In August, the American Red Cross and Zurich teamed up to host the 5th Annual Disaster Preparedness Summit at Chicago’s Gleacher Center. This year’s goal: Discuss recovery and coordination.
The summit, which has taken place each year since 2012, focused on providing participants with disaster planning tools and resources to keep essential operations running and coordinate relief efforts following a disaster. In other words, to help keep communities and businesses up and running when a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake occurs.
Attendees included disaster teams from various major companies as well as police and fire teams, and representatives from FEMA, among others.
So many participants had great notes and tips to share this year that we felt the need to share them with you. Take a look at a few of our favorite tips from this year’s Disaster Preparedness Summit:
- Know the Risks: Every situation is different. It was clear that every situation should be prepared for differently based on geographic location, community density, damage endured, recovery effort, and so many other criteria. The key is to understand each specific situation and prepare local businesses, community members, and local officials accordingly before a disaster happens.
- Support the Communities: Community support was highlighted as a huge part in ensuring a successful recovery. Speakers encouraged everyone to support the local police and fire departments, for corporate companies in the area to provide support, for local governments to put community infrastructure at top priority, and very importantly – for everyone to be on the same page with a recovery plan.
- Educate Everyone: Teach your employees, community members, friends and family members the best ways to help in disaster recovery situations. For example, corporate companies were encouraged to train or afford workers the opportunity to get training on what to do in an emergency situation. This is called affiliated help. Emergency teams try to discourage spontaneous help. Citizens packing their minivans and driving down in flip flops and shorts wanting to lend a helping hand has a gracious intent. But unpreparedness often isn’t very helpful and can lead to more chaos.
- A Little Goes a Long Way: Everyone also made it clear that any donation, regardless of size, could be a significant help. Small donations like soap, water, or food can mean the world to a family who has lost everything.