Disaster Resiliency Workshops Held For Local Businesses
A coalition of local non-profits are trying to help educate business owners on emergency preparedness.
A recent city survey asked local business owners what kind of steps they’d taken to deal with disasters and emergencies. 50 percent said they had no written emergency plans. Around half also said they have no backup generators, and no interruption insurance in case their businesses close suddenly.
Dana Eness is the executive director of the community awareness organization Stay Local. Ennes says after a decade of disasters, including Katrina and the BP oil spill, businesses still are slow to plan ahead. “That’s like creating your will, you don’t want to face your own mortality. And I think its the same thing for us when it comes to continuity planning as business owners.”
Ennes is running three days of disaster planning workshops for a mix of locals representing retail, the city, tech companies, non-profits, banks and more.
One of her speakers is Jay Nix, who owns the popular Parkway Bakery in New Orleans. Nix has developed a company disaster policy that includes paying workers who are displaced, and helping them get back to work.
"It’s not what you do before the storm to prepare to leave it’s what do you do to get back to town and reopen."
Nix says he’s concerned with the all the new businesses that have opened in New Orleans in the past 10 years, there are a lot of newcomers who haven’t learned from experience like he has. Nix says these newcomers need training so they can survive disasters.