Small and medium enterprises are encouraged to develop continuity strategies that include how they mitigate the impact of disasters. This was the message shared with 26 participants in a business continuity workshop hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) at the Chaguanas Borough Corporation.
The event was held in commemoration of the National Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Month (NDPP) which is observed every year in May.
NDPP is a call to action made to encourage all individuals, communities, the public and private sectors and NGOs to become more involved in disaster prevention and preparedness before the hurricane season – from June 1 to November 30.
Amcham said in a release on Tuesday that it believes business continuity planning is essential. This is because it involves developing a framework and processes to ensure that critical business functions can continue even in an emergency – natural disasters, cyber-attacks or unexpected events.
Amcham CEO Nirad Tewarie said, “We have seen the impacts of climate change on our nation. Extreme weather events represent a major humanitarian and economic challenge for business and for every citizen. Having a comprehensive plan that addresses the unique risks facing organisations can help mitigate the impact of a catastrophic event. This includes identifying potential threats, developing evacuation and sheltering strategies, establishing communication protocols, and ensuring access to critical resources to save lives and keep our businesses operating. At Amcham, we are committed to building resilience within the private sector to mitigate some of these impacts while creating a pathway to disaster readiness and resilience in our country."
The business continuity training workshop was facilitated by the chair of Amcham’s HSE committee, Balchan Jadoonanan, and Marise Johncilla. They were tasked with providing vital information to support the implementation of business continuity planning in their organisations by having leaders engage in risk-based thinking for their SMEs.
The event is part of Amcham’s commitment as the Arise lead in TT to promote disaster readiness and resilience in the private sector. ARISE is a global network of over 400 members in 29 countries which was initially founded by the UNDRR in 2015 to support the private sector in becoming a key partner in reducing disaster risk.
Amcham thanked Chaguanas Mayor Faaiq Mohammed and Anwar Baksh, planning and development officer, mitigation, planning, and research unit at the ODPM for their support and collaboration on the workshop.
It said it will continue to work on behalf of our members and the wider society to build leadership and create disaster resilience in our businesses, communities, and country.