Workshop Helps Businesses Prepare for Severe Weather Season

Published 05/13 2014 06:10PM

Updated 05/13 2014 09:51PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Severe weather season is underway and some area business are learning how to be prepared for what mother nature throws at them.

"It's very important to plan beyond that immediate instead of just meeting in the parking lot. If your whole community is destroyed, where are you going to go after the parking lot is no longer there," stated Jessie England.

England was one of several people who attended Tuesday's workshop to learn how to be better prepared for a catastrophe.

The session put on by MO-KAN Regional Council featured keynote speaker, Rob O'Brian, president of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce. He says it's just as important to have a plan for your business as you would your home.

"For businesses, there are probably more potential disaster quite frankly than for homeowners," added O'Brian.

He says following the tornado that hit Joplin in 2011, some establishments were out of business for an extended period because they were only prepared for an emergency and not a tornado. He adds that maintaining communication is key.

"People have jobs because of businesses and so if businesses, or in the case of Joplin, have 530 employers that are down with thousands of job loss potential having those businesses back very quickly in whatever form is very critical," added O'Brian.

With tornado season upon us, MO-KAN simply wants to ensure those in and around the St. Joseph area are prepared for the worst.

"Sit together and communicate to figure out a way to efficiently recover after a disaster," stated MO-KAN Disaster Recovery Planner Xue Wood.

Those who attended the session say it was useful for them and they plan to use information from the workshop in the future.

"Updating the contingency plans, perceptually as we work day to day six months every quarter those type of things it reiterates how important that is," said England.

Experts say in the first week following a disaster, businesses should sort out and make decisions to repair or re-build and make sure all data is backed-up safely. They also add the importance of knowing and understanding current insurance policies and coverage.

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