Thursday, March 20, 2008

Businesses Lag in Preparedness

Some sobering statistics from the Las Vegas Review Journal on the preparedness of businesses in Vegas:

A recent survey of 461 companies done by the Las Vegas firm Urban Environmental Research found that ... 74.4 percent of businesses had never attended a meeting on disaster preparedness; 64.2 percent had never received written information on disaster preparation; and, almost half -- 48.2 percent -- had never developed a business disaster-recovery plan.

The Urban Environmental Research study found that 59 percent of businesses here had not purchased business interruption insurance. Almost 70 percent had not bought flood or earthquake insurance, even though the Clark County Department of Emergency Management ranks flash flooding among the disasters likeliest to hit Southern Nevada.
It's possible to make connections and get help among the community, but these resources are of no use if businesspeople don't take advantage of them. (Which is why, in today's earlier post, I liked the approach Kansas is taking to bring private industry to the table.)
Cooperation can protect the community. Companies should agree with competitors to cover each other's clients if a disaster strikes and one business is disrupted, said Nevada Commission on Homeland Security member Maureen Peckman.

"People think of saving lives, but not of protecting business continuity," Peckman said.
Businesses can also use your government at work:
To assess disaster preparedness, businesses can get a free inspection from the Department of Homeland Security, Peckman said.

"It's one of the little-known resources. They will come to your business and do a vulnerability assessment at no charge." Small companies qualify, too. "They'll come to a business that is 900 feet or 9 feet," she said.

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