SBA Offers Tips to Help Businesses and Homeowners Prepare for Hurricane Season

The survival of a community can depend on the ability of businesses and homeowners to minimize the risks–wind damage and flooding–that accompany hurricanes.

Here are some hurricane preparedness tips for homes and businesses:

  • Have a disaster plan in place. Find escape routes from the home or business and establish places to meet. Have on hand emergency phone numbers; business owners should designate a contact person who will communicate with other employees, customers and suppliers. Families should ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the “family contact.”
     
  • Insurance. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, only 25 to 50 percent of U.S. homeowners in flood-prone areas have flood insurance. Business owners an individuals should review their insurance policies before the storm hits. Business interruption insurance–which replaces income lost during down time caused by a covered peril–should be considered.
     
  • Disaster survival kit. It should include a flashlight and extra batteries, portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries, a first-aid kit, non-perishable packaged and canned food, water (a weeks’ worth), an manual can opener, sturdy shoes, a basic tool kit, waterproof plastic bags, and cash.
     
  • Important business records should be stored at an off-site location at least 50 miles away. Computer data should be backed up, saved on diskettes or CD Roms and stored off-site.
     
  • Windows. Install storm shutters over all exposed windows and other glass surfaces in the home or business. Plywood shutters–1/2-inch marine plywood is best–can also offer protection from flying debris.

The SBA makes low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and non-farm businesses of all sizes.

To learn more about US government disaster assistance programs as well as steps you can take in advance to protect your business and family, visit DisasterAssistance.gov .

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