Your Facility’s In An Evacuation Area. Now What?

The Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS) program partners with government to help businesses overcome restricted access areas.

What would happen if you had to evacuate one of your critical facilities following an emergency and were prevented from returning for three days, five days, a week, or more? What happens to the essential business operations performed there? This scenario is an unsettling one for business continuity professionals and crisis managers. Unfortunately, this what-if situation is often overlooked in the planning process.

(Photo: Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS))

Though the landscape of business continuity has changed over the years, relying increasingly on workforces working remotely and cloud computing, facilities still play a significant role in a company’s overall health. Being able to reenter those facilities to access damage and initiate recovery is often an ad-hoc, time-consuming process that can economically damage a business. How can your company better prepare for the access limitations put in place by public safety agencies following a disaster or severe emergency that forces you to evacuate?

The Business Network of Emergency Resources (BNET), a New York-based not-for-profit company, has dedicated itself to establishing practical and effective emergency and crisis management solutions through partnerships between the public and private sectors. BNET has taken the public-private partnership to the next level. By working closely with government officials on behalf of the area businesses, BNET has, over the past 20 years, collectively raised the public sector consciousness of the vital role that business plays in community recovery.

First Of Its Kind Crisis Reentry Program For Business

Its breakthrough Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS) is a first of its kind; a crisis reentry program that solves the access restrictions dilemma and helps businesses better prepare for unexpected events. The CEAS partnership brings essential employees and public safety together using a standard credential that preauthorizes your critical business employees for access to restricted areas following an event. Governments must adopt CEAS as their crisis reentry program before businesses can enroll in the program and receive credentials. Once immediate threats to life stabilize, local authorities can implement CEAS. The CEAS credential helps police officers determine who belongs in an area. This assists your critical employees get to your facility to begin the recovery process.

Restricted Travel Access For Essential Cardholders

CEAS also helps cardholders in times while traveling on roadways in which adverse weather has restricted travel. Government officials will often discourage travel during severe inclement weather as a precaution, and, on some occasions, institute travel bans, effectively shutting down access. That decision places essential community lifelines and resources, like food, fuel, and medications, at risk. It is here that CEAS has been used most effectively in previous years. While CEAS doesn’t encourage travel during these times, it allows those equipped to travel in adverse conditions access to roadways.

Credential Critical Suppliers

Another advantage of the program includes the ability to credential critical suppliers. With just-in-time resource delivery being the norm, many companies rely on critical goods or services suppliers as part of both daily and emergency business operations. During a power outage a few years ago, many companies found that while they were able to maintain essential operations through emergency generation, they were unable to refuel their generators. Police officials had restricted access to the area, which thwarted critical fuel deliveries and other necessary supplies from entering to support their clients.

Enroll In The CEAS Program

Businesses in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York City, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Stamford are taking advantage of CEAS. Companies interested in enrolling in CEAS in the listed locations can do so at

“As a New York-based company located a quarter-mile or less from where three major terror attacks and one earthquake have occurred in the past 25 years, we rely on the CEAS program to ensure that our key personnel, whose roles are vital to the protection of our people, brand, and operations, obtain the access required to support our Crisis Response / Crisis Management teams,” says Joseph Bellomo, Director Security Services, American Express.

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