Despite Recent Disasters, Survey Shows Most Small Business Owners Still Not
FedEx Corp. and American Red Cross Join Forces to Offer Preparedness Tips for
Small Businesses in Advance of Small Business Month
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- May 02, 2013
Despite the devastation and lasting effects caused by Superstorm Sandy and
other disasters over the past year, 70 percent of small businesses don’t
consider themselves at risk for experiencing a similar disaster in the future,
according to a new survey from FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the American Red
Fewer than 10 percent of small businesses surveyed report taking any disaster
preparedness actions based on the effects of Sandy. Even those small
businesses which have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy or another disaster (13
percent were impacted by Hurricane Sandy, eight percent impacted by other
local/regional disasters), half feel it’s unlikely they will be affected again
in the next five years.
This lack of concern by many small businesses has led FedEx and the American
Red Cross to take action to help boost preparedness levels across the country.
“Preparedness is a lot like working out and eating healthy—people know they
should do it, but it’s not always at the top of the list,” says Tom Heneghan,
manager of preparedness for the American Red Cross. “Developing an emergency
preparedness plan is one of the most important strategic decisions a small
business owner will make.”
While most small businesses aren’t worried about the next disaster, 51 percent
do have a plan in place to continue providing services to customers if one
does happen. Most of their plans center on technology and the fear of losing
data, with 92 percent having data back-up and 81 percent having server
recovery plans in place. But for the 49 percent of businesses that don’t have
any plan, one disaster could mean the end of their business.
“When small businesses are strong and growing, everyone benefits,” said Shane
O’Connor, program advisor, FedEx Global Citizenship. “A startling number of
small businesses are unable to recover after a disaster, and anything we can
do to prevent that is well worth the effort.”
The Red Cross Ready Rating™ program helps businesses, schools and other
organizations become prepared for disasters and other emergencies. Ready
Rating is a free service, and members have access to one-of-a-kind tools,
resources and information for evaluating and improving their ability to
withstand disaster, maintain operations, and protect lives and property.
The Red Cross recommends several steps that all small business owners should
do to prepare themselves and their employees for disasters:
1. Obtain necessary safety equipment - Budget for and purchase any safety
equipment, first-aid kits, Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs), fire
extinguishers, smoke detectors and shelter-in-place supplies that may be
needed. Make sure employees know how to access and use these supplies.
2. Write a plan for responding to emergencies. Be sure to include:
*A system for warning employees about emergencies and communicating with
employees and local emergency officials during a disaster or emergency.
*Considerations for the special needs of employees with disabilities and
*Evacuation routes from your facility and an established location where
employees should gather.
*Provisions and a location for employees to shelter-in-place.
3. Develop a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) - This plan will help keep
the business operating as it responds and recovers from the effects of a
disaster or emergency situation.
*Identify essential business functions and staff to carry out these
*Establish agreements and procedures with suppliers, vendors and other
businesses critical to daily operations.
*Create a plan for conducting business if the facility is not accessible.
*Identify records and documents that must be readily accessible to perform
essential functions and set up electronic backup systems so they can be
safely stored and retrieved quickly.
For more tips and information, including a downloadable ‘SMBe Prepared
Playbook’ created in conjunction with Joe Gibbs, NFL hall of fame coach and
small business owner, visit http://www.readyrating.org/JoinNowFedEx.aspx.
Issues Answers Global Marketing Research conducted telephone surveys with 200
small businesses in February 2013 to understand small businesses perceived
likelihood of being affected by a disaster or emergency and to gauge their
current level of disaster preparedness, while also determining whether recent
events have affected small businesses and/or prompted them to take additional
steps towards disaster/emergency preparedness. Small businesses were defined
as organizations with at least seven, but less than 100, employees.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a
broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With
annual revenues of $44 billion, the company offers integrated business
applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed
collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among
the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than
300,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the
highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers
and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to
victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches
skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports
military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit
organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American
public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org
or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.
About the American Red Cross Ready Rating Program
The American Red Cross Ready Rating program is a free, self-guided program
designed to help businesses, organizations and schools become better prepared
for emergencies. Members complete a 123-point self-assessment of their level
of preparedness and have access to tools, tips and best practices to help
improve their level of preparedness. The 123 Assessment has been aligned with
the federal government’s Private Sector Preparedness standards (PS-Prep). For
more information, please visit http://www.readyrating.org/JoinNowFedEx.aspx.
Katie Wassmer, 901-434-8100
American Red Cross Media Relations, 202-303-5551
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