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Businesses should consider several elements in preparing for a disaster. Not only is it important to protect the staff, building, data, and inventory of a company, it is also critical to prepare a plan to continue operations following the disaster. A good plan may include provisions to relocate to a pre-identified site, retrieve data, including employee, customer and vendor records; and a way to operate efficiently with a smaller staff of key individuals.

Below please find a disaster preparedness plan template and emergency procedures template to help your business develop an in-depth preparedness plan. Use the guide to help formulate your plan.

Additional Resources

Need additional help? Consider leveraging the following resources below and know that we’re here to help.

  • Get A Plan – Get a Plan assists businesses in developing a family and/or business plan utilizing the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s online templates.
  • Ready.gov/Business – Ready Business assists businesses in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards.
  • Disaster Assistance App – As part of its service offering, the Florida SBDC offers Bizaster, a free mobile disaster assistance app. Bizaster, available in both English and Spanish for Android and iOS, features risk assessments, customizable checklists, and other resources to help businesses prepare, respond, and recover from natural and man-made disasters. Bizaster can be downloaded from the App StoreGoogle Play.

How we can help:

As part of our service offering, our disaster specialists can help you develop a comprehensive business continuity and emergency preparedness plan tailored to your business at no cost. To find the Florida SBDC office nearest you, visit www.FloridaSBDC.org/locations.

Prepare a business-ready “Records-To-Go” box:

After a disaster occurs, you may need disaster assistance to help your business rebuild, recover, and reopen. Every business should have a fire- and waterproof Business-Ready “Records-To-Go” box that includes essential information and documents necessary for business to continue and/or when applying for state and federal assistance after a disaster.

  1. Records needed to continue business:
    • Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Recovery Plan
    • Emergency contact list of employees and key customers
    • Insurance policies and agent information
    • List of suppliers and vendors
    • Customer records
    • Back-up computer systems and data files
    • Bank records
  2. When applying for state and federal business disaster loans, customary information needed includes:
    • the business’ physical address
    • tax identification numbers
    • legal structure or incorporation papers
    • name, social security number, contact information and percentage of ownership for each owner; and
    • list of business key creditors and vendors
  3. Customary documentation needed when applying for state and federal business disaster loans includes:
    • business tax returns
    • personal tax returns for each owner
    • employee verification documentation (e.g. IRS Form 941, W-3s, W-2s)
    • schedule of liabilities and debts of the business; and
    • current and year-to-date financial statement (profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow statements)

For more helpful tips on how businesses can protect their assets, support their employees, and safeguard critical business processes, download and review our Dare to Prepare Flyer.

How can you get more visitors to your website? What can you do to stimulate traffic? Here’s a checklist of 37 items you need to consider. Many of these you may be doing already; others you meant to do and forgot about; still others you’ve never heard of. Of course, a great deal has been written about this. You’ll find many articles about website promotion on our site.

This article is designed to introduce you to website promotion — getting consumers to come to your website. It gives you the basic information, which you can then explore through links to other resources, many of them free. As one of our most popular articles, this was revised most recently on April 19, 2011.

While I’m not breaking any new ground here, I’ve tried to summarize some of the most important techniques.  Read Moore…..

U.S. entrepreneurs have long recognized that a world of opportunities is available to them if they are willing to expand beyond domestic borders. Information technology has allowed the global economy to become considerably larger and has rendered lucrative markets abroad more accessible than ever.

Related: 7 Tips to Make Working Overseas Less Painful

While the U.S. government certainly does not want to stand in the way of global opportunities, recent efforts by the Treasury Department and IRS indicate that the government is more serious than ever about preventing U.S. business people from utilizing foreign activities to avoid or defer paying federal taxes.  These efforts are reflected in the promulgation of new tax reporting rules and the strengthening of older ones. Following are five tax tips for doing business overseas and staying in compliance with recent tax reporting rules and reforms affecting U.S. entrepreneurs.

National Veteran’s Small Business Week, celebrated the first week of November, honors veteran entrepreneurs who continue to serve our country by creating jobs and fueling economic growth. As part of the celebration, the National Women’s Business Council will recognize veteran women business owners, highlighting their great economic impact and community contributions. Read More

Participants will learn the basics on developing a “base” proposal for funding consideration. This mini workshop will discuss the importance of enthusiastic and persuasive writing, a reasonable budget, program design, and other critical elements that must be considered during the writing stage. Participants will also learn the importance of Becoming a 501c3 and maintaining 501c3 status. If you are Church, Nonprofit, Human Resource Agency, Individual, Ministry, or Association that would like to learn the latest on preparing grant proposals then this workshop is designed just for you!

Speaker(s): Jennifer Donald, Principal; Metropolitan Design and Consulting Group, LLC

Fee: Free

The Tallahassee Business MatchMaker will take place on May 21, 2015, during the 32nd Annual Small Business Week hosted by the SBDC at Florida A&M University. This day’s event is free and will consist of a series of workshops designed for women, minority and veterans to enhance their overall knowledge of working as a vendor of state and local government agencies and area universities. In the afternoon, small business owners can attend one-on-one sessions to meet with purchasing representatives of more than 30 agencies and private corporations.

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