I recently sat through a webinar on the Red Cross ReadyRating Program. Admittedly, I’ve perused their site before, and even recommended their services – which I certainly understood – but I never realized how in-depth their program goes. The webinar was hosted by Agility Recovery, who regularly puts on brief and informative programs of good quality.
The ReadyRating program is a web-based service, absolutely free of charge, that provides businesses, organizations, and schools with a free disaster readiness assessment tool. The tool seems to be useful to entities large and small, even allowing larger businesses or organizations with multiple locations to conduct an assessment for each location folded in under the same account. The user answers questions and the tool quantifies the entity’s measure of preparedness and provides customized reports showing various data in a variety of formats (charts, report card, etc). ReadyRating apparently even grades the amount of community participation the entity has relative to preparedness efforts (see my previous post re: Public-Private Partnerships). The tool also enables creation of a customized emergency response plan – something I’m a little cautious of (generally speaking, I’m not in favor of ‘fill in the blank’ planning) – but I’ve not actually used the tool, so I can’t speak from direct experience on it.
ReadyRating refers to their users as ‘members’ – and they have a fairly impressive membership, both in numbers (2,689 businesses and organizations, 570 schools) as well as in names (they list the likes of Anheuser Busch, Grainger, Monsanto, and others). Feedback from members is very favorable, and the tool provides for the ability to do re-assessments and showing progress to the user – that’s great encouragement to them! They even show comparisons with other members (anonymously) (comparisons are provided nationally, state-wide, number of employees, and by industry).