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For immediate release:
April 07, 2016
Contact:  Melissa Alvarado, Austin EDD: 512-974-7870                             
                 Jake Dirr, Austin HSEM: 512-974-0470 

City launches small business preparedness campaign

The City of Austin is encouraging small business leaders to "spare 15 minutes to prepare" at least two days a week, each week in April for natural disasters and emergencies.

Nearly 50 percent of small businesses never recover from a disaster. By taking small steps to create a preparedness plan, Austin small business can be ready for an event that severely disrupts operations, such as extended power outages, pandemics or natural disasters.

Small business leaders can prepare by:

  • Understanding which disasters could impact their business
  • Learning what to do to be safe and reduce damage
  • Thinking through a plan before an event happens
  • Registering to receive emergency warnings in their neighborhood by text, email or phone.
The month of emergency preparedness culminates April 30, a National PrepareAthon! day, during which small business leaders are encouraged to set aside for a staff or management discussion of their emergency preparedness plan.

America's PrepareAthon! is a twice yearly national opportunity organized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for individuals, organizations, and communities to prepare for specific hazards through group discussions, drills and exercises. Communities and agencies will be posting preparedness tips all month on social media with the hashtag #PrepareAThon.

The City of Austin Get Back In Business webpage provides resources to aid and assist businesses in pre-disaster preparation and recovery after a natural disaster. Additional preparedness information is available at

Additionally, the following resources are available to small businesses year round:
  • Business Service Center, One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Rd., Austin 78704 – seven workspaces with personal computers, high speed internet connections, telephones and  notary services are available on a first-come, first-serve basis Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Use of the workspace and parking are free of charge at One Texas Center.
  • designed to showcase locally owned small businesses, the website also lists 40 government and nonprofit Business Assistance providers such as SCORE, BiGAustin, the Small Business Administration and more. Additionally, business owners are encouraged to register their locally-owned, small business on the website to enhance business visibility and to locate and patronize Austin small businesses.

The April small business initiative is a result of a collaborative application by the City Economic Development Department (EDD) and City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM).


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