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Last month, the three Corporate Citizenship Councils of The Conference Board came together to discuss how companies can be more effective in their work regarding disasters. With an increase in both natural and man-made occurrences, there is an urgency by corporate citizenship executives to better manage this work. Disasters are unpredictable, however, policies, procedures and education can help mitigate the impact on already stretched CSR departments.
This convening brought together council members with the CEO of the American Red Cross, CEO of Points of Light, Head of the Private Sector Division of FEMA, Head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Corporate Citizenship Center amongst others. There was a special session dedicated to the lesson learned from-- and the ongoing issues in-- Puerto Rico which revealed that one dollar invested in emergency preparedness can save $4 in relief. Yet, there isn’t always the interest to support the important preparation initiatives. A company’s flexibility regarding who they can give what to and when, should be a determining factor and made with information about what others are doing. Coordination of efforts is key to ensuring that the right help gets to the right organizations when there is the greatest need. This is not only for the relief stage, but with the recovery and rebuilding as well.
While our member companies have many different areas of focus, disasters continue to be an issue that none can escape. The Conference Board will be producing a report with findings from this Joint Council Meeting including results from the pre-meeting survey.