How to Recover from a Disaster: Public Information Officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Disaster Assistance

By Hensley, Staci Elder | THE JOURNAL RECORD, May 2, 2012 | Go to article overview

How to Recover from a Disaster: Public Information Officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Disaster Assistance


Hensley, Staci Elder, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Whether it's tornados sweeping down the plains, pipes bursting in the building or, more recently, earthquakes, all it takes is one brush with disaster to deal many small businesses a death blow.

That's why it's critical for small business owners to protect themselves by identifying potential risks from both natural and man- made disasters, said Olivia Humilde, public information officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Disaster Assistance.

Traditional safety measures are, of course, where every small business owner should start. Smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire extinguishers and portable radios should be maintained and checked regularly. As much as employees may roll their eyes at the thought, owners also need to make sure they develop and practice an evacuation plan and that it is taken seriously.

Going beyond basic safety precautions and obtaining insurance, Humilde said, every small business owner also should develop and maintain a disaster recovery communication plan, so they can continue functioning if their base of operations is damaged or destroyed.

The plan should include contact information for all employees, customers, suppliers, vendors, stakeholders and emergency agencies. This information should be stored off-site. It's also a good idea to have your business computer information backed up on a daily or weekly basis, copied and stored off site, so critical financial transactions and other data aren't lost. …

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