With hurricane season upon us, it’s a great time to reassess your organization’s business continuity and disaster preparedness plans. If a significant disaster hit your business tomorrow, do you have a plan to respond and recover accordingly?
Unfortunately, not all businesses do.
According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, nearly one in four businesses never reopen after a significant disaster strikes. Taking proactive steps beforehand will help lessen the financial ramifications of a disaster and help you reopen sooner.
How Prepared is Your Business?
Before disaster strikes, ask the following questions:
- Does your business have a preparedness program?
- Have you determined which business systems are mission-critical?
- Have you developed an emergency communications plan (PDF)?
- Have you confirmed that your business systems are ready for a disaster?
- Does your business have a disaster preparedness kit?
When the Worst Happens
Even if your business is fully prepared, you can’t always prevent a disaster. Following a declared disaster, there are several disaster assistance programs that can help your business recover. The U.S. Small Business Administrtion (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes as well as private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters.
The SBA does have specific guidelines on how you can use the proceeds of disaster loans. Typically, disaster loans can go toward the repair or replacement of real estate, personal property, machinery, and inventory that has been damaged in a declared disaster. To be eligible to apply SBA disaster assistance loans, you must be located in a declared disaster area. You can view the current Presidential and SBA agency disaster declarations for your area here.
For more information, check out this series of links to websites created and maintained by government agencies and organizations that provide disaster assistance information and services.
Hurricane Evacuation Route Photo via Shutterstock