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Planning ahead for an active hurricane season

June marks the official start of hurricane season, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is encouraging businesses to be ready for what has been predicted to be a very busy few months.

In 2004, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program paid more than $1.4 billion to help policyholders recover from flooding, which the agency says was twice as much as 2003. In Mississippi, 75 individual and business claims were filed last year and nearly $625,000 paid.

“If a business has to close its doors for only a few days, the results can be devastating,” says FEMA head Michael Brown.

Many business remain uninsured against flood damage, he added, warning that there is a 30-day waiting period before new flood insurance policies go into effect. A few tips from FEMA:

• Know the risks to your business and property.

• Inventory and photograph the equipment and supplies in your office.

• Talk to your insurance agent.

Sound advice for many Mississippi business owners, and more suggestions are online at www.floodsmart.gov.

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