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University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu Associate Professor Jason Levy is serving as the principal investigator on a two-year, $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to promote business resilience and public-private sector partnerships in Hawaiʻi. Levy is teaming with Ross Prizzia, professor of public administration and director of disaster preparedness and emergency management programs at UH West Oʻahu, to develop timely and valuable solutions for business continuity planning and disaster management.

The proposal involves the planning and development of a business recovery center in Hawaiʻi to enhance disaster preparedness and create a robust business resilience network that strives for best disaster management practices and continuous improvement.

“The state of Hawaiʻi has urgent needs for both pre-disaster business continuity planning and post-disaster recovery actions due to its location, topography and demographics. As the most isolated population center in the world, transportation travel times and import costs to Hawaiʻi are significant. As well, Hawaiʻi is exposed to a wide range of natural, health-related and intentional threats (from hurricanes and tsunamis to active volcanoes and emerging infectious diseases),” Levy said.

Through this disaster resilience grant, Levy and Prizzia are working with government organizations and the private sector, as well as voluntary, faith-based, and community stakeholders active in disaster management. Their disaster resilience work includes developing a business recovery center annex to the State’s Emergency Operations Plan and Standard Operating Guide, including identifying and sizing emergency communications requirements to permit continuity of operations, as well as developing, coordinating, and performing industry outreach, training and exercises to support the disaster response and recovery capacity of large and small businesses in Hawaiʻi.