WASHINGTON, D.C.—As a nod to the importance of private-sector involvement in decision-making about disaster response, the U.S. Chamber BCLC today announced the appointment of Gerald McSwiggan to the new National Mass Care Council. The council, launched in May 2011, is co-led by the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD), which together appointed McSwiggan.
“Gerald has been a tremendous force in instilling disaster planning and response as a business discipline that companies should manage and monitor the same as any other important function,” said Alfonso Martinez-Fonts, executive vice president for the U.S. Chamber’s Forum for Policy Innovation, of which BCLC is a part. “Equally important, Gerald has led BCLC’s public education efforts to put relevant and credible information in the hands of business donors and disaster responders during times of crisis. This appointment is a testament to Gerald’s hard work and acumen.”
The National Mass Care Council will provide a strategic U.S.-wide framework to enhance coordination, pool expertise and strengthen response capacity for mass care-related issues. Areas of focus for the council are:
1. Individual or congregate temporary shelters (including household pets)
2. Fixed or mobile feeding operations
3. Distribution of relief supplies
4. Family re-unification
5. Health and/or mental health services
6. Information on recovery assistance
As the business specialist on the council for the duration of his two-year appointment, McSwiggan will participate in setting the vision and driving the development of the National Mass Care Strategy. Other sectors represented on the council include government, nonprofit, faith-based, and academia.
As a 501(c)3 educational organization, BCLC serves as a voice and resource for the business community's social and philanthropic interests. BCLC is affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and works to strengthen collaboration among companies, chambers, NGOs, and governmental agenices. The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.