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U.S. Department of Homeland Security Launches Ready Business Mentoring Initiative in Time for Hurricane Season

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010
For Immediate Release
May 24, 2006

Designed as a call-to-action for business leaders, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security launched today the Ready Business Mentoring Initiative. This effort includes the Ready Business Mentoring Guides and other business preparedness tools to help owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses prepare for emergencies. Homeland Security, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the nation's leading business organizations, will distribute the Ready Business Mentoring Guides and other materials as the 2006 hurricane season approaches.

"With small- to medium-sized businesses comprising 99 percent of all employers in the United States, preparing these businesses for emergencies is vital to the nation's economic health," said George Foresman, Under Secretary for Preparedness. "This new Ready Business Mentoring Initiative will help provide business owners and managers with practical and usable tools to protect their companies against a broad range of hazards."

Ready Business Mentoring Guides are comprised of two workbooks, the Mentor Edition and the User Edition. Each guide consists of more than 50 pages of step-by-step information designed to teach business owners and managers about affordable ways to better protect their businesses. The materials enable businesses to create and execute an emergency preparedness plan. The Ready Business Mentoring Guides include:

  • Business continuity and disaster preparedness sample plans;
  • Business emergency supply checklist;
  • Insurance discussion form;
  • Computer inventory form; and
  • Testimonials and a list of additional resources.

The Education Disaster Extension Network (EDEN) collaborated with Homeland Security to develop presentation materials that will assist business and community leaders in hosting business preparedness workshops across the nation. These presentation materials compliment the Ready Business Mentoring Guides and enable leaders to deliver training sessions on how to plan to stay in business; talk to employees; and protect assets. EDEN is a national network of cooperative extension service professionals that is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.

The Ready Business Mentoring Initiative aims to reach millions of owners and managers of small- and medium-sized businesses through the distribution networks of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Agriculture, EDEN, National Academic Consortium for Homeland Security, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees), Society of Human Resource Managers, Business Executives for National Security, and ASIS International.

The Ready Business Mentoring Initiative is the newest resource of the Ready Business Campaign. Launched in September 2004 by Homeland Security and the Advertising Council, Ready Business is an extension of the Department's successful Ready Campaign that focuses on business preparedness. Ready Business encourages owners and managers of small- to medium-sized businesses to make an emergency plan; talk to their employees; and protect their assets. All Ready Business materials reflect the Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity Standard (NFPA 1600) developed by the National Fire Protection Association and endorsed by the American National Standards Institute, the 9/11 Commission and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security promotes individual emergency preparedness through the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps as part of a broader national effort conducted by the Department's Preparedness Directorate. Ready is a national public service advertising campaign produced by The Advertising Council in partnership with Homeland Security. The Ready campaign is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. Individuals interested in more information about family and business preparedness can visit or call 1-800-BE-READY to receive a "Get Ready Now" brochure. Citizen Corps, Homeland Security's grassroots effort, localizes preparedness messages and provides opportunities for citizens to get emergency response training; participate in community exercises; and volunteer to support local first responders. To learn more and to get involved, contact your nearest Citizen Corps Council by visiting