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Lessons from Ike

As if small businesses needed a reminder, the devastation of Hurricane Ike was fresh evidence that even a moderate hurricane can cause widespread damage. So the question is: How ready are America’s small businesses for such disasters?

The answer, unfortunately, is not very ready. According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, 25% of businesses do not reopen following a major disaster. And according to some surveys, more than 70% of small businesses don’t even have a disaster plan in place.

The fact is these things don’t have to be overly complicated. The Small Business Administration and Department of Homeland Security, among others, have information on their websites on how to set up a disaster plan with common sense tips. These stem from assigning one person to be responsible for monitoring weather alerts if you are in a tornado-prone area to having a plan for contacting employees before and after an event.

Certainly small business owners have plenty to do simply putting out the every day business fires in their operations. But failure to prepare for those unexpected but devastating natural events can prove fatal.

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