Over the past year, the U.S. Small Business Administration has helped thousands of residents and entrepreneurs in Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico rebuild their homes and businesses damaged by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Many are still recovering from the storms that caused unprecedented physical and economic devastation.
After Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on Aug. 26, 2017, the SBA quickly ramped up its disaster operations to respond to the survivors’ long-term recovery needs. Two weeks later, Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida, while also impacting Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The SBA deployed more staff and resources to help those residents and businesses rebuild. On Sept. 20, the deadly Hurricane Maria wiped out Puerto Rico’s infrastructure and left widespread damage on the U.S. Virgin Islands.
At one point during the post-hurricanes’ recovery phase, the SBA had staff working in 402 recovery centers in the states and territories affected by the storms. To date, the SBA has approved 139,448 low-interest disaster loans totaling $7.1 billion.
As we head into the peak period of the Atlantic hurricane season, the SBA is again ready to provide assistance to any homeowner, renter or business if another major storm should hit. Meanwhile, we’re urging everyone to put a disaster preparedness plan in place. Being prepared for any kind of emergency means you’ll rebound sooner with less impact to your financial reserves.
We shared some business continuity suggestions in a hurricane season blog posted in June. Homeowners and renters may also find these tips (like saving your important documents in the cloud) useful.
While we hope this year’s hurricane season is less eventful, the lessons from 2017 are an incentive to make a plan to protect your families, your businesses and your communities.
Disaster preparedness resources:
Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety — Tips on how to create your own business continuity plan and how to rebuild stronger, as well as an interactive disaster hazard map
Ready.Gov—Preparedness tips for risks including floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes cyber-attacks and active shooters