Business

Is your small business prepared for disaster? There’s a free app for that

By Nancy Dahlberg

ndahlberg@miamiherald

Florida businesses can better prepare for hurricanes and other disasters, including manmade ones such as cyber attacks, with the free Bizaster app from the Florida SBDC Network developed at Florida International University.
Florida businesses can better prepare for hurricanes and other disasters, including manmade ones such as cyber attacks, with the free Bizaster app from the Florida SBDC Network developed at Florida International University.

The Florida SBDC Network, the state's principal provider of business assistance, this week released a free tool to help small businesses prepare, respond and recover from natural and man-made disasters.

Bizaster, available in both English and Spanish, is a mobile disaster assistance app for Android and iOS. The application features risk assessments, customizable checklists, and other resources in a user-friendly and accessible format and is available at no cost. The Florida SBDC (Small Business Development Center) at Florida International University recently partnered with the FIU Extreme Events Institute to develop the app.

“By nature entrepreneurs are risk-takers. In the event of a disaster or interruption to operations, however, it makes business sense to mitigate these risks,” said Brian Van Hook, associate director of the Florida SBDC at FIU. “Bizaster will help business owners in Miami-Dade County and around Florida identify potential threats to their business and take practical steps to prepare against them.”

Originally developed for use in Latin America and the Caribbean, the app was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.

Bizaster can be downloaded from the App Store or via Google Play. To view a short video about the app, click here.

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