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SBA: Prepare Before Disaster Strikes

Published Thursday Sep 19, 2019

SBA: Prepare Before Disaster Strikes

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.


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