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Disaster and Relief

Ready to put this year behind you? Don't forget those still in need while you're looking to the future.

By Rieva Lesonsky

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Well, we've come to the end of another year--and I'm sure most of us are glad to see 2005 go. As I write this, Wilma, yet another major hurricane, threatens to soak Florida. New Orleans and many other cities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas are still struggling to recover from the horrors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Millions of Americans were affected by these storms--and many of them were business owners. I'm sure most of us know someone who was directly affected by these calamities. Or maybe you were directly affected yourself. In the March 2006 issue, we're going to check in on some New Orleans entrepreneurs and see how they're doing. If you have your own story to tell, please e-mail it to me at We may post your story online at

A common year-end tradition is to assess what we accomplished (or didn't) in the past year and what we're planning to do in the coming one. This is a good time to revisit your disaster plan. I certainly hope you have one. Disasters don't only happen to businesses located in hurricane- or earthquake-prone areas. If you don't have a plan, or if you formulated one so long ago it's outdated. It can help get your new year off to a good start.

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