News Release – WA SBDCs

Contact Brett Rogers:                                                                                       December 7, 2009

509-358-7767                                                                                          For Immediate Release:


The Washington Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) partner with Disaster Resistant Business (DRB) Toolkit® to help small businesses develop their disaster plans.

The Disaster Resistant Business (DRB) Toolkit®, a comprehensive software tool, is FREE to Washington businesses. This cutting edge tool is 100% customizable, designed to help all small businesses to build their emergency program including creating or enhancing, updating, and testing each company’s disaster plan. The Toolkit was developed through a unique and unprecedented Public-Private Partnership of subject-matter experts right here in Washington to ensure that it is both comprehensive and user friendly.

“We consciously combed through the materials to eliminate wherever possible all overly technical language. It is written in a language that all people can understand,” stated Ines Pearce, founder of the DRB Toolkit Workgroup and its President. “I am a Washington native and am proud to be partnering with Terry Chambers of the Washington State SBDC as the SBDCs are a vital resource to businesses. I’m even prouder to be giving this back to the people of my home state. Washington has always been at the forefront of technology, so it makes sense that we started here.”

The primary purpose of a disaster plan and program is to first ensure the safety of the employees and then ensure the continuation or re-instatement of time-sensitive business operations after unplanned disruptions such as fire, power or communications blackout, hurricane, flood, earthquake, civil disturbance, etc.

The DRB Toolkit® provides a comprehensive yet simplified approach for your business using a software application that is interactive and has video prompts to guide the user through information input. The information input into the application produces a disaster plan created from the knowledge provided by the user. A completed plan helps a business return to normal delivery of services in the event of an unplanned disruption. No prior experience is needed to use the Toolkit. “The best thing about the DRB Toolkit® is that no one need be an expert in business continuity in order to use it. All of that expertise is built into the tool itself. You only have to be an expert in your own organization; the Toolkit does the rest,” Pearce noted.

After a company has finished going through the Toolkit, they will have a disaster program (also known as a Business Continuity Program) and plan that addresses critical elements such as employee training. Each business will be far better prepared for a disaster than they are today, and probably better prepared than many of their competitors.

Businesses interested in working with the WSBDC to develop their disaster plan, or to receive a code for a FREE copy of the DRB Toolkit® in Washington State, should contact their local SBDC advisor. Advisors can be located on the WSBDC web site For more information about the DRB Toolkit® itself, visit

The SBDC provides no-charge confidential advising and low-cost training to current and prospective business owners. It is a cooperative effort between Washington State University, community colleges, economic development organizations, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on the mission and services of the SBDC visit the network Web site at:

Washington State University 534 Spokane Falls Blvd, Suite 201, PO Box 1495, Spokane, WA 99210-1495 509-358-7765 – Fax: 509-358-7764 –