If you run a small business, you understand the benefits of “business continuity” and the need to get a plan together to protect your company from being shut down by a disaster. As a business owner, you also depend on the well-being of your employees, clients, customers and neighbors to stay in business. So it makes good business sense to do what you can to help them prepare for any kind of disaster.
The same basic preparedness tips that work for businesses – storing important records offsite, having contact information for your employees, clients and suppliers, keeping an emergency kit nearby – also apply to homeowners and renters.
Here are a few disaster preparedness tips for homeowners, renters and businesses:
- Make copies of your important records, and store them in a secure place far enough away in case a widespread disaster hits, yet close enough to have quick access to those documents when needed.
- Keep an up-to-date list of e-mail addresses and phone numbers for family members, employees, co-workers and insurance company contacts. Make someone in your family or company responsible for maintaining this list, and for contacting everyone after the disaster.
- Do you understand the limits of your business, homeowner or renter’s insurance policy? Check in with your insurance agent to make sure you have enough coverage to recover from the disaster.
- Put together an emergency kit that includes one gallon of water per person per day, a three-day supply of non-perishable food, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first aid kit and a cooler to keep refrigerated food cold in case of a power outage.
To get help on building an emergency plan for your family, check out Ready.gov. If you’re a business owner, visit the American Red Cross’ “Ready Rating” site to learn how to protect your company from being shut down permanently after a disaster.
For more disaster preparedness tips, tune into the SBA and Agility Recovery business continuity webinars hosted every Wednesday in September as part of National Preparedness Month. Getting prepared now means saving lives, money, time, and will help you return sooner to life as you know it.
Note: Each year, about 80 percent of SBA disaster assistance goes to homeowners and renters. This year, the SBA has made more than 11,000 disaster loans to homeowners and renters for a total of $405 million. About 1,700 business disaster loans have been approved for $203 million.