Hurricane Sandy Hammers Small Businesses: How to Prepare for The Next Disaster

Residents on the East Coast of the U.S. continue cleaning up following Hurricane Sandy, and small businesses have been especially hard hit. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are used to the unexpected, and it doesn’t take a hurricane to disrupt your business operations. Here’s an update of how small businesses have been affected by this particular disaster and more about how your business can stay prepared for the unexpected emergency.

Eye of the Hurricane

Businesses weather the storm. As seen by this sampling of experiences from up and down the eastern sea board, small businesses can be affected in many ways by huge weather emergencies like a hurricane. Weathering a widespread, unexpected event depends upon flexibility and preparing for the worst. Those businesses most affected by Monday’s storm were those susceptible to storm damage or whose employees lived too far away to get to work. Businesses were also impacted by the degree weather forced customers to stay away. CBS Money Watch

Data drowns in deluge. Your business doesn’t need to be exposed to the elements or even located anywhere near a natural disaster to feel its effects. If your small business depends on data centers, like these damaged by flooding as a result of Hurricane Sandy, it’s important to be sure that backups are available. Data Center Knowledge

Resources offer road to recovery. Many small business were affected by Hurricane Sandy, as they can be by any natural disaster. Fortunately, there is help to get your business up and running again. Business mentor and angel investor Amy Rees Anderson shares this comprehensive list of resources that can help your company cope after disaster strikes. Forbes

State of Preparedness

Emergencies come in many forms. You don’t need a Hurricane with 90 mile an hour winds to threaten your small business. Sometimes a faulty network node at your Internet provider will do. In this scenario, O2, a UK broadband provider, suffered an outage affecting 2 million users, 10 percent of its customers, with many small businesses claiming they were unable to operate as a result. Make sure your service provider doesn’t leave you hanging. bOnline Blog

Prepare for your next disaster. Just like homeowners, small business owners must prepare for the worst. For many business owners in the wake of Hurricane Sandy may have found out first hand how important emergency preparedness is. For other small business owners, it’s an important wake up call about steps everyone should take to protect their investments.

Better safe than sorry. As blogger Arthur Piccio observes, disasters that threaten your business can come in all shapes and sizes, from a gigantic hurricane to a computer outage or data loss affecting only your hosting or data storage company. In many cases this can be really bad news for your business, so why don’t more businesses take it seriously? Here’s a long list of suggestions that will help you get prepared. UPrinting

Another Day at the Office

Don’t confuse urgency with emergency. If you don’t know the difference between these two ideas, you might face a danger more insidious than any mother nature can throw your way. Martin Zwilling teaches us about the dangers of managers or leaders who can make every day and every situation an emergency and how this behavior can slowly sap any business of its strength. When you declare a state of emergency for your business, make sure the threat is real. Startup Professionals Musings

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.