Manheim Chamber focuses on emergency preparedness

Originally Published Mar 09, 2012 11:30

Disaster can strike at any time, wreaking havoc on communities.

Such was the case last fall when remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped an incredible amount of rain on the area.

Many communities experienced flooding, and Manheim was one of the hardest hit. Among the residents that were forced to evacuate their homes, some business owners also found themselves in deep water.

Later this month, three local business owners will share stories about how the flood affected them and share tips about preparing for and handling an emergency.

The discussion is part of the Manheim Chamber of Commerce’s March Jump Start program, “Mayhem in Manheim,” to be held at 7:30 a.m. March 22.

“In the past year, the chamber has refocused and is committed to being more relevant to our members by focusing on local issues and local resources,” explained Maureen Halat, a chamber director and member of the program team. “What could be more relevant to our community than information about dealing with an emergency such as the flooding in September?”

The panel discussion is meant to educate business owners about how to prepare for and manage emergencies to minimize disruption to business. Panelists include Mountain View Heating & Cooling co-owner Karen Shreiner, a victim of storm flooding; Aaron Schwartz, an agent with Ruhl Insurance; and Chris Tankalavage of ServPro, a consultant for disaster cleanup.

“(The flooding) was an overwhelming and stressful time, but I learned a lot through it,” Shreiner said. “You don’t think that something like this can happen to you, and you think you’re prepared, but you’re never prepared enough.”

Jump Start programs, short seminars that include networking opportunities, are held every other month at Enck’s Banquet and Conference Center.

Halat said that the goal for these programs is to hear the information in the morning and use it in the afternoon.

Registration and networking will begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by a breakfast buffet at 8. The presentation will begin promptly at 8:30.

The cost is $20 for Chamber members and $25 for non-members. Registration deadline is March 20.
To register, call 665-6330 or visit

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