WASHINGTON — In conjunction with the five-year anniversary of the devastating Gulf Coast storms of 2005, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is encouraging business owners to create their own disaster-preparedness plan during National Preparedness Month in September.
SBA, along with many state, local government and private-sector coalition partners is participating in National Preparedness Month.
What type of plans do you have for your self-service laundry? To prepare for disasters, SBA offers the following tips:
- Check your insurance coverage. Disaster preparedness begins with having adequate insurance coverage — at least enough to rebuild your business. Review your policies to see what is or isn’t covered. Consider business-interruption insurance, which helps cover operating costs during the post-disaster shutdown period. Flood insurance is essential. Most standard insurance policies do not cover flood damage and the resulting loss of income.
- Copy important records. It’s a good idea to back up vital records and information saved on computer hard drives, and store that information at a distant off-site location in safe deposit boxes.
- Maintain a contact list of all your suppliers and distributors. Find out how they plan to supply you, if the supplier experiences a disaster. Maintain a list of alternate suppliers.
- Make sure your laundry meets all local building and fire codes. Know where utility shutoffs are located and how to operate them.
- Post emergency numbers and procedures throughout your laundry.
When disaster strikes, the SBA makes low-interest loans to non-farm businesses of all sizes. Non-farm businesses may apply for up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged business assets and real property.
To learn more about the SBA’s disaster assistance program, click here.