Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Information


A disaster can strike anywhere and anytime. While some are predictable, some happen quickly and without warning. It is vital that you understand what a disaster could mean for your business. The information and resources on this page are designed to help businesses prepare for and recover from natural and man-made disasters.

Dare to Prepare—Get A Plan

Did you know that an estimated 25% of small businesses that close because of a disaster never reopen?
You’ve invested a lot of time and resources into making your business a success, so Dare to Prepare—Get a Plan. The resources and information in this section will help you get started. Be Business Ready; it will greatly increase your chances for survival.

Business Continuity and Risk Management Program

Florida SBDC Network's BCRM Program—SBDC Certified Business Analysts (CBAs) help businesses develop comprehensive Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery Plans—free of charge. BCRM services are available through all statewide Florida SBDC Network offices. Download the FSBDCN's Dare to Prepare Brochure for recommendations on things to consider when developing a business ready plan, including suggested records you should keep in a Business Ready “Records-To-Go” box.

Florida Business Disaster Survival Kit
Business Disaster Planning Wizard is an online interactive tool to help businesses develop a Business Continuity Plan (BCP). It is meant to be relatively quick, straight-forward and painless!

Florida Division of Emergency Management
tools and information designed to help Florida businesses stay prepared and ensure the continued health of Florida’s economy.

Federal Emergency Management Agency
Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry
is a step-by-step approach to emergency planning, response and recovery for companies of all sizes.

Institute for Business & Home Safety
Open for Business® is a comprehensive disaster planning toolkit including an easy-to-use guide to help you reduce the potential for loss, should disaster strike, and reopen quickly should you be forced to close.

Resources to Plan for Pandemic Flu


US Department of Homeland Security
offers information and worksheets that help businesses of any size prepare for and respond to natural disasters.

Its "What Does it Cost?" PDF lists security measures that can be implemented for free, for under $500, and for over $500.

Small and midsize businesses can participate in the DHS's Ready Business Mentoring Initiative, which relies on volunteer private-sector instructors. Through the Extension Disaster Education Network, DHS offers a downloadable three-hour classroom-style course called "Ready Business: Developing a Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Plan for Your Business." All course materials (including event notices, PowerPoint slides, and instructor guide) are available free online.

US Small Business Administration

Prepare My Business, a site that guides small-business owners through disaster planning, education, testing, and assistance with downloadable checklists and templates for risk assessment, communications plans, and practice exercises. Prepare My Business also offers free monthly webinars.


Steps to Recovery—Get Back to Business

The resources and information in this section will help you Get Back to Business when impacted by a disaster.

Five Things To Do After A Disaster

Contact your Insurance Carrier
to file your claim. If you are leasing business space, ensure that your lease owner has contacted their insurance carrier. Take pictures of damage.

Contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency
by phone or online at www.FEMA.gov to report any loss. FEMA will take your information, provide you a registration number and mail applicable loan applications to you. For business loss, FEMA will refer you to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Current Federal Disaster Declarations
FEMA Internet Registration

FEMA Phone Registration:
   • 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
   • TTY 1-800-462-7585 (speech & hearing impaired)

Use FEMA's mobile website to locate the nearest disaster recovery center and apply online for assistance. Its social-media page links to the FEMA blog, regional Twitter feeds, and other access points.

Contact the U.S. Small Business Administration
to pursue low interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster. The SBA provides applications for the agency's disaster loan program online, which offers:

Business physical disaster loans of up to $2 million to cover uninsured or underinsured losses.
Economic injury disaster loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations.

To obtain Disaster Loan Program information or to receive a status update on your loan request, call their customer service line at 1-800-659-2955 or email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
SBA Disaster Loans

Contact the Florida SBDC Network
for assistance with:

  1. Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program package (emergency, short-term loans up to $25,000), if activated
  2. SBA disaster loan applications
  3. Business recovery plans

Find your local SBDC online at www.FloridaSBDC.org or by calling 1.866.737.7232 or 850.473.7800.

Two Florida SBDC Network Mobile Business Assistance Centers (MACs) stand ready to be deployed in the field for on-the-spot business disaster assistance. SBDC Certified Business Analysts provide counseling and assistance to help business owners work through the forms and applications needed to prepare for and recover from disasters. Contact Paymon Shokoohi at 850.473.7800 or 1.866.737.7232.

Contact your local AWI One-Stop Career Center
for assistance with:

  1. Unemployment compensation (1.866.724.5470)
  2. Replacement workforce

Find your local One-Stop Career Center by calling 1.866.352.2345 or visiting their website at www.floridajobs.org.

Other Important Disaster Recovery Resources

Florida Disaster Contractors Network
Disaster Contractors Network is a virtual organization of construction-related associations, state and federal emergency management organizations and regulatory agencies whose purpose is to facilitate information sharing and resource matching along the great Gulf Coast. It's designed to help home and small business owners rebuild following devastations from disasters.

Florida Division of Emergency Management
Florida County Emergency Management Websites
Florida County Emergency Management Directory

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Tax Relief in Disaster Situations
Publication 2194B, Disaster Losses Kit for Business (PDF)
Publication 2194B is a Disaster Losses Kit to help businesses claim casualty losses on property that has been destroyed by a natural disaster. The kit contains tax forms needed to claim a casualty loss.

Crop Insurance and Crop Disaster Payments - Agriculture Tax Tips

This section offers helpful tax tips including whether crop insurance and crop disaster payments are taxable.

US Department of Commerce
US Department of Commerce provides a central point of reference for businesses, especially minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses and small- and medium-size enterprises, to register for and become aware of federal contracting opportunities.

USDA Agricultural Disaster Assistance
USDA is the farm service agency that provides assistance for natural disaster losses, resulting from drought, flood, fire, freeze, tornadoes, pest infestation, and other calamities.


A statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. SBA, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners; hosted by the University of West Florida; and nationally accredited by the Association of SBDC's. SBA    ASBDC    University of West Florida
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Florida SBDC Network State Office | UWF, Office of Economic Development & Engagement | 11000 University Pkwy, Bldg 38 | Pensacola, FL 32514
1.866.737.7232 or 850.473.7800 | info@floridasbdc.org