Natural disaster planning and preparedness should be a consideration for businesses of all sizes. Studies have shown that more than 70 percent of small businesses do not have a disaster plan or adequate insurance, and that a quarter of small and mid-sized businesses impacted by a major event do not reopen.

BRAC encourages businesses to be proactive in natural disaster planning, and maintains a disaster preparation and response partnership with all regional economic development organizations and chambers of commerce in Louisiana, as well as state agencies.

2016 Flood Resources

Restore Louisiana Small Business Program

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Office of Community Development opened applications on May 26 for small businesses and nonprofits affected by severe flooding last year. Total funding currently available for the Restore Louisiana Small Business Program is $51.2 million for loans and costs to implement the program. The program offers partially forgivable loans to qualified businesses.

Eligible businesses can qualify for loans between $20,000 and $50,000 through the program. If borrowers comply with requirements, provide necessary documentation and make payments as agreed, the loan will be interest free and 20 percent of the loan will be forgiven when 80 percent of the principal is repaid.

Businesses can apply May 26 through June 30 with qualified businesses receiving loans in mid-July through the end of the year.

Small businesses that qualify for the assistance program will be referred to Small Business Development Centers for the technical assistance portion of the program. Eligible businesses will get help with business recovery and continuity plans, financial projecting and planning, and disaster preparedness planning.

Click here for more information and to apply.

BRAC Analysis

Updated: BRAC Releases Preliminary Analysis of Potential Magnitude of Flood’s Impact on the Baton Rouge Region »

Data represents people and property placed at risk by virtue of their location within flooded areas

Disaster Preparedness

In the event that a hurricane or other major weather event impacts the Baton Rouge Area, businesses should ensure the security of their people, as well as information, equipment and resources essential to their operations and customers. They should also be prepared with the correct information for handling post-event recovery efforts.

BRAC recommends that businesses:

  • have an evacuation plan that provides for everyone on the premises to leave the workplace safely and quickly,
  • maintain a list and contact information for all employees and mission-critical business partners (including emergency contact names, work and cell phones, work and/or personal email addresses, PIN numbers, etc.); the list should include employees, customers, vendors, bankers, attorneys and insurance agents,
  • establish a means of and plan for contacting employees who have been displaced from their homes by the disaster,
  • make clear arrangements for all staff to be able to contact the business or locate information about the business if it is temporarily closed or displaced from its normal location,
  • establish procedures for succession of management,
  • identify operations critical to the company’s survival and recovery,
  • decide which personnel and what records, procedures and equipment are necessary to keep the business operating,
  • preserve vital business records, financial data, accounting records, personnel information, inventory information, etc.,
  • back up computerized records daily and store the backups, along with other vital records, at an off-site location (consider the use of a remote data center, if possible),
  • plan how to continue operating if the building, physical plant or store is inaccessible,
  • review business insurance options and ensure all relevant policies, such as business interruption coverage, are in place, premium payments are up-to-date, and all proper steps have been taken to ensure claims can be made in a timely manner if necessary,
  • prepare for lengthy power interruptions during and after a disaster (i.e., arranging for alternate power sources, fuel supplies, etc.), and
  • maintain and distribute to employees and partners the contact information for FEMA and SBA disaster assistance.

Additional Resources