National Preparedness Month: Plan Ahead for Disasters 

u s small business administration

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SAN ANTONIO DISTRICT

National Preparedness Month: Plan Ahead for Disasters 

 

Mary Hernandez

by Mary Hernandez U.S. Small Business Administration’s San Antonio District Director

The United States is subject to many natural disasters, from earthquakes and hurricanes to flooding and tornadoes, and last year, the pandemic showed the world the critical importance of contingency operations within a business. Despite the uphill battle the US economy is still facing brought on by the pandemic, America’s entrepreneurs are resilient. However, statistics show that 25 percent of businesses never open again after a disaster.

National Preparedness Month is recognized each September to promote family, community, and business disaster planning now and throughout the year and to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. Take time during National Preparedness Month to ensure you, your family, and your small business are better protected. It is easier than you may think.

Your business preparedness plan should be based on these things:

  • First, you need to know what disasters could strike your business. For example, if your business is located in Texas or Louisiana, you’ll want to make sure you have insurance coverage for the possibility of a hurricane, and if you are in Oklahoma, then you’ll want to have insurance for tornados.
  • Once you know what kind of disaster could affect your business, it’s time to start emergency planning. Some of the easier tasks include preparing an emergency supply kit that contains a three-day supply of food and water, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, and medical supplies. The next step in the plan, which can be a bit daunting, is setting aside money for unexpected costs, including repairs, insurance deductibles, food, gas, and temporary lodging. A full disaster preparedness strategy can be found online at www.ready.gov. The SBA also has small business mentors that can assist in this process.
  • The last step is simple - commitment to the plan. Your plan is your roadmap to recovery and will keep your business operating the best it can while you respond and recover from the disaster.

If a disaster does occur, you may be eligible for a low-interest disaster recovery loan through the SBA for damaged and destroyed assets in a declared disaster via our physical damage loans. These include repair and replacement costs for real estate, personal property, machinery, equipment, inventory, and business assets. In addition, the SBA has home and property disaster, economic injury (EIDL), and Military Reservist economic injury disaster loans available.

Visit the SBA’s recovery hub https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance/recovery-hub to find everything you need to rebuild your small business, keep employees safe and healthy, and revitalize your community.

 

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.