Do you run or own a small business but lack a disaster plan?

Do you run or own a small business but lack a disaster plan?

Between 40 and 60 percent of small businesses close forever following a disaster, according to FEMA, but businesses can ensure it doesn't happen to them.

 Here are a few resources to help you prepare for a storm., the Florida Division of Emergency Management's website, helps you prepare for disasters and report business-related damage. The FDEM plans for and responds to natural and man-made disasters and serves as Florida's liaison with federal and local agencies on emergencies.

This Small Business Administration site provides links to education, planning, testing and disaster assistance to ensure businesses can survive interruptions.

The SBA and the United States Department of Agriculture provide low-interest loans to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory and assets damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.

Learn about financial assistance to repair or replace business equipment, inventory and assets. Relief is also available in economic injury loans, unemployment assistance and tax relief.

Disaster Contractors Network

Search the Disaster Contractors Network databases for a contractor, vendor or other professionals who assist businesses affected by a disaster. Also search for resources, such as materials or labor, based on category, keyword or geographical location.

The DCN is a public-private partnership between the State of Florida, Florida State University, various Florida homebuilders associations and the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region IV. This partnership is the nation's first pre- and post-disaster network.

FEMA provides small businesses with tools to help prepare for the impact of natural hazards like floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. Businesses also need to consider technology-related hazards such as failure or malfunction of systems, equipment, or software.

FEMA's Preparedness Planning for Your Business site helps businesses develop a program by providing tools to create an "all hazards approach" plan.

Ready Rating, an American Red Cross program, offers tools, resources and information for evaluating and improving your ability to withstand disaster, maintain operations and protect lives and property.

Minding Your Business

The Florida Business Continuity Initiative's Minding Your Business site,, is a real-time interactive forum that focuses on helping businesses to survive a disaster.

It also provides a range of pre- and post-disaster information and resources, including an online business-continuity plan generator developed by FEMA.

Big Business-Small Business

The Big Business-Small Business Emergency Management Mentorship Program encourages and motivates large businesses to provide mutually beneficial emergency preparedness, response and recovery expertise to small businesses.

The program is a collaboration between the National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies Institute at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Apps and mobile sites

These programs run on specific mobile platforms, such as iPhones and iPads, Android or Blackberry.

•FEMA App: disaster safety tips, interactive lists for storing emergency kit and emergency meeting location information, and a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers.

•American Red Cross Hurricane App: lets you monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm track; prepare; find help; and let others know you are safe.

•Shelter Finder, also from the Red Cross: locates available evacuation shelters.

•Florida's 511 Traveler Information System: keeps you informed on roadway conditions during severe weather, evacuations and emergencies. Get information on affected counties, cities, roadways and agencies using the app or dialing 511.

Marie Garcia is the Crestview Public Library's assistant library director.