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Red Cross Encourages Businesses To Prepare For Floods

Some businesses have been damaged by the flooding of the Bighorn River in northern Wyoming, and the Red Cross is encouraging other companies to develop plans in case more flooding comes with spring snow melt.

Troy Staples is the Red Cross Business Preparedness Manager for Wyoming and Colorado. He says up to 40-percent of businesses don’t re-open after a disaster.  

“A lot of businesses out there don’t have plans and procedures in place to know what to do when a disaster strikes to keep their goods and services flowing into the community, so they don’t have any back-up plans in place to do that,” Staples said.

Staples helps business owners develop such plans. He advocates establishing remote data backups and agreements with nearby businesses to share offices, if physical space is adversely affected. But he also says it’s important to have plans in place for employees and suppliers.  

“Your number one asset for any business is the staff and any employees there, and making sure they have individual plans in place and procedures there,” he says. “And then the other thing I’d mention, too, is your supply chain. If you’re reliant on other people bringing in goods to you so you can produce your own goods, make sure that you’re talking to those businesses, make sure they have their own preparedness plans in place. There’s a better chance that they’re going to survive a bad day and that way your goods and services are flowing in the community.”

Business owners can contact Troy Staples directly at 303.607.4767 for assistance with designing a plan. The American Red Cross also runs a website to help organizations plan independently. 

Irina Zhorov is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Wyoming. In between, she worked as a photographer and writer for Philadelphia-area and national publications. Her professional interests revolve around environmental and energy reporting and she's reported on mining issues from Wyoming, Mexico, and Bolivia. She's been supported by the Dick and Lynn Cheney Grant for International Study, the Eleanor K. Kambouris Grant, and the Social Justice Research Center Research Grant for her work on Bolivian mining and Uzbek alpinism. Her work has appeared on Voice of America, National Native News, and in Indian Country Today, among other publications.
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