For Immediate Release - May 04, 2016

MEMA and BNET Launch First Statewide Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS)

Innovative Program Helps Communities Recover from Emergencies and Disasters

FRAMINGHAM, MA – The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has partnered with the non-profit, Business Network of Emergency Resources (BNET) to implement the Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS) in Massachusetts. While the CEAS program is active in many cities along the east coast, including Boston, New York, Providence, Baltimore and Philadelphia, Massachusetts is the first state to adopt CEAS as a statewide program.

CEAS is an access control program that allows credentialed employees of businesses that provide critical services or must maintain core systems and functions entry into areas that are otherwise off limits to the public due to disaster or emergency conditions for the purposes of business continuity and critical infrastructure recovery. Access is accomplished through the use of a centrally issued, pre-authorized secure credential recognized by law enforcement and emergency management officials.  It is the only ID-based access program recognized by Massachusetts state and local enforcement and emergency management agencies. Access is permitted when deemed safe and will not interfere with first responder operations.

“By bringing CEAS to Massachusetts, we hope to help reduce the economic impacts of disasters and get the private sector back on line sooner to support community response and recovery operations,” stated MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “There is an integral relationship between business continuity and the speed and success of disaster recovery.”

BNET Executive Director Peter Picarillo said, “This is another excellent example of building resilience through public-private partnerships. Massachusetts’ recognition of CEAS will greatly enhance the resiliency of the Commonwealth by ensuring its vital lifelines -- businesses and industries -- can survive a disaster.”

Disasters and emergencies can significantly affect the availability of essential commodities and services that are provided by the private sector, such as power, fuel, food, water, prescription medication,  transportation, financial services, health care, and social services.  The goal of the CEAS program is to help ensure the availability and continuity of these critical commodities and services by allowing critical private sector employees rapid access to their facilities following disasters and emergency events.  Participating businesses receive CEAS credentials for employees who need to support critical business operations and support disaster recovery efforts.  These critical employees can quickly get back to work, assess damages, retrieve assets, stabilize and sustain core IT systems, and ensure their companies’ continuity and recovery operations.

The CEAS card, which is only issued to a limited number of employees of eligible companies and organizations, is intended to be easily recognized and verified by law enforcement during an emergency or disaster. The program provides a simple means of identification - the CEAS Card - to facilitate essential private sector employees’ travel through, or into restricted areas if local authorities determine that such travel or access is safe and will not impede public safety response operations.  

CEAS is available by annual subscription to eligible businesses and organizations across Massachusetts.  To enroll, or learn more about how CEAS can better prepare your organization for the unexpected, visit www.ceas.com/ma. 

 

BNET is a not-for-profit company dedicated to establishing practical and effective emergency and crisis management solutions through partnerships between the public and private sector. Created by BNET, the Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS) uses a ‘critical employee access card’ system to mitigate economic loss and maintain critical infrastructure when unforeseen events limit access to the workplace.  The goal of CEAS is to accelerate recovery time for both business and government.

MEMA is the state agency charged with ensuring the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, including natural hazards, accidents, deliberate attacks, and technological and infrastructure failures. MEMA is committed to an all hazards approach to emergency management.  By building and sustaining effective partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies, and with the private sector - - individuals, families, non-profits, and businesses - - MEMA ensures the Commonwealth’s ability to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating threats and hazards, enhancing preparedness, coordinating response operations, and strengthening our capacity to rebuild and recover.

For additional information about MEMA, go to www.mass.gov/mema. Also, follow MEMA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MassEMA; Facebook at www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA; and YouTube at www.youtube.com/MassachusettsEMA. Massachusetts Alerts: to receive emergency information on your smartphone, including severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA, download the Massachusetts Alerts free app. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for additional information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit: www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.

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