How to Recover When Disaster Hits

By Steve Di Orio
Posted in Store Management
On January 02, 2013

When Super Storm Sandy struck the East Coast, thousands were left without power, businesses were closed and damages were worse than expected. Handy Store Fixtures a Newark, New Jersey-based company, is committed to helping all retailers recover from disaster. We've found some ways to make sure you and your small business can recover.


Who Can Help?

A great place to start, for both personal and business damages, is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Experts recommend registering with FEMA as the first step in disaster recovery. Once registered to receive federal disaster assistance, you may be qualified for money to help with household and essential expenses like food and clothing. FEMA may not be able to help with business damages, but will be able to direct you to the right resources.

What About Business Damages?

For businesses, the first place to start is the Small Business Administration (SBA). Don’t be fooled by their name, though, SBA can help businesses and non-profits of any size in addition to homeowners. If a disaster is declared where your business or home is located, you may qualify for a low-interest disaster loan to help with recovery costs. SBA offers loans for both physical damage and economic losses. Homeowners can benefit from SBA’s low-interest loans too, by applying for a loan to repair damaged real estate.


If you are interested in a loan from SBA for physical property damage in New Jersey due to Super Storm Sandy, act quickly, as the deadline is December 31st.


SBA also has local Small Business Development Centers, where business owners can get help filling out applications, learn about next steps, and create a recovery plan.

Find Local Resource

After disaster strikes, or even before, to be prepared, do the best you can to research local business recovery centers. After Super Storm Sandy, the New Jersey Business Action Center provided all the information business owners needed to get their business back up and running. A state or local business center can typically provide you with help on arranging inspections, seeking information from local utilities, working with insurance carriers on claims and connecting you with the resources you need to get back to work.

Stay Informed

After disaster strikes, it can be hard to keep up on resources that are becoming available, but it’s an important step to full recovery. As time goes on, more resources may be offered, and you should take advantage of all that you can. For example, after Super Storm Sandy, the Internal Revenue Service extended federal tax deadlines, and grant programs became available.


It can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when your business or home has suffered extensive damage, but knowing what is available to you and taking advantage of it can help lead you to a full recovery.


Handy Store Fixtures is committed to seeing businesses recover from Super Storm Sandy, and is your best choice for a quick delivery of cost effective replacements for store fixtures that have been damaged. To learn about how you can receive free freight due to Sandy damage, contact customer service at 800-631-4280.

Steve Di Orio

Steve Di Orio


Steve has been with Handy Store Fixtures for over 15 years. After becoming the Marketing Manager in 2006, he was named Director of Marketing. Steven earned his MBA from Montclair State University with a specialization in Digital Marketing in 2019. When not at work, he loves to travel, play golf, exercise, and talk all things search engine marketing and retail display tips.