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Survey Reveals Significant Gaps in Small Businesses’ Disaster Preparedness

Date : 05/15/2012 @ 8:00AM
Source : Business Wire
Stock : Fedex Corp (FDX)
Quote : 149.53  -1.33 (-0.88%) @ 8:00PM
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Survey Reveals Significant Gaps in Small Businesses’ Disaster Preparedness

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Half of small businesses have not taken action to prepare for disasters that are prone to happen in their areas, according to a new survey from FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the American Red Cross. In addition, slightly more than half (51 percent) have not practiced evacuations or other emergency drills, and almost half (47 percent) have not communicated employee roles for the business in a disaster.

Further, while 40 percent of small businesses do not believe they could fully recover within six months if their business was completely destroyed in a disaster, fewer than one third (29 percent) of those surveyed are prepared if a disaster disrupts their business for just one month.

Additionally, the majority of small businesses may not fully realize how a disaster could impact one of their greatest resources—their employees. Seventy-seven percent have not taken steps to encourage employees to create disaster preparedness plans for their homes and families.

“Many small businesses put off disaster preparation because of concerns about lack of resources or expertise,” said Rose Flenorl, manager, Global Citizenship, FedEx Services. “But some simple, inexpensive steps can go a long way toward helping businesses be prepared if disaster strikes. The survey found that 77 percent of small businesses would be more likely to take action to prepare for disaster if they were provided with educational materials. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the Red Cross to host a virtual roundtable to share our expertise around preparedness.”

On May 22, the one-year anniversary of the devastating EF-5 tornado that hit the Joplin area, FedEx will host a virtual roundtable to share insights and answer questions on how small businesses can prepare for a disaster. The event will feature experts from FedEx, the Red Cross and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce (JACC) and will be hosted on the FedEx Facebook page at http://facebook.com/fedex. While participants will connect virtually, the experts will gather in Joplin at 11:30 a.m. CDT.

For those unable to attend the roundtable live, recordings of the discussion will be available on the FedEx Facebook page following the event. Additionally, there will be a rebroadcast of the roundtable at 6 p.m. CDT on May 22 with at least one panelist available to answer questions via the Facebook page.

According to the JACC, 161 lives were lost, and 545 businesses were destroyed or severely damaged by the tornado, which had a path of destruction up to three-quarters of a mile wide and 13 miles long. As of April 17, JACC reports that 116 businesses still have not reopened.

“Emergencies are inevitable,” said Tom Heneghan, manager of Preparedness for the American Red Cross. “We have a long tradition of helping individuals and families prepare for disasters, and we’re proud to work with FedEx on this event to extend that assistance to small businesses.”

The Red Cross has developed a preparedness program called Ready Rating, which helps businesses, schools and other organizations become prepared for disasters and other emergencies. Ready Rating members have access to one-of-a-kind tools, resources and information for evaluating and improving their ability to withstand disaster, maintain operations, and protect lives and property.

FedEx has worked with the Red Cross for more than 14 years, is a founding member of its Annual Disaster Giving Program, and was presented with the Henry Dunant International Partnership Excellence Award in gratitude for its generous contributions and longstanding commitment to the humanitarian mission of the organization. The company contributes more than $1 million in cash and in-kind services to the organization every year and has supported efforts to respond to disasters such as the Joplin tornado, Hurricane Katrina and many others. In addition to lending logistics expertise to the Red Cross, many FedEx employees spend their personal time serving as volunteers in their local communities.

Survey Methodology

Ipsos-Reid Public Affairs conducted telephone surveys with 200 small businesses in May 2012 to learn about their level of disaster preparedness and their interest in improving their disaster preparedness. A random national sample of 200 small businesses has a margin of error of +/- 6.9 percent at a confidence level of 95 percent.

About FedEx

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $42 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at blog.redcross.org.

About the American Red Cross Ready Rating Program

The American Red Cross Ready Rating program is a free, self-guided program designed to help businesses, organizations and schools become better prepared for emergencies. Members complete a 123-point self-assessment of their level of preparedness and have access to tools, tips and best practices to help improve their level of preparedness. The 123 Assessment has been aligned with the federal government’s Private Sector Preparedness standards (PS-Prep). For more information, please visit readyrating.org/smallbusiness.



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