The Erie County Civil Defense/Disaster Preparedness Division executes the County plan for civil defense and disaster relief before, during, and after any type of natural disaster, man-made disaster, or wartime situation. The activities of this Division are mandated by State Law, with the County maintaining control over certain levels of services. In 2012, OEM partnered with the Business Network of Emergency Resources (BNET), a non-profit 501C-3 organization dedicated to developing public-private cooperative programs to preserve businesses and communities during and following a severe crisis or disaster.
BNET's flagship program, the Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS), is a turnkey credentialing program, provided at no cost to governments, that allows businesses to provide a common, centrally issued credential to employees deemed essential to business operations and recovery. The program allows credentialed Essential Employees to travel and access areas restricted to Essential Employees/Personnel following a disaster or severe emergency and are easily recognized by law enforcement personnel.
Why is Private Sector Credentialing Important?
Private sector businesses operate and maintain most of the critical infrastructure that helps our communities function. Many have come to take for granted the most basic essential lifelines (power, fuel, water, money, food, medication, etc.) and assume these resources will always be available. Disasters can significantly affect the delivery of essential private sector-supplied goods and services; therefore, maintaining the continuity of business activity is vital in most emergency/disaster scenarios. Identifying a business's Essential Employees through the CEAS credential removes travel and access obstacles often encountered during these events.
There's an intrinsic connection between government, business, and the community that highlights the purpose of the CEAS program: to help sustain people and restore normalcy to disaster-impacted communities. When we remove the obstacles to travel and access that can impede the recovery of businesses and the flow of vital supplies, goods, and services into affected communities, we all recover faster.
CEAS Essential Employee credential holders can:
- Travel and access business facilities when "Essential Personnel/Worker" restrictions are in place.
- Quickly determine if and how your business was affected by the event and can take steps necessary to mitigate further damage to facilities and essential business processes.
- Allows private entities to continue to deliver vital lifeline goods and services to impacted communities.
- Gives businesses a jump start on recovery activities.
- Facilitates the execution of business continuity plans.
- Creates a valuable, actionable partnership with government and public safety agencies.
How To Enroll?
You can enroll your organization in CEAS online at CEAS.com.
Before enrolling, it is important to gather some information that will simplify your online enrollment.
To Get Started
- Designate a coordinator responsible for the program's administration within your company.
- Know how many Full-Time Employees (FTEs) your company employs
- Provide proof of commercial general liability insurance
- Execute the Participation Agreement
Once your application is approved, you can begin uploading your Essential Employees into the CEAS system to receive credentials.