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U.S. Chamber Advances National Discussion on Community Resilience

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - 8:00pm

Public-Private Partnerships Vital to
Businesses’ Ability to Bounce Back from Emergencies

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Northern Command, and the American Red Cross today for the first of a two-day event to underscore the importance of public-private partnerships in building national resilience in the wake of natural or man-made disasters.

“Any discussion about resilience must involve government and the private sector sitting at the table together,” said the Honorable Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania and first secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Ridge serves as the chairman of the U.S. Chamber’s National Security Task Force. “Both play vital, complementary roles in deploying resources and getting our communities back on their feet,” he said.

Released this past spring, Presidential Policy Directive/PPD-8 is aimed at strengthening U.S. resilience against emergencies, including acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters. It refers to “resilience” as the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and rapidly recover from disruption due to emergencies. At today’s event, speakers highlighted public-private capabilities and resources at national, regional, and state and local levels as well as discussed how to make resilience more concrete and actionable for homeland security professionals and individuals from all walks of life.

“The business community has a special mix of people, resources, and capabilities to help our communities bounce back in the face of emergencies,” said Ann M. Beauchesne, the Chamber’s vice president of National Security and Emergency Preparedness. “Businesses and government can’t succeed alone. Public-private partnerships are vital to community preparedness and resilience. Building resilience is a shared goal and responsibility that we are all striving to achieve.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.