A member of the Community Emergency Response Team assists an injured woman
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Business Resilience is Community Resilience

November 2019

Close up image of a woman's hands as she writes in a notebook on a table next to a coffee cup, in an office setting.

When disaster strikes, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members are important parts of their communities. They are trained and know how to help. They understand their local hazards, know how to stay safe, and can perform basic first aid, light search and rescue, and fire suppression. Even before there is an emergency, they prepare themselves and their families.

Disasters affect CERT members, too. Before you can respond to an emergency, you must ensure you are safe and that your own family is taken care of. And if you serve your community as a leader of a business, you must take care of that, too.

After a disaster, reopening your business can help you and your community recover faster. In many ways, community resilience is tied to business resilience. Reopening quickly can give you peace of mind: businesses that reopen within five days of a disaster have a much better chance of remaining open than those that take longer. When business owners reopen quickly, they help their communities recover by providing livelihoods, supplies, and a sense of normalcy. For CERT members, it can free them up to serve in other ways.

Ready Business helps business leaders make a plan and prepare for the impacts of disasters. The toolkit series includes hazard-specific plans for many disasters. These include earthquakes, hurricanes, inland flooding, power outages, and severe winds and tornadoes. It includes a step-by-step guide, activity sheets, and checklists to get started.

But don’t stop at your own business! CERTs have many platforms they can use to help businesses and communities prepare. They can use these platforms to share helpful resources, like Ready Business, or even hold a workshop.

Ready Business toolkits in English and Spanish are online at Ready.gov.

This article first appeared in the monthly Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter. Subscribe here.