To help protect your business from the natural disasters that affect Florida, the best defense is having a solid plan in place BEFORE an emergency strikes.
- Get A Plan – Get a Plan assists businesses in developing a family and/or business plan utilizing the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s online templates. Utilize the preparedness app FDEM Google Play | iTunes
- Ready.gov/Business – Ready Business assists businesses in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards.
Prepare a Business Ready “Records-To-Go” Box:
Every business should have a Business Ready “Records-To-Go” box that includes important documents and supplies necessary for business to continue after a disaster. Make sure the box is fire- and waterproof. Some suggested records include:
- Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Recovery Plan
- Emergency contact list of employees and key customers
- Insurance policies and agent information
- List of suppliers and vendors
- Back-up computer systems and data files
- Bank records
For more helpful tips on how businesses can protect their assets, support their employees, and safeguard critical business processes, review our Dare to Prepare Flyer (PDF).
Additional Resources to Help Businesses Stay Informed and Prepare:
- Hurricane Preparedness Checklist– Agility Recovery, in partnership with the U.S. SBA, has developed the Hurricane Preparedness Checklist to help businesses prepare for a hurricane’s effect on your business, employees, and community by highlighting activities you should undertake before, during, and following the event, click here.
- Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (FLVBEOC)– When the FLVBEOC has been activated to a Level 1, a full-scale, 24-hour activation, they provide businesses with valuable preparedness information. For a list of preparedness tips before the storm and to register your business, please click here.
- Statewide Private Sector Re-Entry Program– Businesses should be aware that local authorities will require employees seeking re-entry to impacted areas to provide a driver’s license or passport, proof of employment or a letter on company letterhead, and proof of a demonstrated need to enter the area, such as a work order or employer authorization. For more information, please click here.
Business Continuation Services
Ensuring Northwest Florida is Open for Business
Research shows that approximately 40 percent of businesses that close following a disaster never reopen.
You spent a lot of time, money, and effort building up your business, so you want to protect it. Disasters of all types, whether man-made (cyber attack or data breach, loss of a key employee, road construction that displaces traffic, supply chain interruption, etc.) or a natural disaster (hurricane, flood, drought, freeze, etc.), can threaten businesses no matter where they are located. These interruptions can make it difficult for small businesses to keep the doors open. To improve your chances of staying in business should the worst happen, every business owner should have a plan in place.
How We Can Help
Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Recovery Plans
As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 for Business & Industry, the Florida SBDC Network is a key economic development organization that supports disaster preparedness, recovery and mitigation through its Business Continuation services. Our professionally certified business consultants provide consulting at no cost, and training events to help you minimize losses and increase survivability when affected by natural and man-made disasters. Our specialists can help you develop a comprehensive business continuity, emergency preparedness, and disaster recovery plan tailored for your business at no cost.
The Florida SBDC also provides online and in-person educational training on disaster preparedness, tips, and resources. Watch the video to learn more and discover a helpful app that can walk you through the steps you’ll need to get prepared for anything that may happen, whether man-made or natural.
Disaster Recovery Assistance
In the event of a disaster, our professionally certified business consultants, many of whom are Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) Certified Business Continuity Professionals, can assist affected businesses apply for state and federal disaster loans, as well as other post-disaster challenges, at no cost.
Bizaster — Disaster Assistance App
As part of its service offering, the Florida SBDC offers Bizaster, a free mobile disaster assistance app. Bizaster, available in both English and Spanish for Android and iOS, features risk assessments, customizable checklists, and other resources to help businesses prepare, respond, and recover from natural and man-made disasters. Bizaster can be downloaded from the App Store or via Google Play.
- To view a short video about the app, click here.
- To view an informational webinar about the app, please click here.
Check out these additional resources for more information on protecting your business before and after a natural disaster.
- FloridaDisaster.org– Florida Division of Emergency Management
- FloridaDisaster.org/GetAPlan– Get a Family or Business Plan
- Preparedness app from FDEM Google Play | iTunes
- gov – Business– Information for Planning and Protecting Your Business
- flvbeoc.org– Business Damage Assessment Survey
- FloridaDisasterLoan.org– Florida Emergency Bridge Loan Application
- SBA.gov– Federal Disaster Loans
- fema.gov– Federal Emergency Management Agency