Small Business Administrators Survey Hurricane Ike Damage

Acting Small Business Administrator (SBA) Sandy Baruah (left) and SBA Field Operations West director Alfred Judd (right) touring a waterfront area in a Houston neighborhood. Hurricane Ike brought damaging storm surge and winds to communities along the Texas Gulf Coast on Sept. 19, 2008.

 

As Hurricane Irene approaches the east coast, residents and businesses are bracing themselves for the upcoming storm. While no one can avoid bad weather, investing time in preparations now can ease distress and may ultimately determine how well your business is able to recover.

Here are some tips every small business should keep in mind to protect themselves from catastrophic effects:

  • Create a written preparedness plan. Outline important tasks employees must accomplish and designate who will perform them, for all phases of the storm. Make sure to go over your plan in advance with your staff so they are familiar with protocol.
  • Back up business records and important documents. Make sure to take an inventory of all equipment, supplies and other assets as well.
  • Verify your business insurance, particularly that you have the appropriate type of insurance. There’s nothing worse than finding out your insurance covers rain and winds, but not floods.
  • Set up channels of correspondence, between you and your employees as well as between you and your customers. During natural disasters, your usual means of communication may not be available due to destruction or high volume. Anticipating this before hand can keep you and all your associates informed on the latest updates such as evacuations, modified hours, and more.
  • Read a more detailed manual on Hurricane Disaster Planning for businesses (*.pdf) from the Texas Department of Safety.

And finally, be sure to visit the U.S. and Small Business Administration’s website for more tips and information on disaster readiness.

[CC FEMA/Mike Moore]