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Get Prepared to Stay in Business on April 30 -- "America’s PrepareAthon!"

Get Prepared to Stay in Business on April 30 -- "America’s PrepareAthon!"

By James Rivera, SBA Official
Published: April 28, 2015 Updated: March 8, 2016

Imagine stepping into your store, restaurant, or the office space where you run your business, a day or two after the wildfire has been contained, the tornado has passed, or floodwaters have receded.

First come the hard questions.

"How much is it going to cost me to rebuild?" "Do I have enough insurance?"

"Where will I come up with the money to cover operating costs during the reconstruction?"

And then the final, most painful question: "Why didn't I prepare for this?

A large percentage of American small businesses aren't prepared for the inevitable shutdown that happens when disasters occur. When a major disaster hits, the U.S. Small Business Administration may be able to assist with a low-interest disaster loan. Yet having a preparedness plan in place is the best way to protect your assets and the economic well-being of the community.

April 30, 2015 has been designated by FEMA as "America's PrepareAthon!"—a national day of action when individuals and organizations can take simple steps to create a disaster preparedness plan.

America's PrepareAthon will revolve on taking action to prepare for six common hazards:

When you click on the links above you'll see maps that give a history of the disaster activity for the specific hazard, and get tips on how to protect yourself, your family and your property before, during and after the disaster.

FEMA is SBA's partner in disaster recovery. Meanwhile, the more prepared you are before the emergency or natural disaster, the less likely you'll be in need of federal assistance. And you'll able to get your organization up and running quickly, without the economic injury that typically follows a business shutdown.

For more information about SBA's disaster assistance program, visit

About the Author:

James Rivera
James Rivera

SBA Official

James Rivera was named Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance in November 2009 after serving for several months as Acting Associate Administrator. In a typical year, his office approves about 20,000 loans totaling about $1 billion. This is the SBA’s sole direct lending program.