For many years, emergency preparedness and contingency planning were thought of as a luxury only for the biggest corporations. It has become increasingly clear that government’s primary responsibility is to restore basic public services before rendering assistance to the private sector. Direct aid to individual businesses was not on the priority list. As a result, it was recommended that the private sector be self sufficient for a minimum of three days.
In 1983, the mayor of Los Angeles, Tom Bradley, and a group of business leaders met to discuss disaster preparedness. This group subsequently became a steering committee and formed the Business and Industry Council for Emergency Planning and Preparedness (BICEPP).
BICEPP was established as a private sector, self-help association funded by annual sponsorship donations. BICEPP later evolved into a non-profit corporation, lead by an Executive Committee and a Board of Directors. The goal remains the same:
To provide a forum for information exchange to enhance emergency preparedness and contingency planning within the business community.
Now, more than ever before, business and industry must become more self-reliant. Pre-disaster mitigation measures and post-disaster recovery plans are essential to retain market share and the competitive edge. We hope that the success of BICEPP inspires others to emulate or create organizations that assist business and industry. By working together, we can efficiently prepare to handle any crisis.