LA BEOCLocated at the main campus of Louisiana State University (LSU), the Center for Business Preparedness (CBP) was established by the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute (SDMI) to bridge the gap between academic research and business preparedness and continuity of operations. Specifically, the Center will focus on applying proven business management techniques to the challenge of disaster preparedness and community resilience.

The Center for Business Preparedness is dedicated to creating a cultural shift in the value of preparedness by creating a central point of collaboration for research, knowledge sharing, and outreach to address challenges to small businesses while working to enhance and evolve private sector resilience.

Through global collaboration with academic institutions, private sector organizations and public entities, the Center for Business Preparedness offers a central location for the business and academic communities to:

  • Promote regional and community resilience through better prepared businesses
  • Promote public-private partnerships through workshops, seminars, and training
  • Improve data collection, management, analysis, and dissemination capabilities  related to the value of preparedness and mitigation


The Stephenson Disaster Management Institute (SDMI) at Louisiana State University convened a national meeting on small business preparedness in March of 2011 with private sector leaders, academic scholars, and Federal, State, and Local emergency management experts. Under the direction of SDMI, the participants formed a Working Group intent on exploring the value of creating a central point of collaboration for preparedness, research, and outreach that will serve the small business community. Using the PS-Prep Program (Title IX of PL 110-53) as a starting point, the group began to craft an actionable framework for progress. SDMI, drawing on the advice of the Working Group, set the strategic direction and vision for the Center and is working to develop partnerships with private sector firms, academic institutions, government agencies, NGOs, and other stakeholders to further the purpose of the Center.

Our attendees included representatives from the following organizations:

  • American Red Cross
  • Association of Contingency Planners
  • Boston University
  • Entergy
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Homeland Security Studies & Analysis Institute
  • Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety
  • Louisiana Economic Development
  • Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
  • Louisiana State University
  • Small Business Development Centers
  • State and local government of Louisiana
  • State Farm
  • Stephenson Disaster Management Institute