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