Tallahassee, June 1, 2018 – The 2018 Hurricane Season kicks off today, and NFIB reminds small business owners that now is the time to get prepared.
“If Florida’s pre-season tropical activity is any indicator of what this hurricane season may bring, small business owners need to take the necessary steps now to update their disaster preparedness plans,” said Bill Herrle, executive director of NFIB in Florida.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 40 percent of businesses that are forced to close as the result of a hurricane never reopen.
“The livelihood of so many small businesses depends on how well prepared they are before a storm hits,” Herrle said. “If businesses are prepared, they’re more likely to reopen quickly and efficiently, which means they can get Floridians back to work and keep our economy on track following a disaster.”
Here are some tips from NFIB to help small businesses get prepared:
- Take photographs and videos of your assets. Store them online if possible or in waterproof and fireproof containers kept in a safe place, such as a relative’s or friend’s home or business in another state.
- Have an emergency response plan. Determine your evacuation routes. Establish meeting places. Keep emergency phone numbers handy.
- Develop a communications plan. Designate someone to serve as a contact person for your employees, customers, and vendors. Phone and email in your area may be down following a natural disaster, so ask an out-of-state friend, colleague or relative to serve as a post-disaster point of contact.
- Backup your business records. Make copies of your any vital records and store them someplace safe. Use online backups for electronic data, and keep paper documents in a fireproof safety-deposit box.
- Create a disaster kit. Put a flashlight, a portable radio, extra batteries, a phone charger, first-aid supplies, non-perishable food, bottled water, a basic tool kit, plastic sheeting and garbage bags in a bag or box someplace handy, in case of emergency. Encourage your employees to prepare disaster kits for themselves and their families.
- Be sure you have adequate insurance. You need at least enough to rebuild your home and business. Review your policies to see what is — and isn’t — covered. Consider business interruption insurance, which helps cover operating costs during the post-disaster shutdown period. Get flood insurance.
NFIB also urges Florida’s small business owners to check out the many resources available through the Department of Economic Opportunity and the Division of Emergency Management. Under Governor Rick Scott, DEO and DEM have launched FloridaDisaster.biz – a one-stop shop to help small business owners develop a plan, gain access to a network of resources, and take steps now that can streamline re-entry after a disaster.
“Thanks to Governor Rick Scott’s leadership, Floridians can be armed with the tools they need to endure another hot Atlantic hurricane season,” Herrle said. “We hope that small business owners take full advantage of the resources offer by the Governor’s agencies and head into this hurricane season more prepared than ever.”
Contact: Kristen Butler, [email protected], 850-681-0416