Business Planning

Prepare to Partner

The Newport News Division of Emergency Management’s (NN-DEM) Prepare to Partner program is designed to enhance the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts between the public and private sectors in the City of Newport News. Understanding all-hazard crisis management and emergency response is a critical element to building bisector resiliency throughout the city and region, whether the disaster is natural or man-made. Below are multiple preparedness initiatives that can assist businesses when preparing for emergent issues.

The integration of these initiatives will allow us to achieve the "Whole Community" approach that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stresses upon in their preparedness guidance. This approach leads to an increased understanding of community needs and capabilities through information and resource sharing across organizations and sectors. Contact us for further questions and comments.

Suggested Initiatives by Your Business

Initiative I: Stay Connected

Encourage employees to sign up for a weather emergency notification system of their choice. We recommend the Interactive National Weather Service alert system (iNWS).

Initiative II: Get Prepared

Make sure that emergency contact information is on file for all employees, to include at least one family member or friend. Set up and test an emergency contact plan or call tree for your organization. Tip: if you have a voicemail system in your office, designate one line that will play recorded emergency messages.

Initiative III: Send Preparedness Messages

Use E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, or your organization’s website to send preparedness messages to your employees. Ready.Gov has a list of sample messages for each natural, technological and terrorist hazard that you can send to your employees throughout the year.

Initiative IV: Interface with the City of Newport News

Meet with your leaders and brainstorm ideas of what your business could potentially provide to the City in the time of a large scale emergency or disaster.

Additional Initiatives

Are you hungry for more ways to be involved? Please see below for additional initiatives that you and your organization can take to become increasingly resilient:

  • Construct a preparedness display in your office, including a sample Go-Kit / Bag, Ready Virginia guides, and other preparedness material
  • Schedule a preparedness presentation by NN-DEM
  • Schedule a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course to be taught to your employees by the city’s CERT Coordinator
  • Distribute Virginia Hurricane Ready Guides to your staff
  • Schedule a work-from-home day or other method to test your business continuity practices
  • Host or participate in a business continuity webinar or session
  • Schedule a "Preparedness Day or Fair" or CPR training for your organization
  • Encourage your employees to "like" the city’s Facebook page or follow the City’s Twitter Feed for preparedness tips
  • Participate in an exercise with NN-DEM and other city departments
  • Choose a meeting place outside of your office for all of your employees to gather in the event of an emergency. Encourage employees to choose a meeting place for their families as well
  • Create and implement your own preparedness activity. NN-DEM will recognize the most creative initiatives
  • Take the following FEMA online independent study courses: 394 (protecting your home or small business from disaster), 660 (Intro to Public-Private Partnerships), or 662 (Improving Preparedness and Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships)

For an additional resource concerning business preparedness planning, please visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Prepare My Business website. There you will find planning information, a schedule of monthly free, educational webinars and other viable tools that your organization can greatly benefit from in the short and long term future.