SBA Offers Tips to Survive Hurricane Season

June 8, 2004

With the beginning of the six-month Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, the U.S. Small Business Administration is urging homeowners and businesses to plan and prepare for the worst-case scenario by taking steps in advance to minimize damage
caused by these major storms.

The survival of a community can depend on the ability of businesses and homeowners to minimize the risks – wind damage and flooding – that accompany hurricanes.

In the aftermath of September’s devastating Hurricane Isabel, which caused major damage to homes and businesses in Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina and Delaware, the SBA provided more than 8,200 low- interest loans worth $234 million. Power outages caused by fierce winds and inland flooding contributed to most of the property losses.

“Without a doubt, the impact of the storm could have been lessened if more people had prepared before the disaster,” SBA Administrator Hector Barreto said. “Taking steps before a hurricane strikes will help people respond quicker and recover sooner.”

The SBA makes low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and non-farm businesses of all sizes. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged real estate. Individuals may borrow up to $40,000 to cover losses to personal property.

Non-farm businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may apply for up to $1.5 million to repair or replace business assets. Small businesses that suffered economic losses may apply for a working capital loan of up to $1.5 million, even if the property was not physically damaged.

During fiscal 2003, the SBA approved more than 25,800 disaster loans for $885 million.

To learn more about the SBA’s disaster assistance program and links to additional disaster preparedness tips, visit the Web site at

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