NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- One-fourth of all businesses that close because of a disaster never reopen, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety. However, businesses that have and implement a disaster preparedness plan typically have less damage, loss and downtime than those that do not.
"A business that survives a disaster helps the whole community recover from a disaster," said Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia Szczech.
The spring flooding in Tennessee affected many businesses. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) urge business owners and managers to increase their chances of surviving any type of disaster by being ready before they occur.
"We encourage Tennessee businesses to have a plan in place," said TEMA Director James Bassham. "Include measures to protect staff, facilities, data and inventory."
Have a business continuity plan that includes: a pre-identified relocation site; means to retrieve data, including employee, customer and vendor records; a strategy for contacting people, such as a
call-down tree; and a method for operating effectively with a smaller staff of key individuals.
FEMA provides a step-by-step approach to emergency planning, response and recovery for companies of all sizes in the Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry, available free in the FEMA publication library at http://go.usa.gov/xbF. Additional preparedness information is available at www.Ready.gov/business.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has partnered with Agility Recovery Solutions to offer business continuity strategies for small business owners via their "Prepare My Business" website (www.preparemybusiness.org). The SBA is a primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property – including businesses. For information about SBA programs, visit www.sba.gov or call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-977-8339).
Planning ahead also includes adequate insurance coverage. Flooding is a risk for many Tennessee businesses, even those not in flood zones. More than 25 percent of all flood insurance claims are from moderate-to-low-risk flood zones. However, most commercial business owner policies do not cover flood damage.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which FEMA oversees, provides flood insurance for residential and business owners as well as renters. NFIP policies are sold through private insurance companies and backed by the federal government. Businesses can find insurance agents who sell NFIP policies at www.FloodSmart.gov.
The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA and TEMA do not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.