When disaster strikes, Florida businesses can find the education, training, and assistance needed to survive through the Florida SBDC Network’s (FSBDCN) Business Continuation Services. Our professionally certified business consultants provide consulting training at little to no cost to help you minimize losses and increase survivability when affected by natural and man-made disasters. They can also help prepare a comprehensive Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Recovery Plan at no cost.

Disaster Recovery Resources: http://fsbdcswfl.org/about-2/services/business-continuation/business-continuation-resources/

Disaster Preparedness: http://fsbdcswfl.org/about-2/services/business-continuation/disaster-preparedness/

The MACS are 38’ RVs outfitted as mobile FSBDCN centers. As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 for Business & Industry, the MACs are deployed during a disaster to provide an on-the-scene workspace for our consultants to assist impacted businesses. When not in use during a time of emergency, the MACs provide FSBDC services to businesses in rural areas of Florida.

Outreach Training

FSBDC’s around the state offer workshops to help businesses prepare and recover from disasters. These include “Hurricane Preparedness for Businesses”, “Disaster Plan in 90 Minutes—How Bulletproof is Your Business?” and “Is Your Business Disaster-Proof?”

Communication Capabilities with FDEM

The FSBDCN has established formal communication capabilities with the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) to provide assistance during pre-and-post disaster periods.

Quick Response Vendors and Contractors

Businesses that provide products or services most needed in response to a disaster can find continuity and contracting educational training through the Florida Business Ready! Contracting program. Vendors within the existing statewide network are also eligible.

Small Business Resource Network

To further support our state’s growing economy, the Small Business Continuity Services Network (SBCSRN) is a database of professionals identified to provide recovery technical assistance following a disaster.

Disaster Preparedness

Dare to Prepare – Don’t let disaster interrupt your business!

Protect Your Assets – https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance.com

  1. Review your current policy with your agent—most policies do not cover flood damage. Understand your deductibles.
  2. Buy business income interruption and extra expense insurance.
  3. Inspect and assess the impact of a natural or man-made disaster on your facility.
  4. Keep a backup copy of your computer operating system, critical software programs and data—explore using an off-site storage center.
  5. Make a photographic or videotaped record of your inventory. Have a camera ready to take pictures of damage after a disaster.

Support Your Employees – http://www.floridadisasterloan.org/

  1. Assemble an emergency employee contact information form.
  2. Have a plan to provision quickly for emergency housing for displaced employees.
  3. Determine how you will meet the immediate needs of your employees, including short-term financial aid.
  4. Plan for the possibility of security/access for your employees. Will they need badges or security clearances? Be prepared!
  5. Establish a special phone number for employees to call with a recorded message, an out-of-state message line, designate a contact person or create a calling tree.

Safeguard Your Critical Business Processes and Data

  1. Create a Business Ready “Records-To-Go” box that includes copies of all important documents and supplies necessary for business to continue after a disaster.
  2. Consider storing your key documents online for easy access from anywhere. Examples include Google Docs, Dropbox, Carbonite, Mozy, and Justcloud.com.  For more information visit http://www.thetop10bestonlinebackup.com/online-storage and review some of the popular ones
  3. Develop a business continuity plan that documents the processes critical for your business to operate and meet the needs of key stakeholders.
  4. Share the plan with your employees and practice it periodically. Revise when necessary to keep it up-to-date.
  5. Communicate with your key customers to let them know your status in the event of a disaster—check on the status of their business operations.
  6. Diversify your customer base geographically—if one area is severely impacted by a disaster, it’s likely that customers in another area will continue business as usual. Lessen the impact on your bottom line.
  7. Develop relationships with back-up suppliers before a disaster strikes.
  8. Talk to your accountant, insurance agent, and banker, along with other professional advisors. Know when and how to access your records—and your money—in the event of a disaster.


Business Continuation RESOURCES!

icon-continuationBusiness Continuation Services  – Ensuring Florida is Open for Business

Five Things To Do – After a Disaster

  1. Contact your insurance carrier to file your claim. If you are leasing business space, ensure that your lease owner has contacted their insurance carrier. Take pictures of damage.
  2. Contact your the Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC @FGCU) 1.239.745.3700 or our the state office at 1.866.737.7232 for assistance with:
    1. Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program package (emergency, short-term loans up to $25,000)
    2. SBA disaster loan applications
    3. Business recovery plan
  3. Find your local One-Stop Career Center by calling 1.866.352.2345 or visiting their website at www.floridajobs.org.
  4. Contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) online at www.FEMA.gov or by calling 1.800.621.3362 (for people with speech or hearing disabilities call TTY 1.800.462.7585) to report any loss. FEMA will take your information, provide you a registration number and mail applicable loan applications to you. For business loss, FEMA will refer you to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  5. Contact the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster loan assistance. Information about the SBA disaster loans can be found online at https://www.sba.gov/content/disaster-assistance or by calling 1.800.659.2955.

Read more here on Disaster Preparedness – http://fsbdcswfl.org/about-2/services/business-continuation/disaster-preparedness/