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There are two things every business should always have on hand: a stocked emergency supply kit and a complete and updated business continuity plan. Emergency supply kit checklists and suggestions can be found at or in the hurricane guides published by coastal Florida Counties. A disaster of any size could have a large impact on your business. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, can result in your business closing for a period of time, impacts to electricity and internet service, insurance premium increases, and damage to your business facility, equipment, or inventory. Smaller emergencies, such as a gas leak or road closure, can result in a loss of customers or revenue, employees who are unable to access their work location, and delayed shipping and receiving schedules. Taking the steps to build a business disaster continuity plan, as well as encouraging your employees to create a family emergency plan, can reduce the financial and physical impact on your business. It is important to consider how a disaster could affect your employees, customers and workplace.

Step 1: Put together a business plan by answering these questions:

  • Is your insurance information up-to-date? Do you have recent photos of your facility, inventory, and equipment?
  • How will you and your employees receive emergency alerts and warnings? What happens if you lose cell phone or internet service?
  • What is your business communication plan? Do your employees have this information available (even if they lose cell phone or internet service)?
  • What is the shelter plan and evacuation route for employees?
  • Have you budgeted for emergency supplies, loss of revenue, insurance deductibles, or IT disaster recovery?

Step 2:  Consider specific needs of your business:

  • Would flooding impact your business? If so, do you have a plan to keep important documents, inventory, and technology safe from floodwater?
  • Do you need employees to remain during an evacuation to secure your business? If so, is there a plan in place for this?
  • If you lose electricity, do you have a plan for generator backup?
  • How would you manage your business if nearby streets are closed?
  • How would you continue to work if you were without cell phone or internet service for days or even weeks?

Step 3: Create an emergency plan and share with your employees

  1. Make sure the plan is available even if cell phone or internet service is down.
  2. Contact your local  Small Business Development Center to get additional business preparedness assistance or to help you create an emergency plan.
  3. Update your plan quarterly and make sure all new employees understand the plan.