# The Importance of Having a Natural Disaster Plan for Your Business
As Hurricane Florence causes widespread destruction in the Carolinas and wildfires continue to ravage California, it is important to not only consider the impact on homes but also on businesses. According to a survey conducted by Visa, 40% of businesses affected by natural disasters do not reopen immediately, and 75% without a post-disaster plan fail within three years. In this beginner’s guide, we will dive into the importance of having a natural disaster plan for your business and ways to prepare for the unexpected.
## The Impact of Natural Disasters on Businesses
Natural disasters can have a significant impact on businesses, particularly small businesses. In addition to the loss of revenue, businesses may also experience property damage, supply chain disruptions, and customer loss. The cost of rebuilding a business after a natural disaster can be significant, with Visa’s survey finding that businesses needed an average of $850,000 to recover after a natural disaster.
Not only can a natural disaster have a devastating effect on businesses, but it can also impact the surrounding community. This is why programs like the Visa Back to Business Project are so important in helping businesses get back on their feet and contributing to local economies.
## The Visa Back to Business Project
Visa’s Back to Business Project is a program designed to support small businesses that experience a loss of revenue after a natural disaster. The program maintains a database of disaster-affected businesses and their current status, which allows consumers from anywhere in the country to offer support.
To find businesses to support, interested consumers can search for businesses affected by specific disasters or choose a type of business to support. The database includes businesses affected by floods, fires, snow storms, and severe storms, and when possible, Visa includes the website of the affected business so that consumers from all over the world can offer support.
The Back to Business Project is an excellent example of how businesses can come together to support one another in difficult times. It is essential to remember that recovery is a process, and the support of the community can make a significant difference in helping businesses rebuild and regain their footing.
## Creating a Natural Disaster Plan
It is essential for businesses in areas prone to natural disasters to have a plan in place before disaster strikes. The following are some of the necessary steps businesses can take to prepare for a natural disaster:
1. Conduct a risk assessment: Identify the types of natural disasters that could affect your business and determine their likelihood.
2. Develop an emergency response plan: Create a plan that outlines the steps to take in the event of a natural disaster. This will include evacuation procedures, communication strategies, and contingency plans.
3. Protect your data: Ensure that all critical data is backed up to the cloud or another secure location to prevent data loss.
4. Review insurance coverage: Review your insurance coverage to ensure that your business is adequately protected before the disaster strikes.
5. Train employees: Educate your employees about emergency procedures, so they know what to do in the event of a natural disaster.
By taking these simple steps, businesses can prepare for the worst and increase the likelihood of a successful recovery. Remember that no business is immune to the impact of natural disasters, and proactive planning is the key to minimizing the damage.
Natural disasters can have a significant impact on businesses, particularly small businesses. However, with the right preparation and planning, businesses can increase their chances of a successful recovery. Programs like the Visa Back to Business Project are an excellent example of how businesses can come together to support one another in difficult times. Remember to conduct a risk assessment, develop an emergency response plan, protect your data, review insurance coverage and train your employees. By following these steps, businesses can be better prepared for natural disasters and minimize the impact on themselves and their communities.