The private sector is a vital part of the emergency management community. We see the state's vast network of business, industry, academia, trade associations and other non-governmental organizations as equal — and equally responsible — partners in every phase from preparedness to response and recovery to mitigation.
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Private Sector Information
- Business Preparedness
- Business Recovery
- Business Re-entry Registration
- Online Training for Private Sector Organizations
- Links to Partner Organizations
- Private Sector News & Opportunities
Can your business bounce back from the impact of an earthquake, flood or severe weather storm? Does your business continuity plan include redundancy strategies to ensure your business can continue operation in the case of a power outage or phone interruption?
An estimated 40 percent of businesses do not reopen following a major disaster. Building a continuity plan and taking proactive steps toward preparedness will reduce this risk, protect stakeholder's interests and ensure continuation of services.
Planning efforts should utilize an “all hazards approach” seeking to develop a process that remains relevant to many different threats or hazards. The probability that a specific hazard will impact your business is hard to determine. That’s why it’s important to consider many different threats and hazards and the likelihood of occurrence.
Steps to comprehensive business planning and preparedness:
- Determine which hazards threaten your business. More detailed information on natural hazards our residents face is on our Threats & Hazards page.
- Conduct a Risk & Vulnerability Assessment
- Conduct a Business Impact Analysis
- Create a Business Continuity Plan
- Review insurance coverage on an annual basis
- Take steps to protect vital records
- Develop and test Emergency Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place plans
Want to go even further? Take the following steps to prepare your business and your community:
- Learn and understand Emergency Management principles
- Promote Employee and individual preparedness
- Collaborate with local neighborhoods, community/volunteer groups, and businesses to promote disaster preparedness and plan for community recovery
- Meet with local fire, law enforcement, and emergency management officials to discuss roles
Business Preparedness Resources
There is an overwhelming amount of preparedness and planning resources available to businesses online. While some resources may be better suited to different businesses, it is more important for your organization identify and process and plan that works for you than it is important that you chose “the right planning tool.” Below are a few free sites that may help your organization in your preparation and planning efforts:
- Ready.gov Free Publications: Business Resources
- FEMA Emergency Preparedness Resources for Businesses
- FEMA QuakeSmart Took Kit - Earthquake Mitigation for Businesses
- American Red Cross Ready Rating Assessment
- Institute for Business® and Home Safety (IBHS) Open for Business
- US Chambers of Commerce Foundation: Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Quick Guides
Resumption of "business as normal," or recovery, includes activities taken after an event to return vital economic systems to minimum standards (in the short-term) and all economic systems to normal or improved levels (in the long-term). These activities can include damage assessment, data recovery, debris removal, crisis counseling, public information, reconstruction or temporary housing.
Our Business Recovery Guide contains helpful information to ensure businesses reopen their doors following a disaster.
FEMA Disaster Assistance
During every federally declared disaster FEMA will stand up the DisasterAssistance.gov website to provide disaster survivors with information, support, services, and a means to access and apply for disaster assistance through joint data-sharing efforts between federal, tribal, state, local, and private sector partners.
U.S. Small Business Administration Loans
The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) makes its low-interest loan programs available to qualifying businesses and private non-profit organizations that have suffered disaster damages. This occurs automatically following a Presidentially Declared Disaster (PDD), but may also be available absent at PDD. Businesses of any size may request an application for a low-interest loan by telephone immediately after the declaration. Small Business Administration loan officers will be available at all Disaster Field Offices and Disaster Recovery Centers to provide one-on-one assistance. For assistance pursuing a SBA loan, visit the Emergency Management Division’s Individual and Small Business Assistance website.
Tax Relief in Disasters
Special tax law provisions may help taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of a disaster, especially when the president declares their location to be a major disaster area. Depending on the circumstances, the federal and state tax authorities may grant additional time to file returns and pay taxes. Both individuals and businesses in a presidentially declared disaster area can get a faster refund by claiming losses related to the disaster on the tax return for the previous year, usually by filing an amended return. Visit the IRS Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief website for more federal tax information and the Washington Department of Revenue website for state tax information.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Assistance
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency emergency loans may be available to farmers who were operating a farm at the time of a disaster. Loans are limited to the amount necessary to compensate for actual losses to essential property or to production capacity. For more information, visit the USDA Farm Service Agency.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Farm or ranch owners and self-employed persons may qualify for disaster unemployment if they are out of work because of a disaster and are not covered by regular unemployment insurance. This program is administered by the State Department of Employment Security through the U.S. Department of Labor. Millions of dollars in Disaster Unemployment Assistance has been disbursed to Washington residents in recent years.
In order to facilitate easy identification of business partners with a need for access to their facilities and the communities they serve, Washington state has developed a standard Business Re-Entry Registration system. This system allows businesses to register with the state and shares their information with local jurisdictions during an emergency. Learn more about Business Re-entry Registration here.
The suggested FREE courses below may be found on the FEMA Emergency Management Institute’s website.
- IS-230.D: Fundamentals of Emergency Management
- IS-100.B: Introduction to Incident Command System, ICS-100
- IS-700.A: National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction
- IS-800.B: National Response Framework, An Introduction
- IS-394.A: Protecting Your Home or Small Business from Disaster
- IS-547.A: Introduction to Continuity of Operations
- IS-546.A: Continuity of Operations Awareness Course
- IS-523: Resilient Accord – Exercising Continuity Plans for Cyber Incidents
- IS-522: Exercising Continuity Plans for Pandemics
- IS-156: Building Design for Homeland Security for Continuity of Operations
- IS-660: Introduction to Public-Private Partnerships
- IS-662: Improving Preparedness and Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships
- IS-860.C: The National Infrastructure Protection Plan, An Introduction
- IS-821.A: Critical Infrastructure Support Annex
- IS-921.A: Implementing Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience
- IS-913.A: Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience: Achieving Results through Partnership and Collaboration
- IS-915: Protecting Critical Infrastructure Against Insider Threats
- IS-916: Critical Infrastructure Security: Theft and Diversion – What You Can Do
State Agency Partners
- Washington Department of Commerce
- Department of Natural Resources Natural Hazards Maps of Washington
- Association of Washington Business
- Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup
- Red Cross (Business Continuity Planning)
- American Society of Civil Engineers: Washington Infrastructure Report Card
- Washington State Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)