Emergency planning, workplace violence topic at chamber breakfast

NORWICH – With the one year anniversary of the tragedy at the American Civic Association in Binghamton only days away, it is no wonder the issues of workplace violence and crisis management are on the minds of local business leaders.

“I think it’s a very timely topic,” Commerce Chenango President Maureen Carpenter said Wednesday, as she welcomed members of the local business community to a Good Morning, Chenango! breakfast hosted by her organization focused on these issues.

The event, held at Park Place Restaurant in Norwich, was sponsored by GHS Federal Credit Union and featured a presentation by Rebecca Snow, director of community services for the Southern Tier Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Snow said her presentation, titled “Preparing for the Unexpected,” was designed to encourage business leaders to start taking steps toward emergency preparedness.

“This is a fairly new curriculum for us,” she said, although not necessarily a new role for the organization. There are many parallels, she explained, between crisis management and the disaster preparedness efforts for which the Red Cross is well known.

Why is it important to plan for the hypothetical?

“Anything can happen. That’s what an emergency is, an unpredictable event,” Snow said.

According to Snow, there are four basic steps in the planning process: Establishing a planning team, performing an assessment of existing policies and procedures, developing the plan itself and, finally, implementing the plan.

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