Governor Warner Announces New Online Toolkit
to Help Businesses Prepare for Disasters
As hurricane season begins, preparedness guide can help businesses survive and recover from disasters
RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Mark R. Warner today announced a new, online resource designed to help Virginia businesses prepare for and recover from disasters. The Virginia Business Emergency Survival Toolkit (www.vaemergency.com/business) features information and resources to help businesses prevent and reduce disaster-related losses. In the last six years alone, natural disasters have caused billions of dollars in structural damages and lost revenue for Virginia businesses. Today marks the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season.
"Floyd, Isabel, and Gaston have taught Virginians that it pays to be prepared," said Governor Warner. "For business owners, your company’s bottom line and employees' safety depends on your ability to respond to emergencies. Whether you have one or 1,000 employees, it makes good business sense to plan for emergencies."
Hurricanes, tropical storms, and floods have affected large portions of Virginia. In 1999, Hurricane Floyd caused record flooding in the city of Franklin, Va., submerging 183 businesses for five days. "I can't stress enough the need to be proactive in disaster preparation," says Anne Williams, Franklin City downtown manager. "It could be the very thing that saves your community."
The online toolkit outlines simple measures businesses can take now to prepare for emergencies. It covers all areas of business emergency planning, including identifying hazards and threats, preparing employees, developing disaster plans, covering insurance needs, responding to an emergency, and arranging recovery assistance. Companies that already have emergency plans in place should review their plans to ensure they are up to date.
"Having an emergency preparedness and recovery plan is as important as having a business plan," says Clyde Hoey, Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. "In order for your business to survive a disaster, management and employees need to know what to do."
The Virginia Business Emergency Survival Toolkit was developed by Virginia Citizen Corps, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance, the Virginia Crime Prevention Association, the American Red Cross and representatives from several of Virginia's chambers of commerce. To access the toolkit, visit the Web at http://www.vaemergency.com/business.
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