Ready to Respond
SBA Gears Up for Hurricane Irene Recovery Efforts
Special message from SBA Administrator Karen Mills
Today South Carolina has already seen the effects of Hurricane Irene, with heavy rains and winds soaking the coastal areas. As evacuations begin and the hurricane makes its way up the East Coast, the U.S. Small Business Administration is standing ready, prepared to respond to the long-term recovery needs of homeowners, renters and businesses across the region.
The SBA has a team from our Office of Disaster Assistance in Puerto Rico, assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Irene. In addition to the 900 employees currently on board, we have 500 reservists ready to be deployed immediately. Our team is already on the ground working with our partner FEMA in their Regional Communications Centers.
Our primary concern right now is for the safety of the millions living in the path of this dangerous storm. You’ve probably seen and heard lots of messages about preparing before the storm hits.
Here are a few last-minute reminders:
- Take seriously the evacuation orders issued by local officials. If they say evacuate, please follow and leave immediately.
- Extensive power outages are predicted. There’s still time to assemble an emergency supply kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, cash, a battery-powered radio, flashlights and batteries.
- Visit www.ready.gov for tips on creating a plan to protect your family before the storm hits.
- Business owners can visit www.readybusiness.gov for useful tips on how to reopen quickly and lessen the economic blow of the disaster. The Department of Labor has information on how to take care of your employees when an emergency strikes. Visit www.osha.gov/hurricane
- After the storm passes and if you’re in need of shelter or other resources, visit the Red Cross atwww.redcross.org. You can also donate to the recovery efforts at the Red Cross site.
- For information on SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit www.sba.gov/disaster, or call the Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955.
The SBA, along with our federal partners, will be there for the long haul to support the residents and business owners who are preparing to weather the storm.
If you're reading this message on a mobile device, you can visit FEMA's mobile site at http://m.fema.gov for the latest on Hurricane Irene. Follow SBA's official blog, Open for Business, for all the latest updates on disaster recovery and preparedness.