New website provides tools for Florida businesses to prepare for natural disasters

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Florida businesses have a new way to prepare for and react to natural disasters like hurricanes.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has created a website, which has information on preparing a business in advance of a storm, as well as where to look for help if your shop has been damaged during a disaster.

This includes links to short-term loan programs, damage surveys and local emergency contacts. A few storms have affected Florida over the past few years, leaving many firms closed for weeks and months, while others have never reopened.

Cissy Proctor, the executive director of the Department of Economic opportunity said the economic impact is felt by the whole community, each day a business does not open its doors.

“The community relies on businesses, and the employees that work in those businesses also do,” Proctor said. “So, the quicker the businesses open up, the quicker a community gets back to feeling normal. Then they are going to recover even that much faster.”

Proctor said most shop owners have proper plans for their families and homes in advance of a disaster. However, often times the actual business is not fully prepared when it comes to knowing where important documents are and how to get in touch with employees when the power and cell phone signals may be out. DEO says the better prepared a business is before a storm hits, the sooner it can re-open afterward.

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