Single Automated Business Exchange for Reporting Institute Moving to the  
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to Advance Resiliency During Disasters 

Knowing the status and needs of businesses in a disaster is key to setting recovery priorities. Governments must know the status of impacted businesses, especially those that support lifelines of food, fuel, pharmacy, and retail to support building back after an event. To accomplish this, SABER collects business status and needs from thousands of affected businesses in a disaster area, standardizes disparate data, and publishes multiple formats for affected governments to integrate into their situational awareness software, web portals, and common operational picture maps. Agencies gain insights for faster, more effective response and businesses get the support they need to survive and even thrive during an emergency – by minimizing downtime and providing essential products and services to the communities they serve. 

“We called it the Whole Community response and really looked at the private sector as part of the team,” said Craig Fugate, former FEMA Administrator (2009-2017) and now a SABER Advisory Board Member. “When disasters happen, we don’t want to be competing with each other, we want to work as a team and that means we’ve got to have a way to share information. The SABER program and mobile apps are ways to do that and build our Whole Community.” 

SABER was originally created by large national retailers, including Walmart, Costco, Lowes, Target, Macy’s, and Walgreens. This intended transition will provide an opportunity for SABER to be presented to the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s wide network of small and medium businesses throughout the country.  Currently SABER data is used by more than 30 states, FEMA headquarters and regions, and many federal and local agencies. SABER’s status and needs information sharing also enables greater business-to-business collaboration. Large businesses can become temporary suppliers to small businesses whose supply chains are damaged and small businesses can reach out to each other to speed restoration. All status and needs data from SABER is publicly accessible in multiple formats and available at no cost. Businesses share only the information they want to share, when they want to share it. 

“We’re excited to further improve disaster recovery coordination by adding SABER to our portfolio of disaster response tools here at the U.S. Chamber Foundation,” said Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “This enhanced collaboration was well-illustrated during Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, when SEARS and Costco coordinated through SABER to share information on their next fuel shipments, allowing both stores to stay open for the community. By working more closely with SABER, we hope to replicate successes like this many times over.” 

“The value of private-public information sharing has been shown since SABER’s founding in 2014,” said James W. Morentz, Ph.D., founder and executive director of SABER. “For example, during Hurricane Barry, FEMA established multiple Points of Distribution (POD) for relief supplies in preparation for response. SABER reported unexpectedly rapid reopening of businesses, which allowed FEMA to dispense with one POD and close another much sooner than expected, saving significant federal effort and money. I look forward to advising the U.S. Chamber Foundation on how to maximize such benefits.” 
An announcement of SABER’s intended transition will take place at the 10th Annual Building Resilience Through Private-Public Partnerships Conference being held virtually July 27 - 28, 2021. 

For more information on the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s community resilience and disaster response program, visit this link or contact ccc@uschamber.com. For information on SABER (
http://www.SABERspace.org) please contact James W. Morentz, Ph.D., Executive Director, at jim@SABERspace.org.  

Getting Businesses Back in Business Faster

Helping businesses stay open longer and reopen faster in a disaster, in order to help communities recover, is the common goal that brings together the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Single Automated Business Exchange for Reporting Institute (SABER). We are proud to let you know that we intend to join together in the coming months to transition SABER to become part of the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center. In the meantime, SABER will continue its normal operations, monitoring the emergency status of businesses across America and sharing that information with federal, state, and local government agencies.