Business Owners

Wildfire impacts on a business can mean damaged property and resources. It can also include indirect impacts, like labor market disruptions and transportation challenges.

Similar to returning to a burned home, only return to your business when authorities have told you it is safe to do so. Inspect the property for embers and sparks. Review our Immediate Safety page for what to do and not do after a fire.

For a broad view of the recovery of your business after a fire, follow these steps:

  • IMG_2030Safety Assessment – The safety of the property is the first and most critical step and should include structural and chemical considerations.
  • Security – Keep others from entering exposed or unsafe areas.
  • Prevent Additional Damage – Protecting non-damaged windows and other infrastructure before restoration may save time and money.
  • Damage Assessment – After the property is safe and secure, inspections of the HVAC, electrical, plumbing, etc will indicate what areas need earliest attention.
  • Restoration – Water and smoke damage increases with time. Restoration efforts should begin as quick as safely possible. Document all phases of the recovery, including expenses, communications, and other restoration activities.

The National Disaster Recovery web page offers some additional tips to business recovery. When you are ready to explore financial assistance, the Small Business Administration offers an online application process for Disaster Loans (also available en Espanol).

If a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration has been declared, the Washington Emergency Management Division Human Services Program will work with Federal, State, and Local partners to support individual and business recovery.

The Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner can help with your business insurance questions. Or call 800-562-6900. The California Department of Insurance offers some helpful insurance tips for wildfire claimants, some that would apply to any state or community.

The Washington State Employer Security Department may have resources for employers during times of disaster.

Our Resources Library has several more links and tools for businesses, including those to help plan and prepare your business for emergencies and recovery.