Partnership for Disaster Response Task Force Named

Business Roundtable (Washington D.C.) has named Richard L. Keyser, chairman and CEO of W.W. Grainger, Inc. (Chicago), as chairman of its Partnership for Disaster Response Task Force. Keyser will lead this consortium of CEOs from prominent U.S. companies who are focusing on how the business community can most effectively contribute to national disaster preparedness and response efforts.

The private sector owns and operates more than 85% of the nation’s critical infrastructure and has a major stake in the quick and efficient response to disasters. In addition, large companies have substantial resources--financial as well as donated goods and expertise--essential to helping communities during a crisis.

The task force will identify opportunities for the private sector to strengthen preparedness for disasters, expand partnerships with nonprofit relief organizations and foster communication among businesses and the federal government.

Richard Keyser was recognized by the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago in 2006 for his leadership of corporate volunteerism and was recently selected by the American Red Cross to receive its Heritage of Service Award for Community Excellence in bringing the Ready When the Time Comes volunteer program to national prominence.

Partnership for Disaster Response was first activated immediately following Hurricane Katrina. As soon as Katrina struck, the Partnership began facilitating communications about critical on-the-ground needs and urged member companies to contribute to the relief effort.

The partnership recognizes the important role of the private sector and has developed a protocol for response to large-scale disasters, and created a clearinghouse of information and resources, www.respondtodisaster.org, for companies planning and communication during disasters.

Source: Business Roundtable

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