As we’ve stressed in numerous articles that are part of the SmallBusiness.com Guide to Disaster Planning, preparing for disasters helps you avoid being among the 20%-60% businesses that don’t reopen after a disaster. 

Just think of the types of disasters that can occur.

  • Natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcano eruptions, and earthquakes.
  • Health hazards such as widespread and serious illnesses like the flu.
  • Human-caused hazards including accidents and acts of violence.
  • Technology-related hazards like power outages and equipment failure.

After the 9/11 tragedy, U.S. Homeland Security and several other government agencies were tasked to develop Ready Business (Ready.gov/business), a program to help business leaders develop preparedness plans for their companies.

Below are Ready.gov links to specific types of disasters and ways to prepare and respond.


redding fire

Earthquake “QuakeSmart” Ready Business Toolkit

Unlike other natural disasters, earthquakes occur without warning and cannot be predicted. Most of the United States is at some risk for earthquakes, not just the West Coast, so it is important that you understand your risk, develop preparedness and mitigation plans, and take action.

Hurricane Ready Business Toolkit

Many parts of the United States, including Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas, Hawaii, parts of the Southwest, Puerto Rico, the Pacific Coast, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and territories in the Pacific may be directly affected by heavy rains, strong winds, wind-driven rain, coastal and inland floods, tornadoes, and coastal storm surges resulting from tropical storms and hurricanes. The Ready Business Hurricane Toolkit helps leaders take action to protect employees, protect customers, and help ensure business continuity as well.

Inland Flooding Ready Business Toolkit

Most of the United States is at some risk for flooding, so it is important that organizations, businesses, and community groups understand the potential impacts.

Power Outage Ready Business Toolkit

While a Power Outage may not seem as dangerous as a tornado or earthquake, they can still cause damage to homes, businesses and communities. Power Outages cost the U.S. economy $20 billion and $55 billion annually and continue to increase each year (CRS, 2012).

Severe Wind/Tornado Ready Business Toolkit

It is not just in Tornado Alley. Most of the United States is at some risk for severe wind and tornadoes


Links to additional Ready Business resources


Hurricane Harvey | Spencer Platt / GettyImages
Redding Fire | Terray Sylvester / GettyImages

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