Hurricane season isn’t over yet. Are you prepared?

Believe it or not, hurricane season actually lasts until November. It’s important businesses take steps to safeguard financial and tax records and have good planning in place to improve your company’s ability to survive and continue operations after a disaster.

According to one Congressional report, “43 percent of businesses that close following a natural disaster never reopen and additional 29 percent of businesses close down permanently within 2 years of a natural disaster.”

It’s absolutely critical to be prepared. Here are a few tips and a bunch of resources:

  • Scan and store documents electronically. Keep backups in a safe place.
  • Create a room by room list of belongings and equipment, along with market value of the items for insurance and casualty loss claims. Use technology! Photographing or videotaping the contents sure makes it easier to make a catalog of what you have.
  • Make sure your payroll service provider has a fiduciary bond in place.
  • Have some redundancy in your Internet service provider, particularly if you are dealing with sensitive financial data. If your server goes down, you want to have backup.
  • Find out what tax laws are available. After major disasters, special tax law provisions may be enacted to help taxpayers and businesses recover financially.

This is such a small snapshot of everything that needs to be taken into consideration. But there are many tremendous resources available.

Download this Disaster Protection and Recovery Planning Toolkit for Small Business from the Institute for Business and Home Safety. Or this one from the American Red Cross.

Other great resources to go to:

Small Business Administration

FEMA Ready Business

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Internal Revenue Service