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Volume 32, Issue 3

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Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:15

Pre-disaster Mitigation: The Small Business Administration Lends a Hand

Written by  Carol Chastang

Before the downpour of July 1996, Dalph McNeil ran his company as most small business owners do-focusing on strong marketing plans, keeping up with changes in technology and developing new products, always having a vision for future growth and greater profits. Yet McNeil, owner of the Brookville Mining Equipment Corporation (BMEC), in Brookville, PA, wasn’t as focused when it came to being prepared for a disaster. And so in July 1996, he was blindsighted, and nearly lost a multi-million dollar business that had been in operation since 1916. The 24-hour rainfall of July 19, 1996 caused the nearby Redbank Creek to crest. The next day McNeil went to survey the damage at his 25,000 square foot plant, located about 100 miles north of Pittsburgh. Flooding had caused $1.6 million in damages to BMEC, a major supplier to the underground mining market in the United States. Inventory had been swept away on a