Professional Development & Learning Services

Can Your Business Survive a Natural Disaster?

Photo by Dan Schiumarini

For many entrepreneurs, our business is not just our livelihood, it’s like a cherished family member.  It represents our current hopes and dreams, as well as being key to realizing our personal and professional future.  As its Guardian, it’s no surprise we do our best to protect our business from all dangers as it grows and matures.

Among the many threats we expect, and proactively work to mitigate, are:

  • business competition;
  • financial risks;
  • legal liabilities;
  • information security hacks; and
  • physical safety for our employees.

However, we sometimes forget to address the one hazard present every day – Mother Nature! She can sneak up and wreak havoc at any time, if we are unprepared.

Whether it’s an earthquake, flood, debris flow following a landslide, tornado, sink hole, fire or power outage initiated by a lightning strike, forced evacuation resulting from an extreme wildfire, hurricane, blizzard, hail, or drought, we must not underestimate the effect our physical environment can have on business continuity.

According to an August 2017 report in The Economist, “Since 1970, the number of [natural] disasters worldwide has more than quadrupled to around 400 a year.”  In fact, CBS News reported in January this year that natural disasters cost the United States $306 billion in 2017 alone. Faced with the possibility for such economic and human impact, as a business owner it’s wise to ask ourselves: “Is my organization prepared well enough not only to survive, but also to rebound in a timely manner, from a natural disaster?”

The United States government provides free emergency preparedness and business resiliency resources for organizations to proactively plan for the effects of Mother Nature and other unplanned events (including health hazard outbreaks and acts of terrorism). Lacking proper preparation ahead of time, one disaster strike may potentially bring our company to a halt, without warning. A knockout punch none of us wants to experience firsthand!

Here are several resources to get you started:

FEMA Business_booklet_2014










For additional information on getting your organization prepared for a disaster and getting back to business in the aftermath of an emergency event, visit FEMA’s Ready Website.

John F. Kennedy once said: “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”  So, let’s make sure our business is weather-proof starting today!


The contents of this site is targeted to a U.S. audience. This information is provided solely for reference purposes and should not be construed as providing legal or tax advice, nor as an endorsement for any particular business, organization, or institution.

Author: Julie Ramdial, President of U Learn Enterprises, Inc.