SCEMD, S.C. Commerce Host First Emergency Seminar for Local Businesses

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Columbia, S.C. (Tuesday, October 25)- The S.C. Emergency Management Division and the S.C. Department of Commerce will host the first Business Emergency Preparedness Seminar on Wednesday, October 26, at the Phillips Market Center in West Columbia.  


“The private sector plays a crucial role in emergency response and recovery,” said Kim Stenson, director of the state Emergency Management Division.  “This summit is designed to help us explore ways business and government can work hand-in-hand to provide not only effective and rapid response when disasters occur, but they also can help speed the recovery of devastated communities.”


The seminar will have in attendance a wealth of leadership and experience in disaster planning and emergency management including South Carolina’s Deputy Adjutant General, Brigadier General Van McCarty, Charleston County Emergency Manager Jason Patno, Mayor Frank McClary from the Town of Andrews and the Budget and Program Management Director for the City of Columbia, Missy Caughman. County emergency managers, business leaders and consultants from a wide variety of industries and disciplines will all be present to share their experiences and insight following this year’s Hurricane Matthew and the October 2015 severe flooding. 


The seminar will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and the agenda will cover a broad list of preparedness and partnership topics, to include:


  • Opening remarks by SCEMD Director Kim Stenson and Maceo Nance, Department of Commerce Director of Small Business and Rural Development;

  • Discussions and emphasis on public-private partnership by Phil Strouse from FEMA RIV and Ted Pitts from the State Chamber of Commerce;  

  • Business and Community Lessons Learned/Best Practices in Disaster Preparedness and Resiliency by Mayor Frank McClary and Missy Caughman from the City of Columbia;

  • Discussions on Contingency Planning for Business by Scott Cave of Atlantic Business Continuity Services and Bryon Griffith from Community Resilience Redefined, LLC;

  • An overview by SCEMD of the Re-entry Law/Procedure for business registration and the Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center currently under development;

  • Examples of partnership in action provided by Jason Patno of Charleston County’s Emergency Management Department, Diana Greene of the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, and Billie Gwyn of Walgreens; and

  • A discussion of the business advantages to partnering with VOADs (Whole Community Approach), and overview of the closed point of distribution concept, and an introduction to the newly formed Business Resilient Network developed by the Southeast Disaster Recovery Partnership.


    This workshop is possible in part due to sponsor contributions by Food Lion, Waffle House and Walgreens.