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TMCNet:  Emergency preparedness training set for local businesses

[February 18, 2013]

Emergency preparedness training set for local businesses

Feb 18, 2013 (The Anniston Star - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Area business owners can soon get a crash course in disaster preparedness and response training to protect themselves and their employees.

The training event, which will be free to all businesses, will be held from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Friday at the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce building on Quintard Avenue. A business expo will follow the event, featuring vendors that offer disaster preparedness products, such as gas-powered generators.

The event is a collaboration of the Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency, the Calhoun County Citizens Corps, the Chamber of Commerce, the Jacksonville State University Small Business Development Center and Quintard Mall. The training day will coincide with the statewide severe weather preparedness tax holiday.

Topics during the training course will include business continuity, preparing a plan, insurance and cyber security.

Tammy Bain, emergency management planner and spokeswoman for the EMA, said event will cover preparedness and response training for natural and manmade disasters, such as a shooting in a business.

"We'll show a video on active shooters and how to respond," Bain said. "And there will be things like making sure to have an emergency plan ... for example, what to do for a winter storm." Bain said she will also provide information about computer security, focusing on creating backups for business data.

"In case there is a fire, it's important to not house all your information on one computer," Bain said.

Amy Stone, member of the Citizens Corps, said her group will provide much of the training. The corps is a group of volunteers who provide disaster preparedness training for the community.

"Anything before or after a disaster, we'll provide training for," Stone said.

Stone said the Citizens Corps will provide a variety of disaster preparedness tips for businesses at the event.

"We'll provide information on potential hazards, then go into creating personalized plans," Stone said.

Amy Anderson with the JSU Small Business Development Center said her organization is doing everything it can to encourage area businesses to participate in the event. She said much of the local economy is dependent on small businesses, many of which are owned and run by one person.

"And if something unfortunate happens to them ... many might not have a plan," Anderson said.

For more information or to make a reservation for the event, call the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce at 256-237-3536.

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.

___ (c)2013 The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.) Visit The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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