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Emergency Preparedness


  • Submitted on 19 December 2014

    Created on December 19, 2014
     

    America’s PrepareAthon! Campaign Offers Specific Actions to Prepare your Business for a Winter Storm

    Be Smart. Take Part. PrepareWhen a winter storm hits, it can significantly interrupt if not suspend your business operations. Winter storms can bring freezing rain, ice, snow, high winds, or a combination of these conditions. They can cause power outages that last for days, make roads and walkways very dangerous, and affect community services. Preparing ahead of time can help you manage the impact a winter storm has on your business and the safety of your employees.

    Knowing what to do when a winter storm and other disasters hit is the message of America’s PrepareAthon!, a nationwide grassroots campaign for action to increase community preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions, and exercises. The campaign offers easy-to-implement preparedness guides, checklists, and resources to help individuals, business owners, organizations and whole communities practice the simple, specific actions they can take to prepare for disasters.

  • Submitted on 08 September 2014

    Created on September 9, 2014
     

    Loan ApprovedDid you know that in the wake of a disaster, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations? In the aftermath of hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes and other disasters, SBA is the primary source of money from the federal government for long-term recovery assistance.

    Am I eligible?

    SBA’s Disaster Loan Program is not exclusively for small businesses. These low-interest, long-term loans are available for damage to private property owned by individuals, families, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofits not fully covered by insurance.

    While property owners usually have some insurance coverage, often it does not cover all losses or even the type of hazard that caused the damage. And that’s where a disaster loan comes into play.

    What can I use the loan for?

    There are actually a few different types of disaster loans available. SBA can provide up to $2 million in disaster assistance for businesses.  This includes loans to cover physical damage and economic injury losses. Some applicants will qualify for both an economic injury loan and a physical disaster loan.  Meanwhile, the dollar limit for the combined loans is $2 million.

  • Submitted on 02 September 2014

    Created on September 2, 2014
     

    Protect your InvestmentSeptember is National Preparedness Month.

    There are steps you can take to safeguard your company and secure your physical assets.

    Review Insurance Coverage: Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary, so check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage and business interruption. Understand what your policy covers and what it does not. Ask about any deductibles, if applicable. Consider how you will pay creditors and employees. You should also plan how you will provide for your own income. Finally, find out what records your insurance provider will want to see after an emergency and store them in a safe place.

    Prepare for Utility Disruptions: Businesses are often dependent on electricity, gas, telecommunications, sewer and other utilities. Plan ahead for extended disruptions during and after a disaster. Carefully examine which utilities are vital to your business’s day-to-day operation. Speak with service providers about potential alternatives and identify back-up options such as portable generators to power the vital aspects of your business in an emergency.

  • Submitted on 28 August 2014

    Created on August 28, 2014
     

    Each year small businesses nationwide are forced to close their doors in the aftermath of severe storms, flooding, tornadoes, wildfires and hurricanes. Business interruptions, even if they last just a few hours, are costly in terms of lost productivity and profits.

    You can get help with your own business preparedness planning through a series of free webinars in September hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery. The September series is presented in collaboration with FEMA’s Ready Campaign as part of National Preparedness Month.

    The SBA wants to help business owners take charge of the well-being of their own companies, the safety of their employees, and the sustenance of their local economies by being prepared to rebound quickly from any kind of disaster.

    The half-hour webinars will be presented at 2 p.m., ET, each Wednesday in September. Visit http://snurl.com/296yw4e to register for any or all of the webinars listed below:

  • Submitted on 12 June 2014

    Created on June 12, 2014
     

    Hurricane SeasonDisaster can strike at any time, and even the most prepared businesses and business owners can be adversely impacted. Scenes of disaster replay on televisions across the country with numbing regularity: A hurricane blasts through Florida... fire sweeps through a small-town manufacturing plant...floods destroy a local business district... a winter storm causes widespread power failure in the Northeast.

    Every year emergencies take their toll on business and industry in terms of lives and dollars. But something can be done. Businesses of all sizes can limit injury and damage and return more quickly to normal operations if they plan ahead. Preparedness works.

    Why Develop an Emergency Plan?

    Business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their ventures successful, so it would seem natural for owners to take steps to protect those investments. While the importance of emergency planning may seem self-evident, the urgency of the task is often blunted by the immediate demands of the workplace. Also, owners and managers may have only a nominal idea of the risks their business faces, or possess only a limited understanding of steps they can take to reduce the potential impacts of disasters.

    Last but not least, the business person is prone to the all-too-human tendency to believe that “it won’t happen to me.” In the meantime, businesses will continue to suffer setbacks that often could have been reduced or prevented altogether had someone taken the time to plan.

  • Submitted on 04 September 2013

    Created on September 4, 2013
     

    Ready.govAs a business owner or manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow. This September for National Preparedness Month, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared.

    Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes. As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster.

    Ready Business asks companies to take three simple steps: plan to stay in business; encourage your people to become Ready and protect your investment.

  • Submitted on 27 September 2012

    Created on September 27, 2012
     

    Contact Information CenterCommunications before, during and following an emergency is bi-directional. Stakeholders or audiences will ask questions and request information. The business will answer questions and provide information. This flow of information should be managed through a communications hub.

    Contact and Information Centers form the “hub” of the crisis communications plan. The centers receive requests for information from each audience and disseminate information to each audience. Employees from multiple departments may be assigned to communicate with a specific audience.

    The “contact center” fields inquiries from customers, suppliers, the news media and others. The contact center should be properly equipped and staffed by personnel to answer requests for information. The staff working within the contact center should be provided with scripts and a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) document to answer questions consistently and accurately.

  • Submitted on 25 September 2012

    Created on September 25, 2012
     

    Planning what to do in case of a disaster is an important part of being prepared. The IRS encourages taxpayers to safeguard their records. Some simple steps can help taxpayers and businesses protect financial and tax records.

    Security in Electronic RecordkeepingSalvaging the Ruins Picking up the Pieces After a Disaster

    Many people receive bank statements and documents electronically. This method allows for easy backup to ensure secure record keeping. Files can be copied to a portable electronic storage device, such as a flash drive, or onto a CD or DVD.

    In addition, you may scan your paper documents (W-2s, tax returns and other records) to create electronic files for safekeeping.

    Be sure to store these backup files in a safe location, apart from your business, in case your normal backup systems are destroyed. Convenience to your home should not be your primary concern. Remember, a disaster that strikes your home may also affect other facilities nearby, making quick retrieval of your records difficult and even impossible.

    Document Valuables and Equipment

    Publications 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook, and 584-B, Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook, can help you compile a room-by-room list of your belongings or business equipment. This will help you recall and document the market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims. You can also photograph or video the contents of your home and/or business, especially items of great value.

  • Submitted on 14 September 2012

    Created on September 14, 2012
     

    When business is disrupted, it can cost money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses means reduced profits. Insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. A business continuity plan to continue business is essential. Development of a business continuity plan includes four steps:

    • Conduct a business impact analysis to identify time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes and the resources that support them.

  • Submitted on 12 September 2012

    How quickly your company is back in business following a disaster will depend on emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters, the occasional utility and technology outages, and the potential for terrorism demonstrate the importance of being prepared for many different types of emergencies. While recognizing that each situation is unique, your business can be better prepared if it plans carefully, puts emergency procedures in place, and practices for the kinds of emergencies it could face.

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