Bloomington's American Red Cross of the Heartland Chapter is among those promoting an online tool the organization is providing for business and community disaster preparedness. The free program called "Ready Rating" gives organizations an assessment of their disaster readiness and suggests improvements. Tim Pfeiffer with STL Companies, a staffing and IT firm, says he tracked a storm last spring that moved into Harrisburg, where he knew customers were impacted by a devastating tornado.
"The first message was 'we're safe, the business is gone, most of the town is gone. Some lives were lost but our business is continuing to go. Thank goodness we're in your cloud.'"
Pfeiffer says it's too late to consult a manual or come up with a plan in the middle of a disaster. Heartland Chapter Executive Director Lyn Hruska says her staff learned how unprepared they were when they signed up for the Red Cross' new "Ready Rating" online disaster preparedness program.
"Our score wasn't one that we were incredibly proud of but we put together a safety team that has been looking at those elements where we're not as strong, where we're better about talking about it than actually doing it."
Hruska says the need for such planning is strong.
"40% of businesses fail following manmade and natural disasters, and 50% of our citizens respond in surveys that they don't feel as prepared as they could be."
Hruska says she hopes to have 50 businesses and organizations enrolled by November 1st.
Check out the Ready Rating website
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