Clyde's Corner on Volunteerism / Community Resilience / DRI2015, San Antonio, March 1-4

The Community of Man

People across the globe are of differing economic and social levels, with varying levels of need.

Sometimes, though, people at every level are affected by disasters, severe weather events, and catastrophic occurrences that reshape and impact their lives and those of loved ones and neighbors. We have had no shortage of events that have transformed communities from prosperous, idyllic neighborhoods into scenes of destruction and loss.
As business continuity professionals, we work hard to ensure the continuation of work processes while seeking to protect life and property. Our goal as emergency response, crisis management, and continuity of operations specialists is to allow for critical business activities to continue when disaster strikes. That’s our ultimate obligation to the companies we work for and the people we work with.

That said, we are all part of a greater community: the community of man. Within this community, we have come to expect and deliver on a greater promise, to help people in need to recover.You have heard me speak of volunteerism here in these columns and in person, and you have heard me say that I do volunteer when I can. Yet, it is far less than I wish. My New Year’s Resolution is to fix that with a greater abundance of volunteer challenges and accomplishments in 2015. I don’t want to look back at 2015 in January 2016 and say, “I wish I had done more.” I am subject to the trials and tribulations of life that consume my time and energy just as you are.  Will I work harder to get beyond my own busy calendar to do more? That is my hope, and I encourage you to as well.

So where to start? Speak to your local community leaders about helping with a town-wide emergency plan, go to the local food bank to volunteer your time (as I know many of you already do), volunteer to help your business continuity organization, help construct a house with Habitat for Humanity, refurbish a home with a Rebuilding Together organization, work at a community organic garden or animal shelter, help write an emergency/business continuity plan for a local nonprofit…the list is endless.

As a possible first step towards this New Year’s Resolution, volunteer with me on either February 28 or March 4 at DRI2015, our conference in San Antonio. With almost 50 volunteers already signed up and more joining each day, It’s sure to be a productive day. Please join us doing meaningful volunteer work while in Texas. As in past years, you will be provided with food, transportation, a t-shirt, goodie bag, and shoulder-to-shoulder camaraderie that is life-changing for many. While working, we swap BCP stories and catch up on family news and work accomplishments, and all the while helping those in need.

I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio, and as always, I look forward to e-mails from you to let me know how you are doing or to ask specific questions about our volunteer experience.

All the best,
Clyde Berger
Director of Volunteerism and Vice President
Disaster Recovery International Foundation