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Is Your Business Prepared to Weather the Storm?

Is Your Business Prepared to Weather the Storm?

By sfield, Contributor
Published: June 17, 2015

June marks the official start of the six-month Atlantic hurricane season.  While there haven’t been many storms to date (forecasters suspect this season will be quieter than others), it’s still a timely reminder to step back and assess your small business’s disaster preparedness and business continuity plans.  If disaster strikes tomorrow, how will you react and recover?

As a small business owner, you’ve likely invested a great deal of time and money to make your business successful.  According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, an estimated 25 percent of businesses do not reopen after a major disaster.  To avoid becoming a statistic, you’ll want to not only identify the risks associated with disasters, but you’ll also want to create an action plan for when a disaster does occur.  Proper planning will help to protect your employees, lessen the financial ramifications of a disaster, and help you re-open your business sooner to support economic recovery in your community.    

Disaster Planning Checklist

As you evaluate your business’s disaster preparedness, consider the following:

After Disaster Strikes

Even with all the planning in the world, you can’t always plan around Mother Nature.  When disaster does strike, SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters.

SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery/equipment, and inventory/business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster. 

Check out these disaster loan assets to learn more about how the SBA may be able to help in the aftermath of a disaster:

To be eligible for SBA disaster assistance loans, you must be located in a declared disaster area. You can view the current Presidential-level and SBA agency-level disaster declarations for your area here.  The SBA also has disaster loan fact sheets available to homeowners and renters, businesses of all sizes, homeowner associations, and more which outline key points about SBA disaster loans for each group.

Getting Specific

For information specific to hurricane recovery, click here.  For information on drought disaster assistance, click here.

It’s also important to recognize that the SBA has specific guidelines regarding how the proceeds of disaster loans may be used – you can read more about the guidelines here.  You can also explore additional information regarding disaster loan program policies and procedures, such as Federal regulations and requirements as well as how to report fraud.

For additional information, we’ve compiled a series of links that point to websites created and maintained by other government agencies or organizations that provide disaster assistance information and services.

Some disasters are inevitable, but with proper planning and a wide variety of resources available to you as you rebuild, it is absolutely possible for your business to recover in the wake of a natural disaster. 

About the Author:

sfield
Sarah Field

Contributor

I am an author and moderator for the the SBA.gov Community. I'll share useful information for your entrepreneurial endeavors and help point you in the right direction to find other resources for your small business needs. Thanks for joining our online community here at SBA.gov!