MRC presents Disaster Preparedness Conference to help businesses weather future storms
The economic impact of Hurricane Sandy was tremendous and much of the $30 billion tab to New Jersey was because businesses across the state were forced to close their doors. In hopes of better preparing the region and minimizing economic loss, the Meadowlands Regional Chamber presented a Disaster Preparedness Conference in July just in time for Hurricane Season.
A partnership with The Bergen County Executive’s Office & The Bergen County Office of Emergency Management, the event was aimed at helping area businesses develop a continuity plan in the case of a natural disaster.
“This conference is a call to action for all small and medium sized businesses who have not yet thought about how to protect and sustain their companies,” said Jim Kirkos, CEO of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber. “A public private partnership is critical for the greatest success and this symposium gets right to the heart of that premise.”
One of the results of the Disaster Preparedness Conference was the creation of a Disaster Preparedness App, designed to help business better prepare for an emergency. The app and other resources are viewable on smartphones, mobile device or web browser at http://www.meadowlands.org/content/disaster-preparedness-recovery-resources.
We highly encourage you to keep this app handy, especially during Hurricane Season as it contains many valuable contacts and resources that can assist your business in the case of an emergency.
At the Conference, public officials, including Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan and Lt. Matthew Tiedemann of Bergen County Office of Emergency Management, spoke on the various public resources that are available to businesses in disaster recovery.
Executives from PSE&G, United Water and Verizon Communications informed attendees on how to best receive communication and updates regarding outages and service disruptions. They also clarified the processes and protocols in effect during a natural disaster or state of emergency.
Representatives from Archer & Greiner discussed human resources and legal issues to keep in mind when developing a continuity plan. Since many businesses might want to consider purchasing risk insurance, representatives from New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company and Premier Risk Management, LLC also offered advice on how to approach risk management.
Earthlink Business and Synetek Solutions presented on how businesses can utilize technology to protect their data and keep their systems operating in the wake of a storm. TMR Associates, an architecture and design firm, advised businesses on how to best protect buildings during a natural disaster.
Representatives from the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, American Red Cross, New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and Bergen County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) also addressed attendees on the various resources they provide.
Hurricane Sandy forced the shutdown of many area businesses, some for several weeks, and the storm is estimated to have cost businesses across the state over $30 billion, according to Governor Chris Christie. The Meadowlands Regional Chamber and Bergen County are committed to offering local organizations the resources necessary to implement business continuity plans so the region can continue operating in the case of a disaster and avoid financial loss.
“After enduring the effects of two recent hurricanes we must be diligent in preparing ourselves and our businesses for whatever nature throws at us. Being proactive and learning lessons from these recent storms will help us save lives and businesses in the future,” said Kirkos. “Too many of our members suffered personal and business losses so we feel it is our obligation as a business service organization to help provide our members and the broader business community with good information that could help prevent financial disaster in the future.”