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Walgreens Helps Strengthen Partnerships for Community Resilience

August 2017

FEMA Region 7 staff facilitate a TTX with partners from Walgreens, the Safeguard Iowa Project, and the University of Kansas Medical Center.
FEMA Region 7 staff facilitate a TTX with partners from
Walgreens, the Safeguard Iowa Project, and the University of
Kansas Medical Center. Photo by Kristiana Sanford.
On June 8, 2017, FEMA Region 7 teamed up with more than 20 Walgreens Asset Protection Managers from five states throughout the Heartland to address community resilience. Leaders from the Safeguard Iowa Partnership and the Missouri Public Private Partnership, as well as Sprint and the University of Kansas Medical Center, participated in a workshop designed to expand partnerships across states and regions. The day-long event was an outgrowth of a 2016 Ready Business Workshop that was held this spring in Johnson County, Kansas.

Walgreens is one of the largest drugstore chains in the U.S. – with more than 8,000 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In the past, Walgreens has coordinated with FEMA during disasters to provide situational awareness and disaster assistance messaging, allowing FEMA to help communities respond appropriately and recover faster.

The theme for the workshop was “Strengthening Partnerships.” The morning portion of the workshop focused on preparedness for individuals and businesses and included a discussion on the Business Emergency Operations Center (BEOC). The afternoon featured a multi-state TTX scenario supported by the National Weather Service.

“Without question, the workshop benefitted Walgreens as well as the other partners in attendance. Throughout the day there was shared discussion on both the immediate and long-term challenges our organizations face when dealing with catastrophic events,” said Joey Jaramillo, Asset Protection Manager for Walgreen’s Midwest Region #20. 
 
Kathy Fields, Acting Regional Administrator for FEMA Region VII, kicks off the 2017 Walgreens-FEMA multi-state exercise on June 8. Bill Brunkhardt (left), Director of the Missouri Public-Private Partnership, and Dutch Geisinger (right), Director of the Safeguard Iowa Project, joined Walgreens' Asset Protection Managers from five states to build partnerships for community and economic recovery following a major disaster event.
Kathy Fields, Acting Regional Administrator for FEMA Region VII,
kicks off the 2017 Walgreens-FEMA multi-state exercise on
June 8. Bill Brunkhardt (left), Director of the Missouri Public-
Private Partnership, and Dutch Geisinger (right), Director of the
Safeguard Iowa Project, joined Walgreens' Asset Protection
Managers from five states to build partnerships for community
and economic recovery following a major disaster event.
Kristiana Sanford, Acting Director for FEMA Region 7 External Affairs, feels the highlight of the event was a table top exercise designed specifically for Walgreens stores from Texas to Illinois to build their corporate resiliency and strengthen communities.

“The discussion on the Region 7 Business Emergency Operations Center helped participants zero-in on the importance of forming partnerships before a disaster in order to address critical response needs,” said Sanford. “FEMA’s presentations on individual preparedness and continuity dovetailed nicely with Walgreens’ presentations on the same topics, providing an opportunity to coordinate and share best practices.”

Jaramillo highly recommends this workshop to other businesses. 

“From the shared ideas, coupled with the active discussions centered around the table top exercise, and the multiple perspectives delivered from the expert panel, this type of workshop would provide any organization the insight on the importance of business continuity and strong resiliency,” said Jaramillo.

Sanford believes this kind of event strengthens coordination with the private sector. 

“The event strengthened the full cycle of emergency management, from preparedness through response and into long-term recovery,” said Sanford.

To learn more about how to host a ReadyBusiness workshop in your region visit: https://www.ready.gov/business