As a reminder to our readers, FEMA has declared next month, September, National Preparedness Month (NPM).  NPM is sponsored by the Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps  and the Advertising Council with the specific purpose each September to encourage Americans to make sure that they are prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, their businesses, and their local communities.

This September 2011 is the eighth annual NPM and this year’s slogan – “A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare” – is in recognition of the 10th anniversary of the attacks of September 11th.

It is also a call to action urging our citizens, communities and businesses to remember the disasters of our past, while preparing for the disasters in our future.

With that thought and intent in mind, between now and during the month of September, our staff will be recommending various websites and links to help our readers achieve those objectives and giving additional perspectives, suggestions and potential tools and resources to assist that process.

As the first step in that process, our staff recommends the resources and offerings from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) which are particularly helpful to our small and medium sized business based readership as well as those private sector companies which provide so much of need employment opportunities to our citizens.

Small business owners may find it difficult to find the time to devote to planning ahead for a disaster that may never strike,” said Diana McClure, business resiliency program manager at IBHS. “…but the alternative is losing the business should a disaster strike for which the business is unprepared.” 

Ms. McClure also points out that “…One in four small businesses that is forced to close because of a disaster never reopens. Businesses that have a business continuity plan in place — and use it during and after disaster strikes — typically experience less damage, loss and downtime than businesses without a plan.” 

IBHS also offers Open for Business®, a free, easy-to-use program that provides small to mid-sized business owners with a tool to create a fairly comprehensive business continuity plan. The toolkit includes valuable planning worksheets, business continuity and disaster recovery tips and risk-specific property protection information. To arrange an interview with IBHS contact Joseph King at 813-675-1045/813-442-2845, jking@ibhs.org or via direct message on Twitter @jsalking. 

Please let us know your thoughts and experiences with IBHS.  And, watch for our next suggestion in support of our nation’s National Preparedness Month – Sept 2011.

Please pass this information along to those PS-Prep strategy planning, organizational resilience and risk management team members in your organization.

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