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WASHINGTON (8/21/12)--September is national preparedness month and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering a series of free webinars to help credit unions and all other small businesses to prepare in case they are forced by a natural disaster to close their operations for a time.

"This summer millions of business across the country were forced to close their doors in the aftermath of power outages, approaching wildfires, and flooding caused by tropical storms.  Business interruptions, even if it lasts just a few hours, cost business owners greatly in terms of lost productivity and profits," the SBA said in a release announcing the webinars.

The series is being presented in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Ready Campaign. It is intended to help small businesses prepare for the well-being of the business operations, the safety of their employees, and the "sustenance of their local economies" by being prepared to rebound quickly from any kind of disaster.

The webinars, scheduled for each Wednesday in September at 2 p.m. (ET), are:
  • Sept. 5:   "10 Steps to Prepare Any Organization for Disaster" with an introduction from James Rivera, Associate Administrator for SBA's Office of Disaster Assistance.
  • Sept. 12: "Protecting Your Organization by Preparing Your Employees"
  • Sept. 19: "Utilization of Social Media During a Crisis"
  • Sept. 26: "Surviving a Crisis, Large or Small: Real Life Lessons Learned." Business owners who recovered from disasters discuss their proactive emergency planning.
 

A question and answer session will follow each of the presentations.

Use the resource links to register for the September webinars and to access past webinars on business continuity strategies through the "PrepareMyBusiness" website.
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