Given that hurricane season is upon us, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has announced that for the ninth year in a row September is National Preparedness Month, a time for individuals, communities and business owners to take action in preparation to withstand natural or man-made disasters. The recent devastation wrought by Hurricane Isaac drives home the need for all of us to plan ahead. However, home-based and other small business owners seem to be at particular risk. Here’s why…
According to the Insurance Information Institute, four out of ten small businesses that are affected by a national or man-made disaster never recover. Yet the Ad Council has found that nearly two-thirds of them do not have an emergency or disaster preparedness plan in place. Once again, failing to plan is planning to fail, especially when organizations like the Small Business Development Centers claim that one in four small business owners will experience “a significant crisis,” such as a hurricane, wildfire, tornado, power outage, flash flood or even a cyber-security breach, in any given year.
So, as a small business opportunity, distributorship, licensee opportunity or franchise owner, what can you do to take action now that will ensure something outside of your control does not result in your losing everything you’ve worked so hard to build? The answer is simple really…make a plan!
Although there are a number of organizations out there that are ready and willing to help you, the American Red Cross remains the standard bearer in this regard. Its Ready Rating program is designed specifically to help businesses, schools and other organizations withstand just about any disaster or other emergency, and becoming a member costs you nothing.
Simply for joining, Ready Rating members who own businesses have access to important tools, resources and information that they need to guide them in maintaining operations and protecting lives and property during a time of crisis, including:
• 123 Assessment—an online self-assessment tool to measure your small business’ level of disaster/emergency preparedness
• Emergency Response Planner—enables you to create customized emergency plans that are just right for you, your business and its employees
• Resource Center—a one-stop shop for preparedness information, checklists and other tools, and
• Ready Rating Store—the place to shop for preparedness equipment and supplies.
All of what the Program has to offer in the way of concrete action steps and recommendations is grounded in scientific research, best practices and only the most respected expert opinions from across disciplines. Given that it is FREE, where else can you get so much for so little?
While taking an optimistic view of your work-at-home or other small business’ future is important, it’s also critical that you be realistic. Some things are simply out of your hands. In business as it is in life…we must hope for the best, yet plan for the worst.
Act now! Go to http://readyrating.org/ to get started on your small business survival plan before it’s too late.