September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. While many have home safety plans in place, businesses tend to be a bit more lackadaisical.
According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety: an estimated 25% of businesses don’t reopen after a major disaster. Although no one can prevent a natural disaster from occurring, there are steps to take in advance to avoid becoming becoming part of that 25%.
Protect your small business by identifying the risks, both natural and man-made, relevant to location. Then keep a plan of action updated.
Being prepared means a company will likely rebound sooner with less impact to financial reserves.
Begin with these steps:
- Review hazard and flood coverage to ensure a policy is in effect before a storm hits.
- Keep insurance policy information and phone numbers for insurance agent and claims department handy.
- Know who to call to help clean/rebuild a business, and have a restoration plan in place.
- Keep a list of all employees contact information to ensure safety and keep them in the loop about the recovery.
- Obtain a line of credit or have enough cash to run the business for at least three months.
- Move your important business records, personal memorabilia and anything that’s irreplaceable to an offsite location.
- Save as much as possible to the cloud.
Robert Burns said in his poem To a Mouse, “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.” Of course, detailed planning is in your best interest, but even so, disasters still strike.
Once a disaster hits, the SBA has staff on the ground within days to coordinate federal, state and local recovery efforts. In the wake of a declared disaster, the SBA assists in the rebuilding and economic recovery of a community by providing affordable, timely loans to businesses of all sizes, nonprofits, homeowners and renters to cover uninsured losses.
While the SBA will always be ready to assist after a declared disaster, having a preparedness plan in place will go a long way toward keeping your organization safe and intact while supporting the long-term recovery of your community.