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.
Planning for disasters in advance and keeping those plans updated may help ensure the survival of your business.
Before a disaster strikes, it is important to preserve your equipment and business records you will need to bring your business back.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Summary of Regulations Related to Industrial Shutdown Operations reminds facility owners/operators that various laws and regulations require that they minimize chemical releases during process shutdown operations; and if reportable releases occur, they must be reported immediately upon constructive knowledge of occurrence.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you encounter hazardous material spills or discharges ...