Maybe your business has never experienced a major disaster before, which is all the more reason to prepare for one. Hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and floods annually inflict billions of dollars in damages on businesses across the country.

It seems fairly obvious that your business should have a disaster plan in place before a disaster occurs. Yet, 70 percent of small-business owners say they don’t have one.. That can be extremely dangerous for your business.

Consider these jarring facts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (source):

  • 40 to 60 percent of small businesses don’t reopen after a disaster.
  • 90 percent of small businesses close within a year of a disaster if they can’t reopen within five days.

The name of the game is preparedness. The more prepared your business is before a disaster happens, the more likely it can reopen quickly after the disaster. Your business’ survival depends on that recovery time.

RELATED: Ensuring privacy during disaster recovery

Fundera compiled a helpful guide that explains how to prepare your business for a disaster, and dig out if one occurs. For example, it’s important to verify your Google My Business listing. You can then update your hours of operation and communicate with customers during disasters. You should also invest in smart devices to detect weather emergencies, and connect Wifi-enabled cameras to ensure that you have a visual record of what your business looks like before and after a disaster, to speed up the small business insurance claims process.

During a disaster, don’t forget to also focus on your employees. Communicate with them via group chats. Switching to a remote work setup, and redirecting your business phone calls to a line that you are monitoring, can help your business remain on track.

Check out the complete guide to preparing your organization’s disaster plan, and then responding to the crisis afterward.

(Graphic courtesy of Fundera.com.)

Disaster plan: How to prepare your small business before, during and after disasters

NOTE: The guest author of post works for Fundera. The Security Awareness Company has no relationship with this company, financial or otherwise.

Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood

Vice President and Founding Editor at Fundera
Meredith has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade and is frequently sought out for her expertise in small business lending. She is a monthly columnist for AllBusiness, and her advice has appeared in the SBA, SCORE, Yahoo, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, American Banker, Small Business Trends, MyCorporation, Small Biz Daily, StartupNation, and more.
Meredith Wood

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