Sep. 11 /CSRwire/ - WASHINGTON, D.C. - September 11,2008 - In preparation for Hurricane Ike's imminent U.S. landfall, and the looming possibility of other severe tropical storms, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center has released recommendations for corporations wanting to assist with relief and recovery activities.
"Unfortunately, this has been a very busy year for natural disasters, and it looks like we're not done yet," said BCLC Executive Director Stephen Jordan. "We've created a few simple recommendations to assist business owners as they think through how they want to respond to these disasters."
The recommendations are:
- Think about your role in four parts: (1) immediate and short-term relief, (2) long-term community recovery, (3) the best use of your company's competencies in response to the disaster, and (4) the unique characteristics of the disaster in question. Disasters have multiple impacts, so plan your response accordingly.
- Strengthen your company's business continuity plan. Remember, if your own disaster plan is not adequate and your employees cannot return to work, your business will suffer and you will not be able to assist others.
- Don't be hasty. Because the immediate chaos after disasters tends to generate missing information, misinformation, rumors and confusion, avoid quick decisions and seek out credible information from reliable sources.
- Stay out of harm's way. Check information from the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA and your state and local authorities and follow their rules, recommendations and guidelines for a safe response.
- Work before the disaster to develop agreements with credible partners such as the American Red Cross or members of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters to make philanthropic contributions,.
- Match your offers to local needs. If you are interested in contributing products and services, resources such as the Aidmatrix Network (www.aidmatrix.org) will help identify local needs. If considering a commodity donation, calculate the cost implications of transport, maintenance and training. A cash donation may be more efficient.
- Stay informed. Check BCLC's website for the latest disaster information and information resources. Join BCLC's coordination conference calls for general assessments, and for specific questions about donations or recovery best practices, call BCLC's Help Desk (1-888-MY-BIZ-HELP).
"Companies that think through how they can contribute to relief efforts before a crisis hits are the companies that often have the best positive impact when people are in need. Our goal is not just to save lives and communities and businesses in the short-term, but to make them more resilient for the long-term," Jordan concluded.
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. The National Disaster Help Desk for Business is made possible by the Office Depot Foundation.