Why Small Businesses Should Invest in Preparedness

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Overview

Disaster preparedness “refers to measures taken to prepare for and reduce the effects of disasters.”3 For small businesses, disaster preparedness includes identifying the risks to which the business is susceptible and taking steps to reduce and prepare for these risks. This should include reducing both direct and indirect impacts of disasters and associated losses. Successful preparedness actions can contribute to a business staying open during or reopening quickly following a disaster. This, in turn, provides continued income and allows businesses to support and retain their employees. By retaining employees, businesses avoid losing skilled and/or experienced staff members and avoid having to put time and money into hiring new employees. Support from their employers and continued employment also boosts business moral as staff members, who themselves may be recovering from the disaster, are ensured that they have a financial base for dealing with disaster impacts.

This brief is based on a Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance Post Event Review Capability (PERC) study analyzing the 2017 flooding in Houston following Hurricane Harvey. This document, and companion brief The Role of Businesses in Community Recovery, have been produced as summary pieces with key lessons learned regarding the role of businesses and business preparedness in protecting livelihoods and supporting community recovery following disaster events. Keywords: Economics; Disaster Risk Reduction/Hazard Management; Floods, Hurricanes, Typhoons; Learning from Natural Hazards; Local Empowerment

Keywords: Economics; Disaster Risk Reduction/Hazard Management; Floods, Hurricanes, Typhoons; Learning from Natural Hazards; Local Empowerment

Authors: Rachel Norton Ph.D., Kanmani Venkateswarn, Karen MacClune. Ph.D. 

Citation: Norton, R., Venkateswarn, K., and MacClune, K. (2018). Why Small Businesses Should Invest in Preparedness. Zurich, Switzerland: Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.

Funded by: Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.

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