Disaster Preparedness and Recovery
More than 200 million people are affected by disasters each year. Statistics show that one in four small businesses will experience a disruptive natural disaster and, of those, 43% won’t recover. Take steps to be prepared at your chamber and in your community. ACCE has compiled toolkits, guides, and chamber examples to help prepare and recovery from emergencies and disasters. Having a plan of action will help recover quicker and empower greater resiliency. Be ready before an event happens.
ACCE's Disaster Experts
Click here for a list of ACCE chamber member Disaster Recovery Subject Matter Experts
(SMEs) who are willing and able to share their disaster recovery experiences.
Toolkits & Guides
Highlighted Chamber Recovery Examples
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Disaster Resources
- Disaster Help Desk for Business - Launched in 2007 by the U.S. Chamber for small businesses and local chambers of commerce to provide preparedness/continuity advice and to guide disaster-affected organizations through the steps of recovery and re-opening. Reach the Help Desk by Phone: 888-MY BIZ HELP / 888-692-4943 and through social media tools. The Help Desk coordinates information among businesses, local chambers of commerce, NGOs, government responders, and disaster recovery specialists and is made possible by the leadership and generous support of the Office Depot Foundation.
- Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Quick Guides - Designed to help both local chambers of commerce and local businesses prepare for and recover from disasters.
- Disaster Response and Community Resilience - The Corporate Citizenship Center's Disaster Response and Community Resilience Program is committed to improving the efficacy of business philanthropy in disasters, breaking down information and coordination barriers between sectors, and highlighting the unique work of corporate citizens in the field.
- Disaster Response Tools - Articles and content on disaster response actions.
- The Role of Business in Disaster Response - U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Report (2012).
International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Resources
Chamber Recovery Samples
Articles & Blog Posts
- Moving Flint Forward: The Chamber's Response to the Water Crisis - by George Wilkinson, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Executive magazine (Summer 2016)
- Maintaining Your Business Continuity in the Event of a Man-Made or Natural Disaster - by Brant Picard, Virtual Association Management Blog (November 2015)
- Terror in America's Heartland: the 20th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing - by Charles H. Van Rysselberge, CCE, IOM (April 19, 2015)
- Chambers of Commerce and Their Role in Disaster Preparedness - blog post by Christina Green for Frank J. Kenny
- Joplin, Missouri Says Thank You - ACCE blog post by Tania Kohut (May 21, 2014)
- It Never Hurts to Hear it Again: Be Prepared - ACCE blog post by Tania Kohut (September 25, 2012)
- Joplin Shares Disaster Preparedness Advice - ACCE blog post by Tania Kohut (February 22, 2012)
- After the Headlines: Chamber Execs Lead Disaster Recovery Work - by Katherine House, Chamber Executive magazine (Fall 2011)
- After the Headlines: Tips for Before and After Disaster Strikes - Chamber Executive magazine (Fall 2011)
- Disaster Recovery Resources - Web-only feature from Chamber Executive magazine (Fall 2011)
- Disaster Relief Success Stories - Chamber Executive magazine (Fall 2011)
- Lessons Learned Pay Off for Houston - ACCE blog post (September 19, 2008)
- Disaster Recovery: When The Big One Strikes - by Kristie C. Kehoe, Chamber Executive magazine (Nov/Dec 2005)
Recovery Tools and Resources
- 50 Fantastic Fire Science Resources - List of agency links from FireScienceOnline
- Can Your Organization Survive a Natural Disaster? - Boston University infographic
- Census Bureau's OnTheMap is a public data tool that provides an intuitive web-based interface for viewing the potential effects of disasters on the U.S. workforce and population. Retrieve reports containing detailed workforce, population, and housing characteristics for hurricanes, floods, wildfires, winter storms, and federal disaster declaration areas.
- Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan - National Small Business Association
- Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses - IRS
- DisasterAssistance.gov - Find out what federal aid is available for you and your members and apply online.
- Disaster Planning from GrantSpace.org - Knowledge Base with resources to learn more about disaster planning for nonprofits.
- Disaster Preparedness Social Media Checklist - Epiphanies, Inc.
- DisasterReady.org - Open online learning community that provides humanitarian aid workers with free access to more than 400 state-of-the-art e-learning courses and other training resources covering all aspects of humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
- FEMA Resources:
- Insurance Office of America (IOA)
- Microsoft resources:
- National Center for Disaster Preparedness from Columbia University
- Ready.Gov for Businesses - Plan for, protect your business, and prepare for the impact of hazards that business owner's face in today’s world including natural, human, and technology-related hazards. See the Business Continuity Plan Template.
- ReadyConnect is a disaster preparation, communication, and recovery system offering easy-to-use toolkits for chambers of commerce and their business members.
- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Assistance
Disaster Recovery Projects (International)
The projects listed below are all past winners of the World Chambers Federation's World Chambers Competition. Each of these chambers launched their projects following major natural disasters which affected their respective areas. Project descriptions listed as they are presented on the World Chambers Federation's website.
- Back to Business, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) - Following the tsunami in December 2004, the FCCISL understood the importance of speed in channeling help and also rehabilitation of businesses affected by the disaster to ensure the movement of the economic cycle. In order to improve coordination and cooperation the FCCISL established help desks in ten district Chambers in the Western, Southern, Eastern and Northern Sri Lanka. The chambers launched the Back to Business Project, which planned to provide market linkage and corporate linkage, support in technology transfer and procurement of goods and services, provide loan facilitation and engage in post tsunami advocacy. The Project was recognized as a 2007 winner of the World Chambers Competition (Best Unconventional Project for SMEs).
- Post-Tsunami Chamber Cooperation, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, United Kingdom and Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka - After the December 2004 tsunami, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) took a decision to invest in a program to support the economic re-development of tsunami affected areas. After a search for a suitable organization with whom it could build a relationship, GMCC signed a three-year partnership agreement with the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka. The project has produced an economic development strategy for the Hambantota District, the development of tourism in the region and the development of a careers service center. This project was recognized as Best Networking Project in the 2009 World Chambers Competition.
- Recover Canterbury: The role of a Chamber of Commerce when disaster strikes, Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce, New Zealand - Within just a few hours of the September 4, 2010 earthquake, the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (the Employers’ Chamber) was mobilized to operate as a key reference point for the region’s businesses. This project demonstrates the unique and vital role a Chamber of Commerce can play in an overall goal of protecting and enhancing the business community. This program has shown that the valuable relationships formed before the disaster enabled the chamber to respond rapidly, sensibly and creatively. "The Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce has been an active and critical player in optimizing Business outcomes in the devastating Christchurch Earthquakes. The Chamber has developed a series of templates, systems and processes which have application for any Chamber worldwide, in the context of any major disaster. We are very willing to share these with all members of the International Chamber family." This program was a 2011 World Chambers Competition winner (Best International Project).
Additional international recovery stories:
Grants and Loans
Convention & Seminar Resources
- Preparing for the Worst, from the 2015 ACCE Annual Convention:
- Joplin, Missouri Says Thank You (YouTube video) - On May 22, 2011, Joplin Missouri was hit by the deadliest tornado since 1947. The EF5 tornado traveled approximately 13 miles through the city, killing 161 individuals and damaging or destroying thousands of homes and businesses. Since the first volunteers arrived in Joplin the evening of May 22, 2011, nearly 1.5 million hours of volunteer service have been reported in Joplin. This video says "thank you" to all of the volunteers, first responders, government organizations, disaster recovery professionals and companies that have helped rebuild Joplin. city.
Related Chamberpedia Topics
| Disaster Preparedness & RecoveryLast Updated: 1/27/2017