4 Steps for Small Businesses to Weather "Frankenstorm"
Don’t become a Hurricane Sandy statistic!
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center predict that Hurricane Sandy could make impact early next week somewhere along the East Coast. Weather models suggest a wide spread of possibilities. Some models predict the hurricane not making landfall at all, while others suggest the hurricane meeting with a winter storm to create a hybrid super storm -- dubbed "Frankenstorm" for its anticipated pre-Halloween arrival with plenty of harrowing weather results. News outlets are already reporting estimates of $1 billion or more in damages.
One thing is certain -- heavy rain and strong wind are headed up the East Coast this weekend and early next week. Even communities that are not coastal could experience significant disruption, whether due to sustained loss of power, flooding, blocked roads, broken supply chains, reduced customer traffic, or more.
Statistics show that of the businesses that experience a disaster and have no emergency plan, 43% never reopen; of those that do reopen, only 29% are still operating two years later. Don’t become a Hurricane Sandy statistic!
Take the threat seriously. Please share this information with small businesses in the projected impact areas.
Join us in taking the threat seriously. If the storm ends up causing little damage or disruption, at least important strides toward business preparedness have been made. Please share the following information with small businesses and other organizations in the projected impact areas.
4 Simple Steps to Get Started:
1. Create and distribute an employee emergency contact list. Use it to share information about closures and re-openings, and to check on the wellbeing of individuals in the impact area. Also make sure employees are taking steps to protect themselves and their families at home. (FEMA offers a helpful resource for families to make a plan and create a disaster kit.)
2. Back-up your data and protect it at an offsite location, even if it’s just copied to an external hard drive or DVD. Move important documents to a place they will remain safe and dry.
3. Stock up on essential emergency supplies, such as flashlights, batteries, and a NOAA weather radio.
4. Ask your suppliers what their emergency plans are. If needed, have back up suppliers ready to keep you in business.
The National Disaster Help Desk for Business is available before, during, and after disasters to provide fast and reliable coordination of information among businesses, local chambers, disaster responders, and donors. Advice about preparedness and post-disaster recovery resources is available. The Help Desk can be reached by phone (888-MY BIZ HELP / 888-692-4943), email, Facebook, and Twitter.
The Disaster Resistant Business Toolkit is a simple software tool created by a nonprofit working group of business continuity, emergency management, planning, and training experts from the public and private sectors toassist small to midsize businesses and nonprofits with building their disaster plans. Use the promotion code USCHAMBER for a discounted rate.