Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive director Lisa Gale. (FILE)
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THE BARBADOS CHAMBER of Commerce and Industry has started planning for the establishment of a business emergency operating centre.
This was disclosed by BCCI executive director Lisa Gale, who spoke of the idea in the context of the major damage Tropical Storm Erika inflicted on Dominica.
“The relevance of Tropical Storm Erika underscores our vulnerability once again as a region fraught with external shocks, over which we have no control, further undermining the various economic gains made over the years,” Gale said in the September edition of the BCCI’s monthly newsletter Chamber Biz.
“The BCCI is in the nascent stages of the set up of a business emergency operating centre. Judging from my recent visit to Louisiana there were many lessons learnt in disaster management over the years and many which our members can capitalise on.”
Gale noted that the Louisiana centre’s operations during the 2011 passage of Hurricane Isaac “showed that this type of centre was an important contributor to the resiliency of the state and left no doubt that it was capable of meeting and exceeding its original expectations”.
This is due in part to the unique public-private sector partnership under which the [business emergency operating centre] is organised, which eliminates many of the traditional barriers to cross sector collaboration, thereby multiplying the beneficial outcomes of the initiatives of a centre,” she said.
“Another important feature of its structure is the dedication and commitment of the partners. Without this dedication I am told that the outcomes would not be as significant as demonstrated during Hurricane Isaac, since Katrina in 2005.
“A final success factor is ready access to a skills base that is capable of addressing any issue that may be faced and the capability to leverage these resources in a timely and efficient manner. So the question is what can BCCI do? We can and will set up a similar centre. We are currently gathering information to ensure that we start on the right footing,” Gale added. (SC)