The State of Florida is very lucky to have Bryan Koon as the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
Previously, he was Wal-Mart’s Director of Emergency Management and before that he worked at the White House Military Office.
Koon led the 2012 State of Florida Public Sector-Private Sector Disaster Preparedness Summit where more than 300 people attended, including about 60 percent from the business sector and 40 percent from the government and nonprofit sectors.
With his background, Koon understands the whole picture and was able to pull in presenters and facilitators that were familiar with both sides of the equation. They all had great stories to tell and real examples of what to do and what needs to be done before disasters strike.
Wal-Mart provides an excellent example of the impact on business in a disaster. To start, 1 percent of the nation’s population works for Wal-Mart – that’s about 1.5 million people. Each of those associates has families, friends, and neighbors. Add to that the number of loyal customers. When a disaster hits, that is a great network for communication, volunteers, and donations. In 2007-2008, the Wal-Mart associates and customers in Florida donated $6.3 million.
Next, think about the impact of the operations in a disaster. There are more than 4,400 store units in the nation. That’s 4,400 staging areas, sources of supplies, availability of resources like trucks, generators, and logistic support. Leverage this as well and we quickly see the potential, and the critical need, of engaging the private sector in emergency management. Let’s start talking!