Disaster resilience of small to mid-size businesses on New Orleans historic corridors

This publication presents the disaster preparedness and resilience assessment of 208 businesses located in six historic commercial corridors within New Orleans in the United States of America. The six corridors were selected by the City of New Orleans Office of Resilience and Sustainability (ORS) and the assessment was conducted by AECOM, an engineering company, under a contract from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and in partnership with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

The main findings of the report were the following:

Vulnerability remains high throughout the six corridors.
Overall, disaster preparedness of surveyed small businesses is low.
There is a need and desire for increased disaster risk reduction awareness, and there are also small businesses who are leaders in disaster preparedness.
This report concludes with a series of recommendations based on the survey responses and findings (p. 4):

small to mid-size businesses should:
understand their local, unique risk profile;
have a written emergency plan that is regularly reviewed with employees;
elevate critical equipment and files.
business corridors should:
establish a Corridor “Resilience Champion” to facilitate communications and preparedness;
better understand their risk and take specific actions to reduce flood vulnerability;
identify existing businesses on the corridor with backup power supply that may serve as focal points during a disaster event and afterwards to facilitate recovery.
the City should:
develop and regularly distribute emergency resource materials to small businesses;
establish and publicize training/awareness programs;
provide resilience information to all new businesses as part of their Business Registration Process.