Tweak Your Biz » Management » Preparing And Responding When Natural Disasters Hit Your Small Business

Preparing And Responding When Natural Disasters Hit Your Small Business

Witnessing the devastation of Hurricane Sandy has been sobering with the damage ranging from West Virginia to Maine. But natural disasters can happen anywhere. Planning ahead by setting up any emergency arrangements (charging up electronic devices, food, water, sandbags, etc.) is important for the duration of the severe event. However,  the recovery period is where you see if your risk disaster recovery plan will keep your small business from elimination.

Disaster recovery

Using a disaster recovery plan

Hurricane Sandy: Discovery Recovery Improv Tales – You’ve designed a disaster recovery plan but the did it work? Here are stories of how two companies had to do a quick “rewrite” during their actual recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Charles Babcock, InformationWeek

Stay Protected In the Event Of a Disaster – Setting up business insurance policies ahead of time can aid when it is time to recover from a naural disaster. Business Insurance News

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning: The Basics – Not entirely sure where to begin setting up a specific plan for your small business? This post includes a detailed explanation of the process, what you need to include and how to test it before a disaster affects you. Derek Slater, CSO Security and Risk

Leadership during a natural disaster

In New Jersey, Good Crisis Management Has Mitigated Sandy’s Impact – Good leadership tips using President Obama and Governor Christie as examples regarding how to manage the recovery for your business. Lauren Stiller Rikleen, HBR Blog Network

How Seamless Defied Sandy, Kept The Hot Meals Coming And Inspired Twitter Love – Interesting lessons from Seamless CEO Jonathan Zabusky. Christina Chaey, Fast Company

Keep communicating

B2B Businesses: Going Social During Natural Disasters – Advice about how social media can be a tool for small businesses who are B2B and want to keep in touch with their customers.  B2B Online Marketing blog

The Aftermath — Business Communication Rules For Recovery From Hurricane Sandy – Knowing when, where and how to express your concern about your employees, vendors, customers and friends is about skill and timing. There are some important emotionally intelligent tips in this post. Davia Temin, Forbes

Innovation and other rebuilding afterwards

How To Disaster-Proof Your Business – This post offers a list of possible things you might need to protect yourself and your business from a natural or other disaster. TheInc staff compiled a list of 12 products and services that range from a parachute to an indoor power generator.

Why Sandy Could Be Good For Small Business – Despite the counter-intuitive title, this post outlines how the slower pace makes time for reflection and planning. There is space for a different level of connection with employees, family and friends which is not often present. Gene Marks,

Hurricane Sandy, A Drenching Reminder That Tough Times Inspire Remarkable Innovation – An interesting reflection on a talk given by Dr. Vijay Govindarajan about how innovations are created under adverse conditions all over the world. There are some interesting questions you can use to check your beliefs about what is and is not possible. Kaihan Krippendorff of Fast Company.

With the uncertainty of climate change and the fact that natural disasters can affect any one of us, it is important to prepare ahead of time with a disaster recovery plan. Sometimes the event is more severe than we anticipated so you do what you can with what you have.  Your entrepreneurial mindset is a great strength!

For all small businesses who are affected by Hurricane Sandy, I hope you have a quick recovery so you can get back to doing what you do best! 

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Images:  ”New York. November 1st 2012

The Author:

Growing a business locally or internationally takes a different mindset; the CEO Mindset. Elli St.George-Godfrey, a behavioral economics coach, international expansion consultant and founder of Ability Success Growth, uses her 3 Keys Coaching process to help business owners and executives in the US, Ireland and Northern Ireland to unlock the CEO within. Under her guidance, personal styles are fine-tuned allowing the senior leader to “authentically inhabit” the role of CEO and collaborate with their team more effectively. With this focus on both the people and the organization in which they work, Elli’s market-proven coaching helps leaders and their teams develop styles and capabilities which enables them to collaborate and effectively join together to optimize the business outcomes.

Add Your Comment

  • Elli – quite timely and informative summation post. Yes, disasters can happen anywhere, and good, sound preparation prior to, during, and post disaster are essential for business success. Hope our readers bookmark and then print (yes, print in case of power loss:() to keep handy – just in case.

  • ElliStGeorgeGodfrey

    Thanks, Warren. Like any other part of our business planning, preparation is important. And part of the preparation is the emotional side too. That’s where a communication plan will support people going through a trying experience.

  • Elish Bul

    Well done Elli
    thanks for reminding us on the ways to prepare – It makes me wonder if Civic and Civil defence campaigns in major cities should include a concerted effort to educate us all on the online support and techniques we can use in Social media to deal with Crises next time

  • What is best way to protect your personal assets? In the blog post it is a house as an illustration. Is your house really an asset? Is it not more of a liability, if you don’t earn money from your home by renting out rooms, etc?

  • Great post Nellie, thanks for sharing!

    I’m wondering if there is a tipping point between sole proprietor and LLC. In other words, when is the right time to formalize your structure?

    Thanks, Thom

  • Hi Martin, the editorial team here at Tweak Your Biz picked the image so I guess I should answer your question. The image was picked to help communicate the message of the post but you are right – your house is strictly speaking an asset depending on whether you own it or owe for it 🙂

  • Nellie Akalp

    Hi Thom,
    Thanks for reading my post. In light of how easy and inexpensive it is these days to formalize the business with an LLC, if the business is making money, then I would say it is better to form the LLC as soon as possible as there may be greater tax savings and benefits coming your way as well. Let me know if I can assist you with the formation of the LLC; feel free to DM me to [email protected].
    My regards,

  • Nellie Akalp

    Hi Niall,

    My pleasure. Thank you for the oppty and stay tuned for much more great content coming your way in the upcoming weeks.

  • Nellie Akalp

    Thanks for reading my article. A house can def be considered an asset if there is equity in the house.
    The Sole Proprietorship is the simplest form of business entity. However, without
    the protection of a corporate shield, personal assets are exposed to business
    liabilities. And, even where a small business owner doesn’t have assets today, a judgment against that business owner can last up to 22 years. Therefore, in light of how easy and inexpensive it is to incorporate or form an LLC online today, the only real question is: Should I form an LLC, a C Corporation, or an S-Corporation? Here are the key factors to consider in selecting the right business structure:

    LLC (Limited Liability Company): In an LLC, the owner’s personal assets are
    shielded from business liabilities just as they would be in a Corporation. In addition, the IRS views the LLC as a “disregarded entity”. Thus, an LLC does not file separate taxes; company profits and losses flow through to the owners and are subject to each owner’s individual tax rates. The LLC is great for a business that wants liability protection, but seeks minimal formality. It’s also the perfect structure for a business with foreign owners since anyone (C Corp, S Corp, another LLC, a trust, or an estate) can be an owner of an LLC.

    C Corporation: This entity is not recommended for small business owners. The C Corp is ideal for a business that intends to raise capital by issuing stock or attracting
    investors through VC funding.

    S Corporation: An S Corporation is great for a small business owner who can qualify: The IRS places limits on the number of owners and who can be an owner in an S Corporation. Plus, all owners are taxed based on their percentage of ownership.

    Take some time to educate yourself on the different business structures. After all,
    your business is worth it.

  • Hi Livia, thank you for spotting those typos, I’ve corrected both now 🙂