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Corporations seen as key to disaster recovery

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More than six in 10 Americans say corporations are better able to respond to disasters than is government, a new study says.

Cone Inc., based in Boston, surveyed more than 1,000 Americans about corporate disaster response in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and found corporations are believed to be critical in both short- and long-term disaster response.

Almost nine in 10 respondents say they expect companies to play an important role in rebuilding efforts and more than half expect them to continue in that role until devastated areas are back on their feet, even if that takes more than two years.

While education, health and the environment remain at the top of Americans’ lists of causes companies should support, poverty and youth both have jumped in importance since Hurricane Katrina, the report says.

Almost nine in 10 people surveyed say they have a better impression of companies after learning they supported relief efforts, the report says, and about the same number of Americans believe such support demonstrates good corporate citizenship.

These findings “reinforce the importance of a corporate vision and a short and long-term strategic disaster relief plan,” says Carol Cone, the firm’s chairman.

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