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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > Spotlight on Business Preparedness

Spotlight on Business Preparedness


September 15, 2007


According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, at least one-fourth of all businesses that close because of a disaster never reopen. Small businesses are especially vulnerable, because limited resources, it is more likely that they have not developed comprehensive plans to help them get through an emergency.

Maine’s businesses form the backbone of the state’s economy; small businesses alone account for a majority of the economy.

Planning for emergencies will help support your employees, customers, the community, the local economy and the State. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.

Emergency planning does not have to be a daunting task. As a business owner, have you ever thought about the answers to these questions?

  • Am I prepared to relocate temporarily?
  • What would happen if my suppliers shut down?
  • Do my employees know what to do in case of an emergency?

These are just a few of the issues to think about in emergency planning. Here are some more simple steps to emergency preparedness:

Get started with emergency planning for your business:

  • Learn what kinds of emergencies might affect your company both internally and externally. Find out which natural disasters are most common in the areas where you operate. You may be aware of some of your community's risks; others may surprise you.
  • Think about how a disaster would affect your suppliers and customers. A disaster somewhere else can effect your business if you can't get supplies, or can't ship your products.
  • Meet with your insurance agent. Do you need flood insurance at your location? Normal business insurance does not cover flooding. Should business interruption insurance be a consideration?
  • Develop internal safety plans; evacuation, fire prevention, etc. Appoint a safety coordinator who will check fire extinguishers and arrange for practice and drills.
  • Protect and back up your vital records, both the paper ones and electronic data.
  • Make emergency preparedness a priority with you and your employees and your families. If you and your employees know that your families are safe, you can focus on getting the business back on its feet. Materials available from this Maine Prepares site can help you with this. Your local or county emergency managers can help you as well.
  • Make a communications plan. How will you communicate with your employees, customers and suppliers, especially if you are closed down for a while?
  • Make a plan for recovery, for getting back in business. Depending on your type of business, this could be an alternate location, emergency power, or other solutions.
  • Invest in improvements that will make your buildings and equipment less likely to be damaged.

There are some great reference materials available at no charge to help business owners put emergency plans together. Here are just a few:

For More Information

Maine prepares. It's part of who we are. But with simple steps, our business community can be even more prepared to weather any storm. That means all of the State of Maine will be too.



Dwane Hubert


Last update: 07/20/10