Prepare your small business for frightful, unexpected times ahead.Small business scares

Halloween is almost here, and you are probably preparing for Trick-or-Treaters, carving pumpkins and designing a costume for spooky parties and events at your office. This is a fun holiday, but how prepared is your small business for unexpected events that are truly scary?

According to FEMA’s ReadyBusiness Hurricane Toolkit, the impact of a natural disaster can be huge on small businesses.

Specifically, the report indicates that:

  • “40% of small businesses won’t reopen;
  • 25% of small businesses will close one year later; and
  • 75% of businesses without a continuity plan will fail three years later.”

Now, that’s scary stuff!

That’s why it’s essential to prepare for natural disasters for your small business. And while it may cost more to develop the appropriate plan, purchase the right supplies and train team members accordingly, it can be far more expensive to avoid this altogether. Plus, your entire organization will feel more confident when a disaster strikes because they’ll know what to do.

For example, Sportsman’s Warehouse was recently hit by fire and Hurricane Florence at two, different locations, but store managers were ready.

When the Carr Fire blazed near Redding, CA in August and most businesses closed, the local Sportsman’s Warehouse store was ready to help.

“Our team of associates were here to provide supplies to those in need,” states Corri Demontigny, Sportsman’s Warehouse (SW) Redding Store Manager. “Many customers who came in had nothing except the clothes on their back, and first responders stopped by to replace broken knives, worn-out work gloves and other equipment. Firefighters even stopped by just to get a moment away from the smoke, and some found a friendly ear to reflect on the tragic loss of colleagues, and how lucky they felt to be alive after some very close calls. It was heartbreaking to see, and we were happy to help in any way possible.”

The SW associates took shifts working so they could also assist friends, family members and complete strangers move furniture, pets and belongings out of the fire’s path, defend homes, provide supplies to local evacuation centers, and more. The store even provided discounts to firefighters, special coupons to those directly affected by the fires and free food at the taco bar set up in the parking lot provided by Cicada Cantina.

The Redding SW location was ready with a full stock of generators, coolers, batteries, flashlights, and other emergency supplies and essentials to help the local community with their specific needs.

And when the recent hurricane hit North Carolina in September, the SW store was prepared there, too.

“When Hurricane Florence came through Wilmington, our team pulled together to help each other and the community prepare for the storm and the aftermath,” states Bill Colvard SW Store Manager, Wilmington, NC. “We were ready to assist with the appropriate supplies, and our associates volunteered their time, expertise and hands-on labor to assist those who needed assistance before and after the storm.”

Once you prepare your small business for a natural disaster, you can relax knowing that you and your team members will know what to do and when.

This allows you to help others in the local community get through the disaster, too. Then, when the sun comes out again and the dust settles, your business can continue to grow and prosper. Plus, you’ll have some good stories to tell the media about how you survived and thrived after the storm!

For more tips from THE small business PR expert, Melanie Rembrandt, check out the Simplify Your Small Business Podcast here.