Chesterfield Chamber to present Disaster Preparedness Seminar for Businesses
By: Sue Hornof
Would your business survive a major tornado, fire, earthquake or other disaster?
The Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce and the city of Chesterfield have arranged for a panel of experts to help area business owners answer that question next week at the Disaster Preparedness Seminar for Businesses.
“The Chamber felt the need to create the seminar because of the many disasters that have occurred around the country and right here in Missouri with tornados, floods, fires, etc.,” said Jack Hoffmann, Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce business manager. “All are events that put life, homes, businesses and economics at risk, and it is proven – event after event – that most communities are not prepared.”
The seminar will be held from 7:15 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at the Purser Center Auditorium at Logan College of Chiropractic, 1851 Schoettler Road in Chesterfield.
Hoffmann said the half-day event will bring many important issues to light and will cover the critical activities and issues that must be addressed before, during and after a disaster.
Mike Smiley, director of the St. Louis County Office of Emergency Management, will moderate the seminar, which will feature presentations from keynote speakers and panel discussions and roundtable sessions led by executives in various fields.
Keynote speaker Dr. Paul Schifano, owner of Petropolis in Chesterfield, will share what his business experienced during the flood of 1993. Schifano will walk attendees through events that occurred before, during and after the flood and will share the mistakes and sound business decisions that allowed Petropolis to be the first Chesterfield Valley business to reopen after the flood.
Another keynote speaker, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce President Rob O’Brien, will discuss the impressive recovery of 96 percent of Joplin’s businesses damaged in the tornado that ravaged Joplin in May 2011.
Attendees will hear also from a panel of experts in the areas of insurance, information technology/communications, public safety and restoration.
For example, because businesses that experience a major data loss have a 50 percent chance of reopening and only a 10 percent chance of surviving long-term, Bill Cannon, president of CompuVault, will explain the importance of backing up data and storing it in a safe and secure location either off-site, online, or both. Cannon also will explain cloud computing and share his expertise on what to look for in an online, private cloud.
Another panel discussion leader, Deane Adam, regional preparedness manager at the American Red Cross, will explain the American Red Cross Ready Rating Program, a free program that measures how ready businesses, organizations and schools are to deal with emergencies and helps them improve their readiness level.
Following the panel discussions, attendees will have an opportunity to interact with the presenters and other experts at Lunch and Learn roundtable discussions.
All are welcome to attend the seminar. Admission is $45 for Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce members and $60 for non-members, payable in advance. Breakfast and lunch are included in the cost. For reservations, call 532-3399 or visit www.chesterfieldmochamber.com by Sept. 22.
West Newsmagazine is proud to sponsor the event.