Plan, prepare and practice. This is the foundation of business continuity and the only effective way to diffuse the impact of a hurricane. From flood waters, property damage, power loss and spoiled food, coping with the aftermath of a powerful storm could be very troublesome for small business owners.
Once every decade, the National Hurricane Center, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), generates a new set of “climate normals.” This data outlines the expected temperature, precipitation, and other weather factors for the next 30 years. Its most recent analysis, released in May 2021, shows an overall rise in temperature, higher precipitation, and an increase in more intense weather patterns.
Does your small business have a plan to recover from a disaster? The COVID-19 pandemic has shown everyone the need to prepare for the unexpected. Good planning doesn’t mean you can always avert disasters such as public health crises, storms, fires, utility outages, and cybersecurity threats, but it can help you get your business back to normal as soon as possible.
Hurricane Preparedness Resources for Business:
Disaster Preparedness for Small Business Owners
Topic: Disaster Mitigation
Is your business prepared for a disaster? Unfortunately, the sun does not always shine in Tampa Bay; but if you are prepared, your business may shine through no matter what the forecast. Learn strategies for preparing your business for hurricane seasonand other potential disasters in this webinar presented by emergency management experts.
Speaker(s): Amber Boulding and Kyla Breland, St. Pete Fire and Rescue
Fee: No Cost
After the Storm Action
After the hurricane passes, the following tips can help you quickly start the recovery process
- Carefully survey your business property for safety hazards. This could include live wires, leaking gas or flammable liquids, and poisonous gases. Inspect for damage to foundations or underground piping. If you are uncertain where to begin in this process, consult with an expert first to ensure your own safety.
- Begin debris removal as soon as possible to prevent further damage. For example, cover broken windows and torn roof coverings immediately. You should also clean roof drains and discard to prevent drainage problems.
- Apply for disaster assistance if needed. Check disasterloan.sba.gov to see if a disaster has been declared in your area. Then, create an account and apply for a loan on SBA’s disaster assistance website.
For help preparing your business for hurricane season, request assistance through The Greenhouse to be partnered with an appropriate mentor or consultant with our partners at SCORE Pinellas and SBDC. Resource partners can also help businesses apply for disaster loans and provide guidance on how to get up and running after a hurricane strikes. Free assistance is currently available remotely via phone, video chat, and email.
Additional Disaster Preparedness Resources
Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety—Tips on how to create your own business continuity plan, how to rebuild stronger, and an interactive disaster hazard map.
Alert Pinellas – Receive alerts about emergencies and other important community news by signing up for Alert Pinellas, an emergency notification service for Pinellas County, Local Municipalities, and the Sheriff’s Office. This service is FREE to our residents. It allows you to sign up to receive urgent messages on a variety of situations, such as severe weather, boil water notices, missing persons, or evacuations.
Alert St. Pete – Sign up for Alert St. Pete, an emergency notification service. It is FREE for residents and allows the City to communicate directly during emergency situations. Register your contact information with Alert St. Pete and an automated message will be sent to alert you to local emergencies.