Chamber Executive Web Extras

Fall 2011

Disaster Recovery Resources

A Web-only feature from the Fall 2011 issue of Chamber Executive magazine
The U.S. Chamber’s Business Civic Leadership Center aims to help the business community, government and nonprofit sectors collaborate to improve the effectiveness of disaster recovery. In the past, BCLC has helped chambers assist businesses and connect with each other. To reach the BCLC’s National Disaster Help Desk for Business, call 877-Mybizhelp (877-692-4943).
A clearinghouse for U.S. federal government disaster resources. It includes a single application for those needing to apply for post-disaster FEMA assistance and SBA loans.
An initiative of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. The web site includes the free “Open for Business” Toolkit designed for businesses with fewer than 100 people. Anyone can go to the web site and print out worksheets to aid in disaster preparedness. The site also includes PowerPoint tutorials.
FEMA’s web site provides a variety of links, publications, instructional videos and access to public service announcements related to disaster preparedness and mitigation. The Ready Business section ( offers information specifically for small businesses.
The Red Cross offers a free, self-paced Ready Rating Program designed to help businesses, schools and organizations become better prepared for a disaster. The program includes a 123-point self-assessment and tips for improving an organization’s score. Participants agree to take the assessment annually and work towards improving their scores.
Funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and managed by the International Economic Development Council, this site offers tips, strategies and links to help community leaders, chamber professionals and economic development offices engage in economic recovery.
Businesses, schools, event venues and other organizations can become supporters of the National Weather Service’s StormReady program by incorporating the program’s guidelines into severe weather/tsunami safety and awareness plans.

Learning from Past Disasters

The following reports and guides offer insights into past disasters, lessons learned, and in some cases, a blueprint for the future:

Challenges of Economic Recovery Following Natural Disasters—Insights Gleaned from Hurricane Ike
This paper by Chuck Wemple, economic development program manager for the Houston-Galveston Area Council of Governments, was presented during an on-line symposium about disaster recovery held in March 2011.

Disaster Recovery Guide
This 52-page report was published in 2011 by Galveston Economic Development Partnership members and the Galveston business community. It emphasizes preparedness and immediate response.

Disaster Recovery: Past Experiences Offer Insights for Recovering from Hurricanes Ike and Gustav and Other Recent Natural Disasters
This 41-page report was prepared for the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in September 2008.

Florida Business Disaster Survival Kit
Initiated by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council in partnership with federal and state governmental entities, this web site includes a survival guide, a business continuity plan wizard and numerous planning and safety checklists.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita—Federally Funded Programs Have Helped to Address the Needs of Gulf Coast Small Businesses, but Agency Data on Subcontracting Are Incomplete
This July 2010 U.S. Government Accountability Office Report was prepared for the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

An Improved Federal Response to Post-Disaster Economic Recovery: Final Report
This January 2010 report was prepared by the International Economic Development Council in cooperation with the National Association of Development Organizations’ Research Foundation. It grew out of a meeting involving consultants, as well as government officials, chamber executives and economic development leaders from regions affected by disasters. Chamber executives involved were Shannon Meyer (Cedar Rapids, Iowa, flooding); Nancy Ploeger (9/11) and Tish Williams (Hurricane Katrina).

Long-Term Community Recovery Planning Process: A Self-Help Guide
This 102-page guidebook was published by FEMA in December 2005; it includes short case studies from a variety of communities nationwide.

On the Brink: Re-engineering the Nation’s Disaster Processes
This 2008 report published by the U.S. Chamber’s Business Civic Leadership Center includes interviews with chamber executives Tish Williams (Hancock County, Miss.) and Evon Emerson, (Pensacola Bay Area, Fla.), as well as an essay by Mick Fleming, ACCE’s president.

Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning: A Guide for Florida Communities
This 152-page report was prepared in October 2010 by the Florida Department of Consumer Affairs and the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Recovery After Katrina: Tales of Four Cities
This 2008 “Planning Issues Report” was prepared by the Association of Bay Area Governments in California.

Restore the Gulf project
This web site was an initiative of the federal government following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. It includes detailed information on federal aid programs.

What Now? Steps to Recovery for Stricken Economies
Advice compiled by the Rural Economic Disaster and Recovery Resource Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

What a Successful Disaster Recovery Looks Like
This 11-page white paper produced by the U.S. Chamber’s Business Civic Leadership Center is designed to provide insights for community leaders and federal policymakers about what a successful recovery looks like.

You’re Not Alone: Case Studies in Rural Economic Disaster & Recovery
This comprehensive site compiled by the Rural Economic Disaster and Recovery Center includes links to newspaper articles, journals and web sites with information specific to six disasters affecting rural communities, including Moss Point, Miss. (Hurricane Katrina) and Greensburg, Kan. (2007 tornado).

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