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Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

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On an average day, Trina Worrell Benjamin handles invoices, returns calls and emails, directs a team of nearly a dozen employees and manages a client roster that has included big names like Rite Aid and Toys“R”Us. She admits her first steps into entrepreneurship were not easy. But with the help of…

Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

  • SBDC: Temple University SBDC
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Pennsylvania SBDC Offers Advice to Prepare Businesses for Winter Storms

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Snow has started to blanket much of the east coast, including many areas of Pennsylvania.  Business owners are reminded to take precautions to insure their employees and business will be able to weather harsh winter storms as they develop across the Commonwealth. 

The following winter storm safety and preparedness tips from FEMA include:

  • In any emergency, always follow the instructions given by state, local or tribal emergency management officials. 
  • FEMA encourages all Americans to visit www.ready.gov or www.listo.gov (en espanol) to learn more about how to be better prepared and how to protect your family and business during emergencies.
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts may be sent directly to cell phones on participating wireless carriers' networks.  These alerts are sent by public safety officials such as the National Weather Service and are designed to get your attention and to provide brief, critical instructions to warn about imminent threats like severe weather.  Take the alert seriously and follow instructions.  More information on Wireless Emergency Alerts is available at www.ready.gov/alerts.
  • An emergency supply kit should include a three-day supply of food and water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and extra flashlights and batteries.  Thoroughly check and update your emergency supply kit and add the following supplies in preparation for winter weather:
    • Rock salt to melt ice on walkways;
    • Sand to improve traction;
    • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment; and
    • Adequate clothing and blankets to help keep you warm.
  •  Avoid traveling by car, but if you must, make sure you have an emergency supply kit in the trunk of your car.  FEMA encourages families to maintain an emergency supply kit both at home and in the car to help prepare for winter power outages and icy or impassable roads.
  • Severe Winter Weather may cause you to lose heat.  Ensure you have adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.  Include extra blankets for pets and service animals.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow.  Overexertion can bring on a heart attack – a major cause of death in the winter.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite.  These include the loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes and the tip of the nose.  If symptoms are detected seek medical attention immediately.
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area.  
  • Locate unit outside and away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
  • If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.  Call 911!
  • If trapped in your car during a blizzard remain in your vehicle unless you can see a building close by where you know you can take shelter.  Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm and periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Get to know the terms that are used to identify weather threats and discuss with your family what to do if watches or warnings are issued.  For a full list, click here.
  • Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema

Businesses are encouraged to visit the Pennsylvania SBDC’s Business Continuity Resource Links to find resources for preparing their business for a potential winter weather interruption.   Small businesses who want to take the next step should contact their local SBDC to discuss Business Continuity and Survival Services available to assist their company.