American Society of Civil Engineers

Determinants of Small Business Hazard Mitigation

by Kaori Yoshida, (Planner IV, Bureau of Recovery and Mitigation, Florida Division of Emergency Management, 2555 Shumard Oak Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32301. E-mail: and Robert E. Deyle, (Professor, Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning, Florida State Univ., 330 Bellamy Bld., Tallahassee, FL 32306-2280. E-mail:

Natural Hazards Review, Vol. 6, No. 1, February 2005, pp. 1-12, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Small businesses are a significant component of local economies, yet previous studies have shown that many small businesses are vulnerable to natural disasters and ill prepared for recovery. If effective programs are to be developed to help reduce the vulnerability of small businesses, a better understanding is needed of the factors that determine when and why small businesses do or do not take mitigation initiatives. This paper reports the results of quantitative analyses of survey data from 230 small businesses in Duval County, Fla. We analyzed three hazard mitigation initiatives: business continuity planning, structural hazard mitigation, and insurance purchase. Common determinants of the three types of mitigation activities include (1) access to expertise, (2) type of business, and (3) perceived exposure of the business location to natural hazards. Recommendations are offered for the content and focus of small business hazard mitigation outreach products and programs provided by local government agencies and for initiatives to support such efforts that can be provided by federal and state agencies.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Small business
Natural disasters
Risk management