Business Preparedness Initiative Toolkit

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF BPI?

To save lives, protect livelihoods, and shorten recovery times following disasters. It does this by providing small and medium businesses with adaptable preparedness tools.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

There are many benefits to using BPI tools, including:

  • Quicker post-disaster recovery for communities
  • More resilient supply chains for larger businesses
  • Reduced economic impact from disasters
  • Stronger stakeholder relationships
  • Stronger societies–business relationships
  • Engagement of business as part of civil society
  • Wider insurance cover/lower premiums for SMEs
  • Increased and sustainable resilience
June 5, 2014. Aceh Jaya, Indonesia. A Red Cross volunteer loads his canoe full of mangrove saplings in preparation for planting. The American Red Cross is continuing to help villages, like this one in Indonesia, rebuild from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. By planting mangroves, the Red Cross is restoring an ecosystem that was severely damaged by the natural disaster. Mangroves not only slow down storm surges and slow erosion, but they also absorb three times as much carbon dioxide as other trees, dissolve heavy metals like mercury from the soil and water, and provide a habitat for shrimp and oysters. With the help of volunteers, the Red Cross is planting mangrove and casuarina trees throughout coastal areas of Indonesia. The American Red Cross provided relief in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, but also invested in long-term projects to ensure that towns build back stronger, healthier, and better prepared for future disasters that may come their way. Photo by Jenelle Eli/American Red Cross
Date: May 2006    Event: Earthquake    Location: Yogyakarta, Indonesia    Photographer: Bonnie Gillespie    Release info: no release needed

WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE?

BPI tools are intended to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Micro and larger organisations are welcome to use the tools but may need to adapt some of the content. The material is applicable to both for profit and non-profit organisations.

WHO IS THIS GUIDE FOR?

This guide is for Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies and other organisations, associations, and networks (e.g., Chamber of Commerce). The guide has been designed to support these groups to develop their own program of activity; it contains links to available resources, as well as ideas and suggestions for customising the tools at a level that suits the resources available and the needs of local business communities.

February 21, 2020. Morelos, Mexico. Two years after a powerful earthquake struck Mexico, the American Red Cross, in partnership with the Mexican Red Cross and the Canadian Red Cross, continues to support communities affected by the disaster. Through a series of resiliency activities made possible through financial support from the American Red Cross, people living in disaster-prone communities in Mexico are empowered to learn skills that prepare them for future disasters. From providing hygiene and sanitation education to offering trainings on how to administer first aid, the Red Cross is actively involved in helping to build stronger, more resilient communities across the country. 
“I am extremely grateful for the Red Cross. They gave us education and skills that we use to help our community,” said Azucena Lara Castro, a disaster response volunteer. 

Azucena was at her home when an earthquake hit Mexico in 2017. She remembers the fear she felt as she walked outside her neighborhood to observe the devastation around her. She felt helpless and scared for her loved ones. Today, Azucena takes charge of her future and has enrolled as a disaster response volunteer in her community. Through support from the Red Cross, Azucena gains skills that help her empower her neighbors to take charge of their lives, too. Through training she’s learned how to help evacuate her neighbors, administer first aid and prepare her own loved ones for future disasters. Photo by Brad Zerivitz/American Red Cross

WHAT TOOLS ARE AVAILABLE?

These tools are designed to be most effective when used together as part of a complete program; however, they can be used separately.

Atlas is a free mobile app currently available in multiple languages (with more to come) on iOS in the Apple App Store and on Android in the Google Play Store. As a core component of BPI, Atlas is full of useful advice to help organisations build adaptability and to create basic business continuity plans. Atlas is an educational tool with activities, actions, and reflective exercises.

Workshop in a Box is a downloadable toolkit that provides all of the support information and customisable materials a facilitator needs to promote, organise, and run workshops to help small and medium organisations take basic steps toward being crisis ready. Workshops can help people get started with preparedness and inspire them to continue their journey using Atlas.

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BPI Resource Guide

The GDPC, in partnership with Resilient Organisations, has developed a comprehensive guide for partners wishing to implement a business preparedness initiative. This guide is for Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies and other organizations, associations, and networks (e.g. Chamber of Commerce). The guide has been designed to support these groups to develop their own program of activity; it contains links to available resources, as well as ideas and suggestions for customizing the tools at a level that suits the resources available and the needs of local business communities.

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