The Florida SBDC Network encourages businesses to prepare for a disaster by developing a disaster preparedness plan. Businesses should consider several elements in preparing for a disaster. Not only is it important to protect staff, their building, data, and inventory, it is also critical to prepare a plan to continue operations following the disaster. A good plan may include provisions to relocate to a pre-identified site, retrieve data, including employee, customer and vendor records; and a way to operate efficiently with a smaller staff of key individuals.
Create a plan:
Businesses should consider several elements in preparing for a disaster. Not only is it important to protect the staff, building, data, and inventory of a company, it is also critical to prepare a plan to continue operations following the disaster. A good plan may include provisions to relocate to a pre-identified site, retrieve data, including employee, customer and vendor records; and a way to operate efficiently with a smaller staff of key individuals.
Below please find a disaster preparedness plan template and emergency procedures template to help your business develop an in-depth preparedness plan. Use the guide to help formulate your plan.
- Small Business Disaster Preparedness Guide
- Disaster Preparedness Plan Template
- Emergency Procedures Template
Prepare Your Small Business:
Top 10 Disaster Prepardeness Tips
Assemble a team to develop a business resiliency plan.
Gather critical documents and information you will need to make decisions.
Identify and prioritize critical operations and processes.
Identify hazards—what disruptions could affect your operations? Remember to
take the Coronavirus challenges into consideration.
Create your plan and prepare a business-ready “Records-To-Go” box.
Develop a communications strategy and plan to use post-disaster. Ensure that
your plan includes current emergency contact lists for employees, vendors,
suppliers, and other key people.
Recruit and train employees about the business resiliency and communication
plans. Make sure they know it.
Back up and store critical records and data at an off-site location.
Take action to mitigate the potential impact on your equipment, buildings,
facilities, inventory, and storage. A good plan includes provisions to relocate to
a pre-identified site and a way to operate efficiently with a smaller staff of key
individuals. Also, consider insurance options.
Exercise, test, and update your plan. Keep it current
Need additional help? Consider leveraging the following resources below and know that we’re here to help.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 | Google Play.
How we can help:
As part of our service offering, our disaster specialists can help you develop a comprehensive business continuity and emergency preparedness plan tailored to your business at no cost. To find the Florida SBDC office nearest you, visit www.FloridaSBDC.org/locations.
Prepare a business-ready “Records-To-Go” box:
After a disaster occurs, you may need disaster assistance to help your business rebuild, recover, and reopen. Every business should have a fire- and waterproof Business-Ready “Records-To-Go” box that includes essential information and documents necessary for business to continue and/or when applying for state and federal assistance after a disaster.
- 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
- Customer records
- Back-up computer systems and data files
- Bank records
- the business’ physical address
- tax identification numbers
- legal structure or incorporation papers
- name, social security number, contact information and percentage of ownership for each owner; and
- list of business key creditors and vendors
- business tax returns
- personal tax returns for each owner
- employee verification documentation (e.g. IRS Form 941, W-3s, W-2s)
- schedule of liabilities and debts of the business; and
- current and year-to-date financial statement (profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow statements)
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.
We’re here to help.
At the Florida SBDC Network, we’re committed to helping you prepare for and recover from a potential disaster. In addition to helping you prepare an emergency preparedness plan, we also provide online and in-person educational training on disaster preparedness, tips, and resources.
- If you are a new business, visit the New Business section of our website.
- If you are an existing business, visit the Existing Business section.
- Once completed, you will complete the online Request for Consulting application that will be forwarded to the Florida SBDC that serves your area.
Please contact your local Florida SBDC office or call (850) 898-3479.