Disaster Planning for Businesses Focus for Symposium

Article excerpt

If there is any lesson that business owners and leaders can take from the 2005 hurricane season, it's that disasters can and do happen; the ability to recover from disasters is about survival and planning.

Tulsa Partners, Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce and the city of Tulsa are sponsoring a daylong symposium on a "Day Without Business" Tuesday at the Downtown Doubletree Hotel. The event will provide an opportunity for business owners to learn about continuity planning as well as see examples of what works and doesn't work.

Sandra Gunner, the president of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, will be the keynote speaker at lunch during the symposium. Gunner is also the Louisiana Recovery Authority intergovernmental affairs and community development director. With her experience and background, Gunner will speak about the recovery process that businesses and communities are going through after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The idea for the program came about last fall when the Tulsa Citizen Corps was approached by private companies who wanted assistance in emergency planning and exercises, said Crystal Kline, the community involvement coordinator for the Tulsa Partners and the Citizen Corps.

"Seeing the need, and in anticipation of more companies asking our assistances, we felt it might be more effective to bring local businesses together at one location for a business continuity summit," she said.

The group was unable to really start planning an event until this spring.

Kline said around the same time, the organizations were approached by the Institute of Business and Home Safety, who also wanted to develop a continuity initiative. …