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Home > City Departments > Emergency Management Services > Corporate Emergency Access System

Corporate Emergency Access System


What would happen to your business if you were unable to gain access to your premises, your records or inventory for hours, days or even weeks?

Depending on your particular business, the answer to that question may vary. But losses of revenue, inventory, market share and in many cases, entire businesses, have failed due to unavoidable disasters.

  • Various New York state and local emergency management offices, in conjunction with the not-for –profit Business Network of Emergency Resources (Bnet), have teamed up to introduce the Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS), a program designed to help business owners-both large and small-mitigate the potential damage and financial losses resulting from an unforeseen emergency or catastrophe.
  • Essentially, the CEAS is an identification system designed to provide a positive, verifiable credential that identifies the carrier as "essential" to the viability of his/her employer's business. If deemed appropriate by public safety officials, this credential will allow employer-designated holders to gain access to areas restricted to the public due to adverse conditions following an emergency. The primary role of the CEAS credential holder is to sustain core business functions and meet regulatory obligations for the business until "normal" conditions return.
  • In a global business region like New York State, it is critical that both government and business be well prepared to respond to and recover from an emergency or disaster as quickly as possible. The resumption of business activity is not only critical to the State's economy, but to the national and world economies as well. Recognizing this crucial relationship, NY State and Bnet, in cooperation public safety agencies and in partnership with the State's business leaders, have joined to develop CEAS as part of the State's overall economic development plan. This program truly sets New York State apart from other major metropolitan areas by taking proactive measures to ensure the State maintains its economic strength in the wake of business disruption.
  • Even the best business continuity plans cannot provide for your ability to physically move personnel and assets outside the walls of your facility during an emergency. In a post disaster environment there is no guarantee of personnel re-entry to your facility or even movement from location A to location B, no matter how comprehensive your plans or whom you think you might be able to influence.

    Business Continuity plans are not complete unless you have done your due diligence as to the preparedness of your critical service providers.  If they cannot perform, you may not be able to perform as planned. A seemingly insignificant supplier can easily become a single point of failure for your entire organization. A 2008 survey by Continuity Insights Magazine showed that only 30% of companies include their third-party vendors in their plans and tests.

    BNET designed the Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS) with emergency access prohibitions in mind. CEAS is a public-private partnership created between local government and its business community to provide a simple means to allow critical business employees to gain access to restricted areas for the purposes of business continuity and recovery.

    After a declared emergency CEAS allows you to:

    Rescue vaulted assets and vital records
    Power down networks, mainframes and servers
    Retrieve laptops, servers
    Refill Emergency generators with fuel
    Move key resources and personnel
    Assess damage, begin restoration
    Call-in pre-qualified vendors
    Restore critical operations and customer services
    Minimize financial loss
    Retain customers

    During a recent snowstorm in South Buffalo, City officials demonstrated just how important a tool like CEAS could be.  Operating under a Snow Emergency, with only public safety and utility vehicles permitted on the roads, the CEAS program was activated, allowing critical employee cardholders the ability to travel to their assignments as well.   While snow storms are generally of a short duration, picture the benefits to having a CEAS card in an event that lasted 3 days, 5 days, a week or more.

    Enroll now, enjoy the peace of mind and increased resiliency CEAS will provide your company.

    To Learn more or to find out if your business can benefit from the CEAS program, visit the CEAS website at www.ceas.com  or call BNet at 888-353-BNet (2638).
    CEAS Programs are currently operational in Buffalo and Erie County, New York City, Rockland County, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Philadelphia, Pa., Baltimore, Md., Boston and Cambridge, Ma., Stamford, Ct., and Providence, RI.