Preparing Your Business: Where to Get Help
Before response or recovery assistance can be requested, the local government must declare a local “state of emergency.” Once a declaration has been made, state/local/federal damage assessment teams will survey the damage. The assessment team will verify the extent of the damage and provide supporting documents to help substantiate the request for aid by the local government. If it is determined that in addition to state and local resources, federal assistance is necessary, the Governor will request a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
Once the proper declarations have been made, various types of federal and state assistance is available for individuals and businesses. Individual assistance will be available to privately owned businesses that were damaged by the disaster. Individuals and businesses affected by the disaster will be notified through television, radio and newspaper press releases of the availability of assistance. FEMA, in coordination with local and state agencies, as well as other not-for-profit organizations, will provide disaster relief to individuals and businesses after a hurricane. Once a Presidential Declaration has been made, the following assistance may be available:
- The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) loan guarantee programs can help you finance your hurricane preparation such as acquiring backup generators, computer systems, hurricane shutters and storm windows. The SBA can also help you develop your disaster preparation and mitigation plan so you will know in advance what to do to keep your business running before and after a storm. Visit the "SBA" web site for more information on how it can help you sustain your business this hurricane season. Post hurricane, the SBA provides Physical Disaster Business Loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans for Small Businesses.
- SCORE - Counselors for America's Small Business will provide free counseling for small businesses. Tip: Use the search tool to find a “disaster preparedness” counselor that can assist you.
- The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), through its Post-Disaster Response Program, provides revolving loan fund grants to public and non-profit organizations to provide loans to businesses in support of the economic recovery strategy.
- The Rural Housing and Community Development Service provides various types of assistance, including technical assistance and payments covering a major portion of the cost to eligible farmers who perform emergency conservation actions on disaster-damaged farmland.
- In addition to the public and non-profit assistance listed above, business owners should contact their local lender to find out if loans are available for hurricane preparation assistance.
Where to get hazard vulnerability information
Your regional planning council offers key information regarding vulnerability to specific hazards (i.e., hurricane evacuation zones, flood zones, locations of storage of extremely hazardous materials, etc.) in your county and/or region. Below find contact information for county emergency management, regional planning councils and local state agencies to assist you.
Regional Planning Council Directory
|West Florida Regional Planning Council
3435 N. 12th Ave.,
Pensacola, Florida 32513-9759
|Withlacoochee Regional Planning Council
1241 S.W. Tenth Street
Ocala, Florida 34474-2798
|Apalachee Regional Planning Council
29776 Central Ave. E., Suite 1,
Blountstown, FL 32424
|East Central Florida Regional Planning
631 N. Wymore Rd., Suite 100,
Maitland, FL 32751
Winter Park, Florida 32789
|North Central Florida Regional Planning Council
2009 N.W. 67th Place, Ste. A,
Gainesville, Florida 32653-1603
|Central Florida Regional Planning Council
P. O. Drawer 2089
Bartow, Florida 33831-2089
|Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council
6850 Belfort Oaks Place
Jacksonville, Florida 32216
|Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council
P. O. Box 3455
North Ft. Myers, Florida 33918-3455
|Mr. Manny L. Pumariega,
Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council
4000 Gateway Centre Boulevard
Pinellas Park, FL 33782
|Mr. Michael J. Busha,
Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council
301 E. Ocean Blvd., Suite 300
Stuart, FL 34994
|Ms. Carolyn Dekle,
South Florida Regional Planning Council
3440 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 140
Hollywood, Florida 33021
Additional resource links