Office of Homeland Security
Kentucky Launches Business Preparedness Initiative

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, September 19, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jason Keller
502-546-2081
 


FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security has launched the Protect Your Business campaign and Web Site www.ProtectYourBusiness.ky.gov, aimed at helping Kentucky’s small to medium-sized businesses prepare their employees, operations and assets in the event of an emergency. This extension of the state office of homeland security’s successful Avoid the Panic Button: Protect Your Family campaign, designed to educate and empower Kentuckians to prepare for and respond to emergencies, focuses specifically on business preparedness.  

The goal of Protect Your Business is to raise the business community’s awareness of the need for emergency planning and to motivate businesses to take action.  The campaign encourages business owners and managers to: plan to stay in business, talk to their employees and protect their investment. 

“Every business should have an emergency plan, because preparing makes good business sense,” said (Ret) Maj. Alecia Webb-Edgington, director, Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. “At ProtectYourBusiness.ky.gov, businesses can find emergency preparedness information that can save lives, company assets and their business.”  

The campaign was kicked off yesterday in Somerset by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary for Preparedness George Foresman, Congressman Hal Rogers, Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Chief of Staff Stan Cave and officials with the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, Kentucky Division of Emergency Management and the Kentucky Department for Public Health.  

Today’s “Business Preparedness Summit,” hosted in partnership with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, is the first of six summits scheduled throughout Kentucky this fall. Other business preparedness events will be held in Louisville, Lexington, Northern Kentucky, Bowling Green and Paducah.  

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses represent more than 99 percent of all employers; provide approximately 75 percent of the net new jobs added to the economy; and represent 97 percent of all U.S. exporters.   

Although most businesses agree emergency preparedness is important, too few are taking the necessary steps to prepare.  According to an October 2005 survey of small businesses conducted by The Ad Council, 92 percent of respondents said that it is very or somewhat important for businesses to take steps to prepare for a catastrophic disaster, such as an earthquake, hurricane or terrorist attack and 88 percent agreed that having a business continuity plan would make good sense for their company.  However, only 39 percent said that their company has an emergency plan in place and only 59 percent assessed their own business as prepared in the event of a catastrophic disaster.   

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, after a major disaster strikes, 40 percent of small businesses never reopen. 

Protect Your Business is designed to assist small and medium-sized businesses in developing emergency preparedness plans.  The campaign’s messages are delivered through the Web Site www.ProtectYourBusiness.ky.gov, as well as key partnerships.  These materials provide businesses with practical steps and easy-to-use templates that include information on creating an evacuation plan, fire safety, including employees throughout the process, considering people with special needs and protecting business investments by securing facilities and equipment and reviewing insurance coverage.

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The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security has been charged by Governor Fletcher to lead the Commonwealth's coordination and collaboration efforts with public and private preparedness partners to ensure Kentucky is Ready and Prepared. For more information about homeland security in Kentucky, please visit www.homelandsecurity.ky.gov.