IBHS’ Business Continuity Planning Resources Included in Leading Disaster Planning Guides for Communities and Small Businesses


TAMPA – WEBWIRE – Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Insurance Institute of Business & Home Safety’s (IBHS) comprehensive business continuity planning toolkit, OFB-EZ™, and its recommendations have been included in two preparedness guides recently released by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for small businesses, local communities and business organizations.

OFB-EZ (Open for Business-EZ) is a free, easy-to-use business continuity planning toolkit designed to help small businesses successfully prepare and recover from any type of disaster. Using OFB-EZ gives business owners the tools to better understand the risks they face and make a plan for how to resume operations, contact key suppliers, vendors and employees, access data, and where to go for help after a disaster. This gives small businesses a jump start on recovery if the worst happens.

“Business preparedness and continuity planning can make all the difference in a crisis, especially considering that one in four businesses forced to close because of a disaster never re-open. Having a plan in place will enable business owners to act quickly so they can recover as soon as possible,” said Gail Moraton, IBHS’ business resiliency program manager. “IBHS is pleased to add to IEDC’s efforts to educate communities and small businesses on how to become more resilient when these types of events happen.”

The two IEDC guides that include OFB-EZ information are intended to help communities and small businesses prepare and recover more successfully from disasters, and were funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. “Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency” is a 370-page guide that provides practical resources, case studies, checklists, and best practices to help communities implement disaster recovery programs and become more resilient for future emergencies. The entire OFB-EZ toolkit is included in the appendix of this guide, along with OFB-EZ recommendations and checklists included throughout the guide.

Engaging Small Businesses in Disaster Preparedness: Practical Tips and Guidance for Community & Business Organizations” is an “at-a-glance” guide for chambers of commerce, small business development centers and other organizations that assist small businesses, and explains how they can help and encourage businesses with disaster continuity planning. It includes IBHS information and lists OFB-EZ as a recommended resource for its readers. Both IEDC guides are available for free download.

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About The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)

IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research and communications organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks on residential and commercial property by conducting building science research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparedness practices. www.DisasterSafety.org

About the International Economic Development Council

IEDC is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,400 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base.  From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. www.iedconline.org


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