PrepareFair emphasizes importance of role of Downtown businesses in emergencies

The first-ever PrepareFair, an event organized to raise awareness of the important role that downtown businesses, building owners and managers play in preparing for and responding to an emergency was held on Wednesday, Sept. 29 on Nicollet Mall and in the IDS Crystal Court. PrepareFair was created by the Downtown Emergency Advisory Committee – a unique public/private partnership between the City of Minneapolis, and downtown building owners through the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District.

Emergency response equipment including an Urban Search and Rescue Vehicle, a mass casualty van, a hazardous materials mobile laboratory, along with canine units, horse patrols, and SWAT teams were on display on Nicollet Mall. Inside the IDS Crystal Court more than 30 organizations involved in emergency management disaster response provided information to downtown residents, workers and visitors.

The ultimate goal of this committee is to make sure that everyone who works and lives in downtown Minneapolis, and building owners and regional public safety agencies knows what to do in an emergency and achieve the highest level of readiness for public safety threats.

The City of Minneapolis and local businesses and organizations have a strong history of working together to improve our community. Preparations for the Republic National Convention in 2008, as well as the emergency response and recovery during the I-35W Bridge collapse in 2007 and the tornado in 2009 are good examples of this collaboration. These events have all demonstrated the importance of emergency preparedness and collaborative response for the downtown community.

Another example of a successful public-private partnership is the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District’s SafeZone. In this partnership, local business investments in security cameras, radios and personnel are maximized through a shared network with Minneapolis Police. For every downtown police officer, there are 13 downtown security guards, so this relationship creates a well-connected network dedicated to public safety.

To ensure that downtown is prepared for any emergency, both individuals and businesses need to be engaged in this process. Folks should have their own family emergency plan in place, but if they dont have one, www.MinneapolisDID.com.

Sept. 29, 2010

Published Sep 29, 2010