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RIEMA Announces New Program to Support Local Businesses

Make a kit. Make a plan. Stay informed. This three-step preparedness formula applies not only to individuals and families, but to businesses as well.

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) has recently established a program designed to coordinate disaster preparedness and response for local businesses before, during, and after an emergency. The program, the Rhode Island Business Emergency Operations Center (RIBEOC), is fully funded by a grant from the Federal Economic Development Agency.

"Our local businesses provide critical resources and services," said RIEMA Executive Director Theresa C. Murray. "The primary goal of RIBEOC is to form a strong partnership between RIEMA and the business community. We want to help businesses be better prepared and more resilient so they can continue to serve all of their customers."

Initially, the program, staffed by two business liaisons, will focus on establishing and implementing emergency notifications systems via websites, social media, and a business registry. This will allow businesses to have the most current and accurate information during an emergency or weather-related event. Multiple notification channels provide greater opportunities for business owners to get information should one system be unavailable. In addition the liaisons will coordinate and offer continuing education for businesses on topics such as cyber security, continuity planning, mitigation, and the National Incident Management System.

"Having increased awareness for both management and staff allows for a more effective response," said Murray. "Our two business liaisons, Julie Zito and Alexander Ambrosius, look forward to being a valuable resource for Rhode Island's business community."

For information or to reach one of the business liaisons, call 401-946-9996.

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