News Release

Southeastern SBDC partners with local agencies in workshop on disaster preparedness

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt


     HAMMOND – The Southeastern Louisiana University Small Business Development Center - in conjunction with the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation, Northshore Harbor Center, East and West St. Tammany Chambers of Commerce and SCORE (Counselors to America’s Small Business) - is presenting a workshop in August on disaster preparedness.

     The “Dare to Prepare” workshop will be presented on Aug. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon at Northshore Harbor Center, 100 Harbor Center Blvd. in Slidell. The workshop will teach small business owners how to keep their businesses open through a disaster, minimize their losses, and save money on insurance.

     The free, interactive workshop will feature Donna Childs, founder and CEO of a small business on Wall Street that was in “Zone 1” of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, said SBDC Assistant Director Sandy Summers. “Childs will share her story of how her business survived one of the worst tragedies in U.S. history and offer other business people a framework for preparing their families and businesses for major and minor disasters,” she said.

     Participants will learn secrets for cost-effective insurance coverage from an industry insider. They will also receive information on how to formulate an effective disaster plan, which will yield immediate insurance savings and other benefits to their businesses even if disaster never strikes.

     Over the past seven years, Childs has spoken to small business owners across the country on how to prepare for and recover from all types of disasters from fire and hurricanes to terrorist attacks. Last June the National Association of Women Business Owners named her “Woman Business Owner of the Year.”

     Childs also shares tips and secrets in her newly published book “Prepare for the Worst, Plan for the Best: Disaster Preparedness and Recovery for Small Business.” The book has received favorable attention from the “Wall Street Journal,” the “New York Times,” “U.S. News and World Report,” National Public Radio, CNBC and other major news media.

     Summers said that some free copies of Child’s book will be given away, and all participants will receive a free disaster kit from the SBDC. The kit includes a comprehensive disaster planning toolkit booklet, a camera, a flashlight, batteries, a jump drive, and other essentials all in a waterproof bag.

     Pre-registration is encouraged to ensure enough disaster kits are available. For more information or to pre-register, contact the Southeastern Small Business Development Center at (985) 549-3831 or

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