Even for the most successful small business, a natural disaster could be devastating. Just look at Joplin, Mo., where nearly 500 business owners lost their business after last year's tornado almost wiped out the town.
As the Joplin disaster anniversary approaches (May 22), a new survey from The American Red Cross finds 40 percent of small businesses do not believe they could fully recover within six months if their business was completely destroyed in a disaster; fewer than one-third (29 percent) are prepared if a disaster disrupts their business for just one month.
[See also: Slideshow: Joplin rebuilds]
What's more, half of small businesses have not taken action to prepare for disasters that are prone to happen in their areas. These employers also do not consider employee communication, as 77 percent have not taken steps to encourage employees to create disaster preparedness plans for their homes and families.
“Many small businesses put off disaster preparation because of concerns about lack of resources or expertise,” said Rose Flenorl, manager, Global Citizenship, FedEx Services, in a press statement. “But some simple, inexpensive steps can go a long way toward helping businesses be prepared if disaster strikes. The survey found that 77 percent of small businesses would be more likely to take action to prepare for disaster if they were provided with educational materials. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the Red Cross to host a virtual roundtable to share our expertise around preparedness.”
FedEx has teamed up with The Red Cross to promote a preparedness program called Ready Rating, which helps businesses, schools and other organizations become prepared for disasters and other emergencies. Ready Rating members have access to one-of-a-kind tools, resources and information for evaluating and improving their ability to withstand disaster, maintain operations, and protect lives and property.
“Emergencies are inevitable,” said Tom Heneghan, manager of Preparedness for the American Red Cross. “We have a long tradition of helping individuals and families prepare for disasters, and we’re proud to work with FedEx on this event to extend that assistance to small businesses.”