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It's National Preparedness Month! Can your small business survive a natural disaster?
Whether your region is prone to earthquakes, floods, hurricanes or fires, a natural disaster can destroy a small business. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute estimates that between 15% and 40% of businesses fail after a disaster.
So if you don't already have one, it's probably time to create a business disaster plan.
A business disaster plan isn’t limited to maintaining emergency contact information and a supply kit. Instead, it’s about taking steps to ensure that your business can either keep running or maintain its reputation in the event of a natural disaster.
As suggested by the Small Business Administration, you should back up your data and important papers, placing copies in a secondary location.
You should also maintain updated lists of important business contacts, customers, and vendors so that you can keep them updated on your progress and any difficulties. Determine who will be in charge of these phone calls.
Insurance coverage is also an important part of any disaster plan. As Inc. explains, insurance needs to cover every aspect of your business, including interruptions, inventory, and the premises.
And don’t forget to research the SBA Disaster Loan Program, which provides low-interest loans to businesses hit by federally declared disasters. Nearly 11,000 businesses have already applied for loans in the wake of Hurricane Irene, according to Phillyburbs.com.
If you don’t want your company to become a sad statistic, get in the spirit of National Preparedness Month and create a business disaster plan while it’s on your mind.