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Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan
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Since its inception in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has served to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small businesses. While SBA is generally known for the financial support it provides to small businesses, it also plays a critical role in assisting the survivors of natural and other disasters. SBA provides disaster assistance through capital, counseling, and contracting services. Its Disaster Loan Program helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private nonprofits fund their recovery. (As of March 2015, SBA has approved nearly 2.0 million disaster loans for over $53 billion.) Counseling by SBA and its resource partners helps small businesses navigate through the recovery process. Federal contracting guidance and other SBA efforts bring business to impacted firms. District Directors advocate with federal partners for small business interests as they aid states and communities in long-term disaster recovery coordination.
SBA’s disaster planning is guided by five principles:
- Prepared. SBA has an organizational infrastructure designed to respond swiftly and effectively to disaster activity.
- Trained. Training and coordination are the keys to preparedness. Training techniques and tools are constantly updated.
- “One SBA” approach. Employees across the SBA organization have roles to play and are valuable assets to help SBA achieve the level of performance America requires and expects.
- Quality assurance and customer service. The Agency continuously strives to deliver the highest level of quality of service with available resources. Customers will be provided with the necessary support and communication channels to minimize confusion and ensure a positive experience during their time of greatest need.
- Coordinated with its government partners. The Agency communicates with local, state, federal government agencies, and Congress to deliver timely and sustained assistance.
SBA’s Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan (DPRP) supports the following outcomes:
- Processes coordinated with federal guidance and protocols for preparedness (e.g., the National Response Framework (NRF) and the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF)).
- A customer-focused, transparent, outcome-drivenmodel of performance.
- Timely decision-making and available resources (human capital, facilities, technology, and partnerships) throughout the disaster loan-making (DLM) process.
- Support of long-term economic recovery by providing access to capital, counseling, and contracting services for disaster survivors to rebuild and withstand economic injury.
SBA’s Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan is applicable Agency-wide to ensure a broad scope of coordination, awareness, and support. The DPRP comprises the following key sections:
- Section 1, Introduction, gives a background on SBA and its role in supporting national preparedness.
- Section 2, Preparedness and Risk, sets the stage for later process descriptions by outlining SBA’s roles and responsibilities under Presidential Policy Directive 8, National Preparedness, and the five preparedness frameworks: prevention, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation. The section also assesses risks applicable to SBA’s preparedness efforts.
- Section 3, Mission, outlines SBA’s mission to maintain and strengthen the nation’s economy by enabling the establishment and vitality of small businesses and by assisting in the economic recovery of communities after disasters. This includes discussion of pre-disaster protection and mitigation efforts, continuity of operations planning and small business readiness, and post-disaster response and recovery elements of continuity planning, disaster loan-making, and long-term recovery steps encompassing more than the restoration of a community’s physical structures.
- Section 4, Execution, describes how SBA conducts its disaster-related missions, in chronological sequence, beginning with warning and preparation for an event with notice (e.g., a hurricane).
- Early action includes
- Initial continuity actions and
- The disaster loan-making process, which includes:
- Disaster declaration and notification;
- Application intake;
- Loss verification;
- Loan processing; and
- Closing and loan disbursement.
- Sustained action led by District Directors provides SBA’s support to the NDRF, especially in the long-term timeframe. As local recovery develops, the Office of Disaster Assistance’s (ODA) disaster loan- making operations are supplemented and supplanted by Government Contracting and Business Development, Field Operations, Entrepreneurial Development and resource partners, and Capital Access.
Section 5, Coordination and Logistics, details processes and elements that support the execution of the DPRP:
- The Disaster Oversight Council/Executive Management Team oversees direction and support of the disaster loan process during larger disasters and coordinates continuity of operations (COOP), DLM and long-term recovery efforts through the Disaster Preparedness and Operations Team (DPOT).
- Scaling Process: SBA categorizes disasters into levels based on the number of anticipated disaster loan applications to be processed during the same period of time. This categorization enables SBA appropriately scale DLM resources (human capital, facilities, and information technology) and operations to meet the needs of disaster survivors. The disaster categories are as follows:
APPROXIMATE RANGE OF EXPECTED APPLICATIONS
|Level I||50,000 and below|
|Level II||50,000 to 250,000|
|Level III||250,000 to 500,000|
|Level IV||500,000 and above|
- Budgeting: Securing sufficient funding for SBA’s disaster lending is of strategic importance.
- Office Responsibilities: The roles of ODA and its components, the Offices of Disaster Planning, Administrative Services, Field Operations, and Entrepreneurial Development are all detailed, as is the support from other portions of SBA.
- The section concludes with a short discussion of COOP logistics.
Section 6, Public Communications, sets forth the mechanisms for communicating with citizens, state and local officials, federal officials, themedia, national business organizations, and other strategic partners during disasters. Although the specific communication plan will vary for each disaster, SBA will apply the same principles for all levels of disaster. The two major objectives guiding the Communications Plan are clear:
SBA will inform citizens of SBA services and how to obtain them, and
SBA will coordinate operations with other recovery partners.