Friday, April 27, 2012

April 17, 2012 Whatcom COAD Meeting Summary

April 17, 2012

Attendees: Sue Ellen Heflin (Whatcom Volunteer Center); Mavis Dalzell, Noriko Lao, & Patrick Hurley (ARC); Natalie Chavez (NWRC), Chalice Dew-Johnson & Ken Richardson (WCSO-DEM); Marie Miller (Somebody Cares); Lenny Angello (Sudden Valley EPC/ARC)

I.                   Business Preparedness Workshop - COAD is striving to engage a broader public in disaster preparedness and development of recovery plans/business continuity plans for families, businesses, and nonprofits.
·        Some possible activities include:
o       A business continuity plan workshop that also includes agricultural businesses (the group ultimately preferred this activity, discussed below)
o       A follow-up “Neighbor Helping Neighbor” session
o       Targeting neighborhood associations to spread the word about preparedness and continuity planning
·        Pending input and approval from Kent at WCSO-DEM, a preparedness fair for small businesses will be held on September 25th. The date and venue are subject to change.
·        Participation and Partners:
o       The Chamber of Commerce and Sustainable Connections are possible partners for the event to ensure wide participation by businesses. At the very least, COAD will reach out to those groups, explain the purpose of the workshop, and invite their members.
o       COAD member organizations would also be invited and the workshop will provide an opportunity to recruit more COAD members.
o       COAD may reach out to service groups to invite members affiliated with other organizations and/or small businesses.
o       COAD may need to further discuss how to reach out to agricultural businesses.
o       The event may be advertised in the Bellingham Business Journal, the Herald (Take Five), Cascade Radio, and other media sources.
o       WWU may be utilized to assist in arranging the event.
·        Workshop Content:
o       The workshop is tentatively set for one half day, in the afternoon.
o       Essentially the workshop will teach small businesses about the importance of and processes involved in establishing continuity plans and helping their employees get prepared.  Relevant tools and resources available to them will be shared.
o       The substance of the event was tentatively discussed and will need to be further clarified and refined.
o       Kent previously mentioned he may be able to arrange a keynote speaker.
·        Vendors – relevant organizations will be invited to set up booths, similar to the “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” event in September.

II.                New COAD Website: COAD has a new website, providing meeting agendas, previous meeting minutes and relevant events at: Visitors may subscribe to receive updates.

III.             Next Meeting: May 15th, 3:00pm.