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Business Continuity in a Natural Disaster:
First Steps on the Road to Recovery

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew are many challenges that will require not only federal or state assistance but also creative business planning. Some of Adams and Reese's regional offices have been impacted by this and many other recent weather-related disasters, so we understand the challenges of getting back to business. To better assist our clients in this time of need, Adams and Reese has compiled the following guide to some of the first steps of the recovery process.

Insurance Matters and Applications for Disaster Relief

Registering for disaster relief and contacting insurers are the very first steps in the process of obtaining the resources necessary to repair and rebuild your business. This process should include the confirmation of eligibility for business interruption coverage, and the collection of proper documentation.

Adams and Reese is monitoring the status of various emergency rules issued by government agencies and the funding of relief programs to ensure our clients know what is available in the coming weeks and months. That relief can come in a variety of forms from multiple sources, including:

  • Relief programs through the National Flood Insurance Program (NIFP)
  • Federal and state grants (FEMA and SBA)
  • Business disaster loans (OCD-DRU and SBA)
  • State and federal tax relief
  • South Carolina Disaster Recovery Office
  • Economic development incentives and tax credits
  • Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan
  • Florida Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program (DUA)
  • Florida Short Time Compensation Program
  • Federal and state construction programs

Personnel Issues

Even businesses that have well-developed emergency policies will face many questions related to employee leave and safety during the recovery. You may need to address the following issues:

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage
  • Military (including National Guard) leave
  • Employee First Responders
  • 401(s) hardship loans
  • Unemployment compensation
  • OSHA considerations
  • Plant closures

Potential Legislative Assistance (State and Federal)

As we did in Louisiana after that state’s recent and historic flooding, Adams and Reese government relations team members have offered their support in assisting the State of South Carolina and its Congressional delegation in efforts to formulate appropriate economic incentive programs that will allow individuals and businesses to return to the affected areas. The formulation of these programs is in the infancy stage and the current form of these programs will be altered and influenced by Federal and State legislative bodies in the weeks, months and years ahead. We will continue to update clients as those programs evolve. We will also be available to assist our clients in loss recovery and formulate investment strategies made possible by these incentives programs.

Construction Litigation

Once the rebuilding process begins, it will be important to protect your business from potential litigation, especially as it relates to construction, and to take measures to prevent such disputes from arising. Some of the more common types of litigation that follow a disaster involve:

  • Real estate disputes
  • Predatory pricing claims
  • False claims
  • Warranty issues
  • Construction defect claims
  • Professional Liability (Engineers and Architects)
  • Public contract and subcontract negotiations


Prepared by:

P 904.493.3300

P 803.212.4412

P 803.212.4966

New Orleans
P 504.585.0327

Adams and Reese LLP



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This is not an advertisement. The information in this newsletter does not constitute legal advice or opinion and should not be viewed as a substitute for legal advice. The information provided is based on laws and regulations in effect at the time of creation and is subject to change. Adams and Reese is a multidisciplinary law firm with approximately 280 lawyers and advisors. The firm has offices in New Orleans, LA; Baton Rouge, LA; Birmingham, AL; Mobile, AL; Columbia, SC; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN; Houston, TX; Jackson, MS; Jacksonville, FL; Sarasota, FL; St. Petersburg, FL; Tallahassee, FL; Tampa, FL; and Washington, DC.

For additional information, please see the firm website at

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