worry about their safety in the event of an emergency, according to a recent survey by Staples, Inc.  And those fears range from “does my company have an emergency plan in place?” to “what happens to my paycheck if this place had to close for a few days because of a power outage?”

The Staples survey—conducted online in May 2014—found that workers at businesses with fewer than 50 people are less sure of who is in charge of emergency planning than employees at larger companies.   Most of the more than 400 office workers interviewed said their companies were less likely to do safety drills, and didn’t have the plans or equipment in place to deal with catastrophic events like earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes.

As a small business owner, you know that everything begins and ends with you. You also understand that your responsibility as a leader extends to your clients and your employees.  Protecting them is essential, and failing to do so is a cause for the failure of your company. 

Building a disaster preparedness plan is essential to the survival of any small business. But having a plan is not enough: 

  • Your employees must understand the disaster plan, while also having a good grasp of your company’s critical functions, systems and processes.
  • The emergency plan must be rehearsed. Doing an annual exercise will help your team uncover flaws in the system.
  • Put the plan on paper, and stick to the plan, while building contingencies, considering worst-case scenarios.


There’s a lot more to establishing yourself as a leader your employees and clients trust to lead them and the community through a crisis.  Join the SBA and Agility Recovery on Tuesday, June 17 at 2 p.m. EDT for the free “Leading with Resiliency During a Disaster” webinar. 

Former Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator R. David Paulison will discuss how he managed the leadership challenges he faced when he joined FEMA during the Hurricane Katrina recovery.  He’ll also share tips on how to provide calm leadership and smart direction when a crisis hits.

Please sign up soon, since space is limited. The webinar will be recorded and archived on Agility’s PrepareMyBusiness site.

Date: Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Time: 2 – 3 p.m. ET


In the meantime, you can get a head start by visiting Agility Recovery’s disaster planning page.  There you’ll find practical checklists that can help you with crisis communications, risk assessment, and disaster planning for specific disasters--be it earthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes or hurricanes.


About the Author:

Carol Chastang

SBA Official