• At least 30 percent of operating small businesses have been closed 24 hours or longer in the last three years due to a natural disaster. (The number driven out of business for that reason cannot be counted and are in addition.) The most frequent type of event is a blizzard/ice storm/extreme cold (20%). About one-quarter as many experienced a closure due to tornados, hurricanes or typhoons; wind or hale storms; or floods. Fires, drought or extreme heat, and earthquakes, landslides, or sink holes resulted in minimal closures in the three-year period.
• Most impacts from natural disasters are modest. Extreme impacts are highly concentrated. Defining extreme impact on a business as non-operational for at least one week and/or damage amounting to $100,000 or more, about 2 - 3 percent of small businesses experienced an extreme impact from a natural disaster in the last three years.
• While most disaster events are winter-storm related, the most destructive events individually are tornados, hurricanes, and typhoons. An insufficient number of seismic events occurred in the last three years to determine their relative cost.
• Sixty-two (62) percent of those struck by a natural disaster say the biggest problem caused was the loss of sales and customers; 18 percent say that the biggest problem was uninsured losses. While many believe in hindsight that they were adequately insured, the lack of adequate insurance coverage was more frequently associated with continuing operations (59%) than destruction of physical property (44%).
• One in 10 small-business owners report that they have experienced a man-made disaster over the last three years. The most common type of man-made disaster was terrorism, though it cannot be determined the extent to which the terrorism response reflects 9-11 or other forms of terrorism, such as eco-terrorism.
• Twelve (12) percent of small businesses have been damaged in the last three years by economic disruptions, such as the construction of highways, rerouting of roads, urban renewal, etc. Of that number, just 15 percent say that they were notified of the impending action by the responsible authority 90 days or more in advance.
• About one-third (34%) of small businesses have been adversely impacted over the last three years by computer viruses. Of those impacted, 60 percent needed to hire a professional to repair affected systems; 29 percent needed to purchase new equipment; and 28 percent lost documents. Eighty-three (83) percent currently employ anti-virus software.
• Twenty-one (21) percent have lost electric power at their principal place of business for at least 24 hours in the last three years. While the loss of power is typically storm-related, 10 percent say that during the period they lost power for non-storm-related reasons. About 20 percent have back-up generating capacity at their principal place of business.
• Two in five (38%) small employers have an emergency preparedness plan, almost all of whom communicate it to their employees. However, most small employers take actions that are effectively part of an emergency preparedness plan, whether they term it that or not.