WASHINGTON (7/7/11)--The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has joined the American Red Cross to “intensify outreach efforts to educate the public about the importance of having a disaster recovery plan in place.” The outreach efforts will include SBA/Red Cross-sponsored disaster preparedness workshops. Credit unions will want to look out for these workshops, which will be organized by district SBA and Red Cross offices. The agencies will also promote the Red Cross Ready Rating program, a Web-based tool that helps businesses gauge their emergency preparedness and provides individualized feedback on how a business’s preparedness can be improved. American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern noted that 15% to 40% of businesses fail following a natural or man-made disaster. “By partnering with the SBA to get more families and businesses prepared for emergencies, we hope to save both lives and livelihoods,” she added. SBA Administrator Karen Mills in a release said that the SBA/Red Cross collaboration will help the two agencies “draw on each other’s resources to make emergency preparedness a way of life for individuals and businesses.” The SBA and Red Cross also advised businesses and individuals to prepare by reviewing their insurance policies, copying and storing any sensitive documents, and stocking an emergency kit with cash, medical supplies, water, food, and other items. For the full SBA/Red Cross release, use the resource link.