Most Small Biz Owners Not Concerned About Disaster Impact

August 30, 2011 ( - Less than a third (31%) of business owners in a recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey said their businesses are extremely or very prepared for disasters.


According to a press release, though one-in-five have been impacted by a disaster in the past, nearly half (46%) say they are only somewhat prepared, and more than half (54%) indicated they are not concerned about a disaster impacting their business.

The survey, conducted July 6-12, posed questions to business owners about their emergency preparedness for major disasters (i.e., fire, tornado, hurricane) and seasonal weather events (i.e., snow, ice, minor flooding).

“Small business owners know what it means to face unexpected challenges, and how to adapt their businesses to survive,” said Doug Case, Wells Fargo small business segment manager. “But for many small business owners, day-to-day business concerns in an uncertain economy require their full attention and emergency preparedness may often be set aside for another day.”

The results also suggest more business owners are prepared on the home front than on the business front. Only 37% of business owners surveyed by Wells Fargo and Gallup have a defined and practiced emergency plan at work compared to 54% at home – a gap that the survey’s authors said held true for other areas of preparedness:

  • Emergency supplies (52% business, 71% home)
  • Knowledge of where to seek shelter (64% business, 79% home)
  • Knowledge of evacuation routes (68% business, 79% home)
  • Reviewing communication plans (49% business, 67% home)
  • Having insurance policies with coverage for a disaster (73% business, 86% home)

“While the majority of business owners report having insurance for a potential disaster, more than one in four does not have the protection they need,” said Tom Ryan, Executive Vice President at Wells Fargo Insurance, Inc. “Protection against unexpected emergencies is essential for long-term success. Wells Fargo Insurance is helping business owners determine the appropriate coverage based on their business’ needs and level of risk.”

The full report can be found on the Small Business Index page of the Wells Fargo Business Insight Resource Center at