A large-scale disaster anywhere in the state could disrupt normal operations and affect employees of any business. The South Carolina Department of Commerce is here to assist business and industry in disaster preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery from natural or man-made disasters. Getting businesses back up and running and people back to work as quickly as possible following a disaster is key to helping communities return to normal. Below are resources to help businesses facing a disaster:
As defined by the Business Continuity Institute, business continuity is having a plan in place to deal with difficult situations so organizations can continue to function with as little disruption as possible. Having a plan to face any hazard, be it a cyberattack, hurricane, pandemic or fire.
Do you have a continuity of operations plan for your company? Do your employees have a copy? Have you exercised the plan? When was the last time it was updated?
SC Commerce can connect local businesses to business continuity experts to help begin or update existing plans. Here are some resources to help you get started.
- American Red Cross
- Contingency Planning Association of the Carolinas
- Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety
- Ready.gov Business Continuity Planning Suite
- Restore Your Economy
- SC Small Business Development Centers
- Small Business Administration
The SC Business Reentry Program allows businesses into areas under curfew or evacuation order prior to the general public, helping businesses get back up and running prior to the community returning.
This program is available to any business that is registered and found in good standing with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office. Registration is free and takes less than five minutes to complete. Once completed, you will receive a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) applicable for three years. Questions about the reentry program can be e-mailed to [email protected].
Please note: South Carolina operates under Home-Rule where local governments have the authority to provide local solutions, so access and reentry are ultimately decided at the local level, based on current conditions and safety measures.
Emergency Support Function (ESF)-24
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines an ESF as the structure for coordinating interagency support for a response to an incident. Each ESF is aimed at a particular aspect of disaster response (ex. ESF-12 is energy/utilities). In South Carolina, ESF-24 specifically supports business and industry — a newer, but vital, aspect of disaster response.
SC Commerce is the coordinating agency for ESF-24, which is made up of 13 agencies and organizations that integrate with the business community. We are your representatives in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) during disasters and are available 24/7 to answer questions on road or bridge closures, power outages, shelters and any other items of concern.
When the State Emergency Operations Center is activated, our team can be reached by phone (803-737-8524) or email ([email protected]).