Florida SBDC Network Urges Businesses to be Hurricane Ready

Florida's Principal Provider of Business Assistance Advises Preparedness as Hurricane Season Approaches

FSBDCN State Office (Pensacola, Fla.) - The Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance, urges business owners across the state to prepare for the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1 and extends through November 30.

This year, National Hurricane Preparedness Week runs May 15-21. In support, the Florida SBDC Network encourages businesses to be aware of the risks associated with natural and man-made disasters and to have a plan in place should a disaster strike.

“Business owners should take action themselves now to understand the risks associated with hurricanes and to develop a preparedness plan,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director for the Florida SBDC. “Research shows that an estimated 25-40 percent of businesses do not open following a major disaster. Hurricane preparation doesn’t have to be costly or take much time to be valuable.”

Florida SBDC Network Mobile Assistance Centers (MACs) are deployed during a disaster to provide on-the-scene assistance.
Florida SBDC Network Mobile Assistance Centers (MACs) are deployed during a disaster to provide on-the-scene assistance.

According to a forecast released last month by Colorado State University, a total of 12 named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes are expected this season. This forecast does not include January’s rare Hurricane Alex.

Florida SBDC Network Business Continuation Services Help Minimize Losses, Increase Survivability

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. Through the network’s service offering, professionally certified business consultants are available to help business owners develop comprehensive business continuity, emergency preparedness and disaster recovery plans at no cost.

In the event of a disaster, Florida SBDC business consultants, many of whom are DRI Certified Business Continuity Professionals, help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges. The network will also deploy its Mobile Assistance Centers (MAC)—38-foot RVs equipped with laptops, printers, satellite communication, and more—into communities for affected businesses to receive on-site assistance.

Preparedness Resources

To learn more about National Hurricane Preparedness Week and ways to participate, please visit www.ready.gov/hurricane-toolkit and www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation.

As part of National Hurricane Preparedness Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery will host “Protect Your Business This Hurricane Season,” a free webinar to prepare organizations for the upcoming hurricane season. To register, or to view past webinars, please visit www.PrepareMyBusiness.org.

For more information regarding preparedness tools and resources available to Florida businesses, please visit www.floridadisaster.org/DEMbusiness.asp.

For more information regarding the Florida SBDC’s Business Continuation services, please click here.