In just two years, the Ready Rating™ Program, available for free from the American Red Cross, has provided assistance to more than 7,000 organizations seeking to develop better emergency procedures. Last year alone, it more than doubled in size, with a sizable portion of new sign-ups coming from small businesses and schools.
The program is already demonstrating real value. In a survey of Ready Rating companies that had experienced a disaster or emergency in the past year, 67 percent indicated that the actions they took as a result of the program helped them open their business more quickly.
Businesses and schools face a number of emergencies that could disrupt their operations, ranging from natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and floods to outbreaks of illness such as the flu. The program features a website, readyrating.org, that enables businesses and organizations to measure how ready they are to deal with emergencies – and then gives instant customized feedback on how to improve.
“Emergencies can hit without warning and the aftermaths can affect small businesses and schools the most,” said Dominick Tolli, vice president, Preparedness and Health and Safety Services, for the Red Cross. “Between our disaster apps and the Ready Rating program, we’re doing our best to save lives as well as livelihoods when disaster strikes.”
A free, self-paced membership program, Ready Rating begins with a comprehensive assessment of whether a business or organization is prepared to handle a disaster. Members score themselves on how prepared they are and receive steps they can take to improve their readiness planning. The assessment covers items from hazard vulnerability to continuity of operations and employee readiness.
Ready Rating is also consistent with the Private Sector or PS-Prep Standards developed by the Department of Homeland Security.
Ready Rating is designed both for those who are just beginning to plan for emergencies and those who have already done so and want confirmation on their preparedness level. It also will give businesses, schools and organizations ideas of what they can do to better prepare for the next emergency or disaster.
For more information, visit readyrating.org or call 1 (877) 715-0123.