IBHS Urges Businesses to Take Eight Steps to Prepare for Severe Weather during National Small Business Week


TAMPA – May 6, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Many businesses are not prepared to respond to a man-made or natural disaster, especially small businesses since typically only have one location — the one that is damaged or destroyed. Therefore, disaster planning should be a critical part of every business’ operational objectives. As part of National Small Business Week, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is offering the top eight actions to help business owners get started on severe weather preparedness.

“While owners of small businesses probably feel as though they don’t have the time to prepare for an emergency or disaster,” said Gail Moraton, business resiliency manager, IBHS, “it can mean the difference between permanently going out of business and reopening quickly.”

Business Preparedness Top 8 Recommendations:

Inspect your buildings and complete any maintenance needed to ensure your building can stand up to severe weather. Learn more about what to look for during inspections.

Designate an employee to monitor weather reports and alert your team to potential severe weather.

Review and update your business continuity plan, including employee contact information. If you do not have a business continuity plan, consider IBHS’ free, easy-to-use business continuity plan toolkit for small businesses, OFB-EZ (Open for Business-EZ). Learn more about effectively updating your continuity plan.

Remind employees of key elements of the plan, including post-event communications procedures and work/payroll procedures. Make sure all employees have a paper copy of the plan. Review emergency shutdown and start-up procedures, such as electrical systems, with appropriate personnel, including alternates. Learn how to engage your employees in emergency planning.

Test your back-up power, such as a diesel generator, and establish proper contracts with fuel suppliers for emergency fuel deliveries. Learn more about proper installation and use of commercial generators.
Re-inspect and replenish emergency supplies inventory, since emergency supplies are often used during the offseason for non-emergency situations.

Test all life safety equipment.

Conduct training/simulation exercises for both your business continuity and emergency preparedness/response plans.

Learn more about what to do before, during and after severe weather or emergency to protect your business and employees in IBHS’ Business Emergency Preparedness Checklist.

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About the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)

IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks to residential and commercial property by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparedness practices.

Media Contact: Stacy Williams, APR, Phone: (813) 675-1045 or Email:

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