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Emergency Preparedness

Workplace Safety

Emergency Preparedness

Natural disasters and emergencies may happen at any time. Planning for disasters in advance and keeping those plans updated will help ensure the survival of your business. The following resources will help you plan for emergencies and natural disasters, and recover your business after a disaster strikes.

Disaster Assistance

Disaster assistance is money provided to individuals, families and businesses in an area whose property has been damaged or destroyed following a Presidential declared disaster; and whose losses are not covered by insurance. Loans may be available to businesses that have suffered an economic loss as a result of the disaster. Assistance is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Farm Services Agency (FSA), and state governments.

FEMA Disaster Assistance

The first step for those requiring assistance following a disaster is to contact FEMA and apply for assistance. FEMA assistance includes money for housing and essential expenses, such as food and clothing; and critical personal expenses, such as medication..

Disaster and Economic Injury Loans

SBA and USDA provide low interest loans to businesses and individuals to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.

  • Disaster Assistance Loans
    If you are in a declared disaster area and are the victim of a disaster, you may be eligible for financial assistance - even if you don't own a business.
  • Economic Injury Loans
    Money to assist small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and non-profit organizations recover from economic losses resulting from physical disaster or an agricultural production disaster.
  • Farm Emergency Loans
    Emergency loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters, or quarantine.
  • Home and Property Disaster Loans
    Physical disaster loans for permanent rebuilding and replacement of uninsured or underinsured disaster- damaged privately-owned real and/or personal property.
  • Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan
    This loan program provides funds to eligible small businesses to meet its ordinary and necessary operating expenses that it could have met, but is unable to meet, because an essential employee was "called-up" to active duty in their role as a military reservist.

The Farm Service Agency also provides a disaster assistance guide for farmers and ranches for natural disaster losses, resulting from drought, flood, fire, freeze, tornadoes, pest infestation, and other calamities.

Employment Assistance

Tax Relief Assistance

Disaster Cleanup and Safety Precautions

Injury or illness can occur when cleaning up your business following a disaster. Disasters result in obvious hazards such as downed power lines and contaminated waters, and hidden dangers such as molds and toxins. Taking the proper cleanup precautions means you can get back to business sooner. The following resources provide business owners with tips and advice to help them safely get back on their feet.

General Resources

These resources from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provide general guidance and information on specific cleanup issues:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published information on cleanup hazards during natural disaster recoveries and workers' safety following hurricanes.

Specific Cleanup and Safety Issues

In addition to the CDC and OSHA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) help businesses deal with specific cleanup concerns.

Buildings and Equipment

Flooding and Mold

Chemical and Oil Spills, Hazardous Wastes, and Pesticides

If you encounter hazardous material spills or discharges ...

  • Immediately Call the National Response Center 1-800-424-8802 (24 hours a day every day). For those without 800 access, please call 202-267-2675.
  • Contact the National Pesticide Information Center: 1-800-858-7378. Pesticide contacts in government, states, and other organizations.
  • Get more info on how to report environmental emergencies and spills

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