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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Partnerships in Preparedness

The Colorado Emergency Preparedness Partnership (CEEP) held an important meeting today at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, CO in an effort to improve the preparedness and resilience in Western Colorado.

The American Red Cross was an active participant in the meeting.  Troy Staples, Ready Rating Manager for the Red Cross Colorado & Wyoming Region presented information about the Ready Rating program that is designed to promote preparedness and resilience for businesses, schools and medical facilities.

Colorado has experienced a number of disasters in recent years that have had a significant impact on the state's economy. "Building a resilient community starts with developing a continuity of operations plan for each busines, school and hospital,"
Troy Staples talks about the Ready Rating program
 at the CEEP meeting in Grand Junction, CO
Staples said. "Recovering from a disaster is much easier if you have a plan in place."

The Colorado Office of Emergency Management presented information about how Colorado has been hit by disasters and how we have learned from each event. Resource databases have been developed to connect resources with those in need. "If a disaster occurs in a community and they need a search and rescue team, for example, we have the ability to locate the team and deploy them," said Chad Ray from the Colorado Office of Emergency Management.

Agility Recovery, a company that specializes in preparing businesses for all kinds of disasters, both internal and external, presented 10 steps to business recovery. According to Trevor Mickelson, a spokesperson for Agility Recovery, making sure that your employees are part of the planning process is vital to a successful continuity of operations plan. He also strongly recommended that businesses develop a crisis communication plan so that during a crisis you can stay in touch with your employees. "Research tells us that seventy percent of employees feel that their company is not adequately prepared for an emergency," he said. "Having a well publicized plan that is tested and reviewed regularly can ease the recovery process."

The Red Cross is committed to making Colorado the best prepared state in America. Being an active member of the Colorado Emergency Preparedness Partnership serves that goal. If you want to learn more about how your business or organization can be better prepared for emergencies visit our website at www.readyrating.org. To learn about preparing your family go to www.redcross.org/prepare.

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