When local emergency management officials and law enforcement have determined the area is safe and secure for the private sector to re-enter following a disaster, the focus will shift to community recovery. Once you can return to your business location, it is important to document the damage sustained during the disaster. If you can re-enter your facility and the damage is minor, make temporary repairs to correct safety hazards and to minimize further damage.

Take photographs or video of all damage prior to making repairs for future business damage assessments. Contact your insurance company immediately and arrange to meet an adjustor as soon as possible. As you make repairs, keep all documentation and receipts to provide to your insurance company. Only hire licensed contractors certified by the state and your local jurisdiction. If the contractor requests you pull the permit, it may be an indication that he is not properly licensed and is not entitled to permitting privileges. You can verify a contractor’s license at

Economic assistance (business loans) for private sector businesses may be available based on the magnitude of the disaster and overall economic impact to the community. Businesses are encouraged to complete the online Business Damage Assessment tool. This information will provide valuable economic impact information to the state and federal government as economic assistance options are evaluated.

The Florida SBDC Network can help your business recover from a disaster. In addition, the SBDC and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity partner on the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, an interest-free, short-term loan program to help businesses recover quickly after a disaster.

For more business resources, please see State Resources and Federal Resources pages.