Disaster Preparedness tips, tricks and ideas for a Home-Based Businesses:

Why does a home-based business need to even think about this stuff?

Tricks for power: 

Using your car and a power converter to convert your cars 12 volts DC system to 110 volt AC. These units can plug in the cigarette lighter ports to provide from about 45watts of power to 600 watts of power while the engine is running. When the engine is off, it will provide power only as long as your batteries - which may be only a few minutes. You can also buy hard wired units that will attach more directly to the engine wiring or with a fan belt directly to your engine. these larger units can provide up to 15,000 watts of power. So in theory if you plan properly one could supply a substantial amount of power in an emergency with the power from a single car, truck or tractor.  Please consult your Mechanic and an electrician to get the best use of of these devices. Always observe safety precautions concerning car exhaust, electricity etc.  

Get and understand the UPS or Uninterrupted Power Supply for the key devices you wish to continue to power during an outage.  These little units that cost between 45-and about $2,000 can add minutes to hours until power is restored.  The most important thing to remember is the lower the energy drain on the UPS the longer it will last. So if you are using the UPS to power lights-use Low Watt LED lights and florescent lights to double or triple the time a unit will last.

Tips for Phone Service:

Traditional hard-wired land lines work much longer in emergencies than cell phone based communications 
Tips for Internet:

Tips for Fax Service:

Tips for Website/ Internet Hosting shutdowns:

Tips for email shutdowns:

Your home-based business recovery checklist for evacuating your business:
  • Phone list: Yes, Read paper laminated to save time and cell phone power.
  • Business cards, pencils, pens, clipboards, note pads, supersticky post-its,Pencil sharpener.
  • Battery-powered calculator, led flashlights with batteries, a plug-in car power converter biggest you can afford  (to run a 1 computer or laptop, lighting, bubblejet printer) with paper. 
  • Cellphone, car charger, wall charger, battery recharger (uses 1 or 2 AA batteries to recharge or provide about 5 hours of talk time Costs about $14-$20.  New rechargeable phone power units can add 20-30 hours talk or app time to your phone).
  • USB hub. 100 foot Ethernet cable, and a 100 foot four wire phone cord.
  • A 20 foot & 100 foot three plug extension cord and a power strip with surge protection
  • A UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) for your computer, fax machine and corded

What help is available after a disaster? Most people are unaware of all the assistance both business and family.

Is their any federal help available after a disaster?
Presidential declared disasters open up dozens of programs from federal agencies that most business would not associate with their business.  Many of these opportunity are only available to the effective areas and usually only for about 4-6 months following the disaster.