WASHINGTON - What do Starbucks Corporation, the Boeing Company, and the Friday Harbor Flower Shop have in common? All are businesses, all are located near Seattle, and all are taking an active role in keeping their employees safe and making their businesses more disaster resistant from earthquakes and other hazards.
The Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) is a non-profit action group on a mission. In 1996, the scientific community established CREW to promote awareness of seismic risk among businesses and emergency managers. The Nisqually earthquake in February 2001 provided CREW and its partners with an important opportunity to assess lessons learned and to take additional steps to mitigate against damage from future earthquakes. Since the Nisqually earthquake, CREW has sponsored conferences and held forums to showcase both successes and failures during the Nisqually earthquake, and how to apply those lessons learned to a variety of other hazards, including man-made hazards.
In April 2003, CREW will release a 20-minute video directed at small- and medium-sized businesses. Using the lessons learned from Nisqually, the message of the video is “protect your people, your buildings, and your business.” The video, which highlights the work of Starbucks, Boeing, and the Friday Harbor Flower Shop, will be distributed along with a tool kit developed in partnership with the Institute for Business and Home Safety. CREW also plans to meet with the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and other Chambers of Commerce to establish coordinating centers with businesses, and will continue to sponsor its series of business forums.