The Yukon Chamber of Commerce will host a one-day conference next month to help Yukon businesses and other organizations plan for surviving a disaster that threatens the continuity of their operations.
The Dec. 7 event will follow last year’s Fort McMurray, Alta. fires, this year’s wildfires in British Columbia, and the 6.3 earthquakes in southern Yukon last May 1.
The event’s theme will be Business Continuity: Dealing with Disaster through Resilience.
This conference is for businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and municipal and First Nations governments.
It will address the four elements necessary for an organization to survive a disastrous event:
Keynote speakers will include:
• Julie Dickson Olmstead, director, public affairs and corporate services, Craig Anderson, general manager, operations (Prairies and Yukon), both of Save-on-Foods, who will speak on Ft. McMurray and Williams Lake – Lessons Leaned and Applied; and
• John Coyne, a certified business continuity professional with the Disaster Recovery Institute International and the manager of the Emergency Management Unit for the territorial Department of Health and Social Services, who will speak on how businesses and other organizations can plan for and survive disastrous events.
In addition, there will be sessions on:
• Employer obligations related to human resources and occupational health and safety;
• Insurance – adequate and appropriate coverage for organizations;
• IT & Telecom best practices and backup and recovery solutions; and
• Electricity – Dealing with Disaster through Resilience – “Behind the Switch”.
“We learned from the Ft. McMurray fires that virtually all of their 3,900 businesses closed; 277 businesses were either destroyed or otherwise affected by the blaze; and as many as 40 per cent of the businesses have not re-opened,” said chamber president Peter Turner.
“That event, coupled with this year’s fires in B.C., and our own earthquakes in May, made us realize that most businesses and small organizations, including ours, do not have adequate plans or mitigation strategies in place.”
This conference, Turner added, “is intended to help businesses, NGOs and municipal and First Nations governments across the territory better prepare themselves to plan for and emerge from such disasters; or something as simple as a fire or other event that forces the closure of their operation.”