It goes without saying that small businesses play a vital role in the economies of our local communities. But the ability of our small businesses to bounce back after a storm, fire or flood can make or break a community as a whole. It is as important for businesses to plan and prepare for before, during and after a storm as it is for you to prepare your home or for a municipality to prepare.
Recently, I attended a workshop about resilience topics for businesses in Mississippi. Topics included business insurance, hazard plans, and providing for employees during and after a hurricane, and came about because the community identified the need to communicate better with their businesses while going through the Community Resilience Index. A community in Alabama, while going through the Index, also discussed making a similar effort with the businesses in their community.
Some of the topics that relate to hazard resilience that are common for a community to discuss at the municipal level factor in to plans a business should have for hurricanes and other natural hazards, but business owners may not think about taking those things into account. The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium has tools targeted to businesses to help them with this task.
The Fisheries and Tourism Resilience Indices are modeled after the Community Resilience Index, aiming to generate a quick snapshot of a business’s resilience. The indices include topics on operations plans, disaster planning, marketing related to hazards, and more. The index helps a business identify strong and weak points, and where to act.
If your small business is interested in using the Resilience Index to better prepare for hazards, contact Jody Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be matched with a trained facilitator who will lead your business through the index discussion. A typical workshop lasts two hours and provided for free.