Posted: Jun 06, 2008 – 03:00 PM EST
Jun. 06 /CSRwire/ - WASHINGTON, D.C. - June 6, 2008 - Seventy officials from businesses, chambers of commerce, humanitarian organizations, and federal, state, and local emergency management agencies yesterday concluded a two-day workshop to improve business continuity and long-term recovery after a pandemic flu outbreak. Led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) at Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington headquarters, the workshop challenged participants to reduce the barriers to coordinating an effective, cross-sector pandemic flu response.
"We hope we never have to suffer through a pandemic flu outbreak," said BCLC Executive Director Stephen Jordan. “However, we've learned from bitter experience that we need to be better prepared for if and when it may occur."
The workshop was a step forward in a creating better understanding of the roles the different sectors would play in response to flu outbreak, according to the Chamber. Three advancements from the workshop were:
"The workshop was a strong step toward solidifying public and private sector partnerships for a pandemic response," commented Claire Bonilla, Microsoft’s Senior Director for Disaster Management. "I think the various stakeholders now have a deeper appreciation for the strengths each of us offer, and a commitment to formalize how we bring them to bear for preparedness, response and recovery efforts."
Representatives from many companies active in disasters attended, including Allstate, The Dow Chemical Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Microsoft, Office Depot, and UPS. The Army Corps of Engineers created the pan flu scenario, and emergency management expert George Haddow facilitated the workshop. BCLC will continue working to improve disaster response in the most difficult circumstances and will host another workshop in June 2009.
BCLC is a 501(c)3 affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and manages the U.S. Chamber's Disaster Assistance and Recovery program and serves as a resource and voice for businesses and their social and philanthropic interests. The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million business and organizations of every size, sector and region. www.uschamber.com
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For more from this organization:U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center