Enhancing Community Wide Preparedness through Employee Participation

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 1:30 PM
Georgia Ballroom 2 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Scott Teel, Agility Recovery, Charlotte, NC; and J. Polite, Jr and R. D. Paulison

Too often, well-intentioned bastions of preparedness at various levels of government, emergency management, volunteer organizations and even the private sector, develop independent of one another diverse and elaborate awareness campaigns aimed at increasing the general public's individual preparedness. These programs each have merit, though they often operate in a silo fashion. This leads to segmented and often mediocre participation results.

Coupled with this issue of a fragmented approach to preparedness is the larger issue of most American employers NOT making employee resiliency a priority within their organizations. Most will openly admit that their own employees are their most valuable asset. However they devote very little, if any, time and resources to ensuring employees are willing and able to return to work following a disaster.

It is time for a more collaborative, consistent approach that involves all aspects of emergency preparedness, and is developed in a manner that reflects the public's appetite for information and the preferred means of consuming information. Employers play a significant role in promoting the concepts, communicating practices, encouraging action and assisting in the process. Much like retirement planning or healthcare, employers have a responsibility to help protect their own employees and promote resiliency in their most valued asset: their people.