Small Business Owners and Disaster Preparedness Plans

Two weeks ago, brash tornados touched down throughout Illinois, leaving in their wake a trail of destruction. While locals are still attempting to pick up the pieces of this disaster, the small business attorneys here at Gierach Law Firm felt that this would be a good time to discuss the necessity of developing disaster preparedness plans. Creating a disaster preparedness plan can help a small business mitigate damages, while getting business back to usual as soon as possible.

Small Business Emergency PlanEach small business’s disaster preparedness plan must be narrowly tailored to the unique needs of one’s business. However, there are certain elements and plans that must always be considered. First, there must be evacuation plans in place for both employees and clients. Furthermore, one’s small business site must be up to Illinois code in order to avoid unnecessary litigation, damages and injury. Within your business it is a good idea to have a disaster exit plan in place, as well as a designated employee who will take control of the situation when disaster strikes. Employers should also require employees to attend disaster preparedness programs.

Second, small business owners must plan ahead so that the outcome of a disaster does not completely derail business operations and/or expose the business to litigation. An employer can do so by researching and then obtaining the different types of insurance available for small business owners. The relevant types of insurance include disaster insurance, flood insurance, employment practices liability insurance, and/or umbrella insurance policies. Furthermore, employers with complex operations can even research and secure in advance alternative business sites that can be up and running just days after disaster strikes the original business location.

For small business owners who failed to take the above precautions before disaster struck, the U.S. government offers disaster relief funds and assistance through SBA loans and other measures. However, this application process is extremely lengthy and it can take months to receive the necessary funds. Luckily, business associations, as well as trade organizations, also provide disaster relief funds to needy members. However, it is important to note that the process to obtain disaster relief services from secondary sources requires that a candidate submit substantial business documentation. Thus, it is important to always store business records in safe places that are impenetrable to disaster, so documents can be easily accessed after disaster strikes.

Small business owners have a lot on their plates. The typical issues that small business owners face can be exacerbated when a natural disaster strikes. Thus, a prudent small business owner must already have a disaster preparedness plan in place to help mitigate the risks and destruction that accompany the occurrence of natural disasters. Allow the small business law attorneys here at Gierach Law Firm in Naperville, Illinois to assist you with making disaster preparedness plan for your small business.