September is National Preparedness Month, and it’s a great time for small businesses to start planning for natural disasters. Alaska is no stranger to natural disasters, and small businesses are especially vulnerable to their effects. By planning ahead, you can protect your business and your employees. Make the most of this month by considering:
- Identify your risks. What are the most likely natural disasters to affect your business? Once you know your risks, you can start to plan for how to mitigate them.
- Create a disaster plan. This plan should include steps for evacuating your business, securing your property, and recovering from a disaster.
- Have a backup plan for your communication/IT systems. If the power goes out, you need to be able to stay in touch with your employees and customers.
- Keep important documents in a safe place. This includes things like your business plan, financial records, and insurance policies.
- Have a procedure for your employees. If your business is forced to close, you need to have a plan for how to pay your employees and keep them informed.
The Alaska SBDC is Here to Help
The Alaska Small Business Development Center recognizes the importance of disaster preparedness for small businesses and has resources to help you prepare for natural disasters, including:
- Business Resiliency – Keeping the Lights On (On-Demand, No-Fee)
- Small Business Insurance (On-Demand, $35)
- Avoiding Security Disasters for Small Business (On-Demand, No-Fee)
- Password Security (On-Demand, No-Fee)
- Protect Yourself from Online Scams (On-Demand, No-Fee)
- Finding the Right Insurance Policy for Your Business (On-Demand, $25)
The Alaska SBDC also offers no-cost, one-on-one consultations with business owners. During this time, you can discuss your specific needs and get help developing a disaster plan. There are a number of other resources available to help small businesses prepare for natural disasters too.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a number of resources, including:
- Prepare for Emergencies
- Recover from Disasters
- Create and Protect a Lasting Legacy This National Preparedness Month
- SBA Disaster Assistance
Additional Partner Resources:
- Small Business Resiliency Guide: Keeping the Lights On (America’s SBDC)
- FEMA Administrator Announces 2023 National Preparedness Month Theme Focused on Helping Older Adults Prepare for Disaster (FEMA)
- Build a Kit (Ready.gov)
- Business Continuity Plan (Ready.Gov)
- National Preparedness Month (Ready.Gov)
- Small Business Disaster Recovery (US Chamber of Commerce)
Together, we can make sure that small businesses in Alaska are prepared for whatever comes their way. The Alaska SBDC is here to help.