|By Steve Tarter, Journal Star, Peoria, Ill.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
It's been a tough couple of years for small business. Hurricane Sandy devastated small businesses in
In 2011, floods, blizzards, hurricanes, tornados, hailstorms and other weather-related events caused a record
Severe hail and thunderstorms caused billions of dollars in damage last spring while the past summer was the hottest on record with drought adversely affecting farms, crops and livestock.
Small businesses are at an increasing risk for significant and often unexpected losses, said small business insurance expert
"Business owners need to be prepared with the right insurance coverage in the event of a catastrophe," said Sprague, a senior vice president with the
Hurricane Sandy, a storm that cut a huge swath across the country, left many businesses -- literally -- under water, he said. But small businesses can prepare -- even for a disaster of the magnitude of Sandy, said Sprague.
"The first thing is to work with an insurance professional who understands your business to develop a package of protection. Next, keep records with you and, finally, develop a business resiliency plan," he said.
"Business resiliency means what do you do when the power goes out, for example," said Sprague, noting that he's had a generator at his
But while the eastern part of
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