More Than 100 Participants Discuss Best Practices for Planning, Response and RebuildingBOCA RATON, Fla., Jan 28, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Office
Depot Foundation - the independent foundation serving as the primary
charitable giving arm of Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) - hosted a full-day
Disaster Assistance and Recovery Forum in January in collaboration with
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC).
More than 100 representatives from 79 corporations, government agencies
and non-profit organizations around the United States participated.
The forum provided an opportunity to review the latest research about
disaster response and to explore ways to evolve these practices.
According to Stephen Jordan, senior vice president and executive
director of BCLC, the current model for disaster response is costly and
inefficient. "Improving our emergency response strategies would prevent
the loss of billions of dollars in future damages and business
interruptions, which is typical of major disasters," he said. "Now is
the time to advance 'disaster 2.0' principles - focusing on readiness
and resiliency, rebuilding communities to be more sustainable and
educating the different sectors on how to work together effectively."
Participants included several of the nation's foremost disaster experts,
including Daniel Alesch, Ph.D., emeritus professor at the University of
Wisconsin-Green Bay; Jane Bullock, co-founder of Bullock and Haddow LLC;
Oliver Davidson, senior disaster advisor to BCLC and to the Humane
Society of the United States; and Michael Gallis, principal at Michael
Gallis and Associates.
Featured presentations included "The 10 Recovery Policies Every State
Should Have" and "Disaster Recommendations for the Incoming
Administration." Representatives from areas affected in 2008 by the
severe flooding in Iowa and by Hurricane Ike in Texas reported on their
progress and challenges. Participants also learned about the Business
Continuity Information Network, a Florida International University
initiative that utilizes technology to ensure community-based business
continuity from major disasters.
By the end of the forum, participants put forward a recommended course
of action that included the creation of a system to better align
sustainable development and disaster preparedness and recovery, and the
introduction of state and local networks that plan for community
recovery before disasters happen - not after.
The Office Depot Foundation is an active supporter of BCLC's Disaster
Assistance and Recovery Program and its National Disaster Help Desk for
Business - a toll-free hotline (1-888-MY-BIZ-HELP) that small businesses
and chambers of commerce can use to access advice and resources
following a disaster. The Foundation has made grants to BCLC to assist
with economic assessments following wildfires in Southern California,
the Iowa floods and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
About the Office Depot Foundation
The Office Depot Foundation is an independent foundation (tax exempt
under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3)) that serves as the independent charitable
giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. In keeping with its mission, Listen
Learn Care(TM), the Foundation supports programs that enhance quality of
life for children, strengthen communities, encourage local and global
economic growth, empower schools and civil society (non-profit)
organizations and provide support when disasters strike and through the
process of rebuilding. Visit www.officedepotfoundation.org
for more information.
About the Business Civic Leadership Center
BCLC is a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and
manages the U.S. Chamber's Disaster Assistance and Recovery program.
BCLC is a resource and voice for businesses and their social and
philanthropic interests. The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest
business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and
organizations of every size, sector and region.
SOURCE: Office Depot Foundation
Office Depot Foundation
Leon Rubin, (Mobile) 561-251-8075, (Office) 706-867-0278