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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 4, 2007


NYC OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT (OEM) AND DEPARTMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES (SBS) UNVEIL "READY NEW YORK FOR BUSINESS" GUIDE

The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Department of Small Business Services (SBS) today unveiled the Ready New York for Business guide, the newest addition to the Ready New York public education campaign. OEM Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno and SBS Deputy Commissioner Larry Scott Blackmon were joined by officials from the Grand Central Partnership (GCP) for today's unveiling.

An estimated 25 percent of businesses do not reopen following a major disaster, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety. While many large companies have in-house emergency planners and business continuity professionals, 98 percent of businesses within New York City are small, family-owned establishments that do not have the resources for a disaster planning staff. Ready New York for Business outlines simple steps business owners and managers can take to prepare for any emergency, whether it's a fire, power outage, hurricane, or terrorist attack.

The guide encourages business owners to follow five preparedness steps. The first is to identify the most common hazards, such as a fire or flood. Step 2 teaches business owners the basics of continuity planning and helps them develop the tools and know how to quickly reopen following an emergency. Step 3 explains how to involve employees in preparing for and recovering from emergencies. Step 4 provides information on insurance coverage and safeguarding physical assets. Lastly, the guide stresses the importance of having an Emergency Action Plan and offers suggestions on evacuation planning.

"Ready New York's message of planning for the unexpected is being heeded by New Yorkers in ever greater amounts," said OEM Commissioner Joseph Bruno. "By providing practical tips and advice, Ready New York for Business will ensure that businesses are empowered to prepare for the hazards they might face. "

"New York City's 200,000 small businesses form the backbone of our local economy, employing half of our private sector workforce," said Robert Walsh, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. "This important guide advises business owners on basic steps such as building continuity plans that can literally make the difference between whether or not a business is able to stay afloat after a disaster."

"Businesses in the Grand Central neighborhood this summer learned firsthand the importance of thorough emergency preparedness planning," said Fred Cerullo, President/CEO of the Grand Central Partnership.  "In a time when the unforeseen and unexpected may be just around the corner, businesses that adequately prepare for any contingency will be the ones who will most easily recover from a harmful incident.  We are pleased to partner with OEM and SBS to provide local businesses with a useful roadmap for ensuring employee safety and financial security."

Today, public safety officers from the Grand Central Partnership will begin visiting every retail business in their district to distribute Ready New York for Business to owners and managers. The guide is available online in four languages at www.nyc.gov/readyny or in hard copy by calling 311. Additionally, the brochure is available at all SBS Business Solution Centers and at the Department of Consumer Affairs' Licensing Center, which more than 100,000 business owners visit annually.

OEM's Ready New York campaign was created in 2003 to educate New Yorkers about the hazards they may face and encourage residents to prepare for all types of emergencies. Ready New York takes an all-hazards approach to preparing, based on three guiding principles: knowing the hazards in New York City, making a disaster plan, and stocking emergency supplies. Ready New York's resources now include eight multilingual publications, numerous public service announcements, multimedia advertising campaigns, extensive web content, a speakers' bureau, a reprinting program, corporate partnerships, and continuous community outreach.

For more information about emergency preparedness and the Ready New York campaign, call 311 or visit NYC.gov/readyny .



  CONTACT:
Andrew Troisi (OEM) (718) 422-4888
Kara Alaimo (SBS) (212) 513-6318
David Roskin (GCP) (212) 883-2433
 

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