After over a decade of relative calm, the 2017 Hurricane season has turned out to be one of the most devastating on record. Three storms in particular – Harvey, Irma, and Maria – have affected large areas of the United States. Homes have been flooded or destroyed, infrastructures have been disrupted, and businesses had to close. While some companies were able to reopen after only a few days, many still struggle to resume normal operations. That is generally no longer caused by on-site damage, but due to supply challenges, or transportation, electricity or communication failures. Lack of customers or absent employees could be another factor.
During and after a disaster, close collaboration between government and the private sector provides the best chance for companies to deal with their operational challenges. One resource is the National Business Emergency Operations Center, or the NBEOC, which is FEMA’s virtual clearinghouse for two-way information sharing between public and private sector stakeholders and their integration into disaster operations at a strategic and tactical level.
During emergency operations, the NBEOC provides access to real-time situational awareness about the incident and “ground truth” on the needs of communities being impacted. As a member of the NBEOC, private sector representatives are tied into FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center, Regional Response Coordination Centers, and the broader network of emergency management officials, industries, and non-profit groups. The NBEOC also offers a platform to share information on impacts, operating status, and recovery challenges, as well as access to information to support business continuity decisions. The NBEOC Operations Dashboards are specific to each disaster, e.g., https://fema.connectsolutions.com/maria2017 or https://fema.connectsolutions.com/nbeochurricaneirma
All these assets are free and open to the public. If you would like to tie into these and other resources (such as the SBA Disaster Assistance Programs, https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance), but don’t have the time to engage on a regular basis, contact our experts at novaturient – we can monitor the latest developments for you.