Business Disaster Preparedness Expert Comes to Fresno 

An expert on disaster preparedness and recovery will speak to local business people and community leaders in two free workshops next week. Donna Childs, whose small business was directly affected by the events of 9/11, will discuss the steps organizations can take now to prepare for natural and man-made disasters, as well as more common occurrences such as computer failures, power outages, fires, environmental hazards and human errors.

Childs, author of ‘Prepare for the Worst, Plan for the Best: Disaster Preparedness and Recovery for Small Businesses,’ will speak at the Governor’s Small Business Conference on Wednesday, November 10. She will present a second free evening workshop at the Radisson Conference Center at 6 p.m. The evening event will be hosted by the Fresno Citizen Corps and is open to the public.

Child’s presentation will provide information on the importance and cost saving advantages of disaster readiness. “Businesses, houses of worship and non-profits should not focus only on worst-case scenarios,“ Childs says. “Instead they need to prepare for the ‘everyday disasters’, which will provide protection against more commonly occurring threats at more reasonable cost.”

Child’s approach was put to test when her own small business, located on Wall Street, was impacted by the September 11 attacks and their aftermath. Her high level of preparedness allowed rapid recovery and resulted in the inclusion of her business in the ‘Ready for Business’ campaign developed by the Department of Homeland Security. In 2007, Childs was named ‘Woman Business Owner of the Year’ by the National Association of Woman Business Owners. She also helped small businesses on the Gulf Coast recover from numerous hurricanes, which earned her recognition from the Hurricane Recovery Director of the American Red Cross.

Information on registration for the day-long, no-cost Governor’s Conference on Small Business and Entrepreneurship is available on-line at:

Information on the free evening workshop is available by email at or by calling 621-CITY (2489).