Red Cross program helps local businesses prepare for worst-case scenarios - East Valley Tribune: Apache Junction

Red Cross program helps local businesses prepare for worst-case scenarios

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Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 5:12 am | Updated: 3:35 pm, Mon Jan 13, 2014.

A free program organized by the American Red Cross offers businesses tips on what to do to prepare for all of the worst-case scenarios.

The program, called Ready Rating, provides companies and even schools several tools ranging from an assessment test to an emergency planner and even an app for first aid to help them get ready for any emergency situation.

The assessment is the most prominent aspect of the program, as it allows businesses to look at the strengths and weaknesses of their emergency preparedness soberly while receiving guidance on what to do to correct any gaps or problems.

“Some of these things can be done for little or no cost,” said Mesa City Councilmember Scott Somers.

He added businesses with more than one location can use the assessment tool to focus on one location or to cover all of the locations and make comparisons between each site.

Somers provided an outline of the program with SRP Business Solutions Manager Vicki Davis during a recent taping of Mesa Morning Live, the Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s monthly talk show. Somers said he has been involved with the program through various committees, and he has worked to bring the Ready Rating program to businesses’ attention. Some of it is based on a warning to businesses about what can happen if they are not prepared for a serious problem, as he said either human or natural disasters often cause small businesses to fail.

That, he said, is detrimental to not just the individual businesses and their owners but to the surrounding communities that often depend on local stores to thrive.

“As a local elected councilmember, you want to see your businesses succeed because they’re the center of the community,” he said.

Disasters also come in many different forms, and Somers said Ready Rating prepares businesses for problems that span the catastrophic and the fugacious. Most people, he said, think of emergencies as large-scale and extreme disasters like hurricanes or wildfires, but they also encompass more probable issues that can strike any area of the Valley.

Sand storms, for example, can have a rather detrimental effect on a business, as can the results of a power outage in the middle of the summer.

The program, Somers said, can help organizations “build up [their] resiliency” to compensate for either large or small disasters.

“This is truly about protecting your business, your customers and your employees,” he said.

For more information, or to sign up, visit readyrating.org.

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