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Protecting Your Small Business from Severe Weather Threats

Unexpected events like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and wildfires can impact operations in your community and hinder your business growth. Learn steps to protect your business.

It’s estimated that 27% of small businesses are one disaster away from shutting down, according to the MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index. As natural disasters increase in frequency and intensity, taking proactive measures can determine whether a small business stays open or closes forever after a disaster strikes.

When it comes to crisis planning, most small business owners say they are only somewhat prepared to deal with threats like natural disasters, another pandemic occurring, or cybersecurity attacks, and less than half have formalized plans for future threats.

Small business owners can take steps to prepare for a potential crisis before it happens. According to the Small Business Index, 62% of small business owners are contributing to rainy-day funds to prepare for potential threats. Other actions like installing surveillance precautions to protect against theft, training staff on cybersecurity measures, and taking out insurance in case of a natural disaster are common.

Financial fallbacks

There are federal disaster loans and resources available after disaster strikes. Knowing what resources exist and how to apply can help speed up recovery time. In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation offers education and on-demand resources to help employers prepare for disasters and resume the important work of serving their communities as quickly as possible after a crisis.

For example, the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Small Business Readiness for Resiliency Program (R4R), created with FedEx and supported by Allstate and American Express, prepares small business owners for disasters and offers $5,000 to those prepared businesses after a federal disaster is declared in their region. As one grant recipient shared, “This grant has been so helpful with repairing the broken windows to the storefront and paying my employees with the business being closed for two weeks due to the weather.”

The Resilience in a Box program, developed in partnership with The UPS Foundation, educates business leaders on disaster preparedness and resilience. Businesses can access a checklist and other disaster-planning tips. Additionally, the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Disaster Help Desk provides one-on-one expert assistance to small business owners before, during, and after a disaster. Business owners can contact the Help Desk by dialing 1-888-MY-BIZ-HELP or visit for more info.

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