Event to help Birmingham businesses recover after disaster

June 9, 2011

The powerful tornadoes that roared through the Birmingham, Alabama area recently no doubt had a tremendous impact on individuals, families and neighborhoods. Businesses also took a hit, and many owners are left wondering “What do we do next?”

The Birmingham Business Alliance is presenting a program titled “After the Storm: Small Business Recovery Summit,” aimed at helping all area business owners — not only those directly impacted by the tornadoes — get back on their feet and get back to business as usual.

Sponsored by The Birmingham News and Charter Business, the event will be held on June 27 from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Business owners directly impacted by the storm may attend at no cost, but they must provide a FEMA number following their organization’s name on the online registration form. Otherwise, cost is $40 per ticket, or $400 for a table sponsor.

Join the Birmingham Business Alliance as they host a half-day summit at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel. The reality is that “business as usual” came to a halt for a lot of residents and business owners on April 27. Distracted and impacted employees, limited delivery of supplies and materials, and utility outages were just a few of the disruptions to many business owners that were not prepared for this disaster.

The Summit begins with lunch and includes three, efficient program components that will be packed with relevant information for business owners and their teams. The agenda is as follows:

  • Take Inventory: April 27 as seen by The Birmingham News
  • Disaster Preparedness for Business
  • Turning Crisis Into Opportunity

Per the Alliance, “Your presence at this event will be a demonstration of community support as much as your intent to stay on the leading edge of small business excellence.”

Here are a few tips from EAP about how to support employees impacted by a natural disaster:

  1. Many employees may be feeling a general uneasiness and sense of vulnerability in the face of such unexpected and devastating destruction.
  2. Generally try to maintain workplace routines. There is comfort in the normal and usual day-to-day activities.
  3. Determine the number of employees in your area directly impacted by the disaster and consider touching base with each employee to find out the status of the situation, what he or she needs and the best way for co-workers to support them.
  4. Provide messages of support to employees, valuing their efforts, and acknowledging the difficulty of carrying on “work as usual.”
  5. If an employee receives news of the loss of family/ or a significant other at work, ask what would be helpful at this time. Some may want a quiet room for privacy or assistance contacting friends or family.
  6. Individuals react to stress and trauma very differently and on their own timetables. One person will work harder and longer than before, while another finds ordinary activities to be difficult, or even a sign of disrespect. Help employees understand and respect their coworkers’ different ways of coping with stress.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Birmingham, Alabama, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Birmingham, Alabama. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @DaleCarnegieALA.

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