On Bauer Business Focus — A conversation on how businesses can prepare for and recover from a storm with Ed Mayberry, business reporter for KUHF 88.7FM.
James Evans, director of the University of Houston Hurricane Business Recovery Center spoke to KUHF business reporter Ed Mayberry about how this agency can help Houston area small businesses prepare for the worst, and come back afterward.
The agency was created with a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration after Hurricane Ike to help small businesses damaged by the storm.
Evans said when a business is hammered by a disaster, it’s often best to try to see it as an opportunity to “rethink, rebuild and reinforce” the venture. The destruction can be used to restructure an underperforming operation.
While helping facilitate low interest disaster relief funding was a big part of it, now the focus is on seminars and one-on-one counseling where they “tell people what to before it hits and what to do after it’s over,” Evans said.
Evans highlighted some measures businesses should take:
- Line up a backup power source. Electricity is essential in so many ways to businesses.
- Be ready to call workers back. Maintain an updated employee contact list and find out who is likely to be around after the hurricane.
- Keep cash on hand. Banks, ATMs and credit card systems are all at risk in a hurricane. Have enough on hand for daily operations and to make a payroll.
- Make sure insurance policies offer enough protection. Understand what it pays and when. Coverage for interruptions in the business is a must.
- Back up banking and accounting records. June 30 marks the end of the first half of the year and it’s a good time to create backup copies.
For information on disaster planning, checklists and seminars visit the Hurricane Business Recovery Center website.
Click here to hear the full Bauer Business Focus interview.