Disaster Planning and Recovery

DISASTER PLANNING AND RECOVERY FOR BUSINESS

ALERT: Mayor Ken Welch has declared a State of Local Emergency in the City of St. Petersburg for the purpose of response to Hurricane Ian. View the orders here. 

Visit the St. Pete Hurricane Center Page for latest resources and updates, including sandbag location sites.  

Prepare, respond, recover.  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. 

Atlantic Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30 and it is important for business owners and managers to take a multi-pronged approach to preparedness and bounce back quickly following a storm. 

Due to the increasingly dangerous storm threat of Hurricane Ian, it is strongly recommended that businesses allow time for employees and staff that live in mandatory and recommended evacuation zones to personally prepare for imminent storm threats to life and safety and comply with mandatory evacuation orders issued by Pinellas County Emergency Management and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Visit storm.pinellascounty.org for the latest information on hurricane Ian and for more information on evacuation areas.

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.

State of Florida Disaster Biz – a new website developed to provide businesses, small and large, easy access to critical information before, during and after a disaster. FloridaDisaster.biz is a partnership between the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM).

Click here to learn more and register your business today.

PREPARE AND RESPOND: Disaster Preparedness Tool-kits for Business
RECOVER: After the storm

The State of Florida asks businesses to submit a Damage Assessment Survey in order to help dedicate resources and programs for hardest hit areas. If you experienced any type of loss: flooding, property damage, loss of power, or any other impact that caused a loss to your business operation, please complete the assessment as soon as possible.

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. Create an account and be ready to apply for a loan on SBA’s disaster assistance website once a disaster is declared.

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. In-person assistance will return when storm conditions allow for a safe commute.

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.