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THE BEACON COUNCIL AND SOUTHERN BELL-FLORIDA WIN AWARDS FOR PERFORMANCE FOLLOWING HURRICANE ANDREW

 ARLINGTON, Va., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Systems Research and Applications Corporation (SRA), through its Center for Corporate Response Ability (CORA) announces that it has bestowed awards to the Beacon Council and Southern Bell-Florida. The awards were formally presented on June 7 at the fourth annual CORA conference on emergency preparedness conducted in Palm Springs, Calif. They reflect the leadership exhibited by these two South Florida organizations in helping the Metro-Dade County area respond to the effects of Hurricane Andrew. SRA created a new award this year -- the Regional Business Recovery Award -- to reflect the extraordinary efforts put forth by the Beacon Council in assisting the small-business community recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew. Complementing this new award, SRA presented its annual "CORA Leadership Award" to Southern Bell- Florida for the leadership it demonstrated in helping South Florida to recover from the catastrophe.
 SRA, a $95 million corporation headquartered in Arlington, Va., has provided a variety of emergency preparedness and systems analysis/development support to the federal government since its founding in 1979. Recognizing an unmet need within the business community, SRA established CORA in 1989 following Hurricane Hugo to provide a means for assisting businesses to enhance their abilities to respond to and recover from various disasters. Speaking about this year's awards, Edward F. McGushin (director and founder of CORA) noted:
 "These two organization exemplify the capabilities of private companies that can be brought to bear in support of community recovery following a catastrophic event -- but only with the application of leadership, dedication, and a commitment to the surrounding community. Both Southern Bell and the Beacon Council applied these traits immediately and persistently to speed the recovery of South Metro-Dade County. Numerous businesses, including small family-run affairs, can attest to this fact. The devastation that Andrew wrought, horrible as it was, would have been more long-lasting but for the efforts of the Beacon Council and Southern Bell."
 "Responding to the needs of businesses devastated by Hurricane Andrew was a community effort," said John C. Anderson, president and CEO of the Beacon Council. "This award recognizes not only the Beacon Council's staff, but all the volunteers, organizations, and businesses who joined us. Those hundreds of volunteers worked together with us to evaluate businesses' most critical needs, then devised the means to meet them and to speed the recovery process. We are deeply honored, and receive this regional business recovery award on behalf of all those who made it happen."
 "In times of crisis, we have an important responsibility to keep lines of communications open for both our business and residential customers. During Hurricane Andrew we learned that a phone is essentially a 'life line' for those in need," said Joe Lacher, president, Southern Bell-Florida. "We are proud to receive the CORA award on behalf of the thousands of Southern Bell men and women who worked tirelessly after the storm, despite the fact that many had suffered personal losses."
 The fourth annual CORA awards, co-hosted by SRA and the Southern California Edison Company, was recently completed in Palm Springs, Calif. with nearly 200 participants from business, government, and volunteer organizations. The primary focus of the conference centered around examining initial and subsequent recovery activities associated with the response to Hurricane Andrew and translating them into activities and functions that would improve these organizations' capabilities as they plan for and respond to a broad range of catastrophic disasters. The conference utilized case studies and panel presentations in conjunction with inter-active work-group sessions stimulated by a series of innovative video presentations to ensure active participation by all conference attendees. Notable participants at this year's conference included: Joe Abrell (chairman, communications committee, We Will Rebuild, Inc.), Tom Beard (chairman, Florida Public Service Commission), Doug Clifton (executive editor, The Miami Herald), the Honorable Phil Lewis (chairman, Governor's Disaster Planning & Response Review Committee), Bryan Norcross (newscaster, WTVJ Television), and the Honorable James C. Burke (commissioner, Metro-Dade Country, Florida.)
 -0- 6/23/93
 /CONTACT: Carter Vande Beek of Systems Research and Applications Corporation, 703-803-1721/


CO: Systems Research and Applications Corporation; The Beacon Council;
 Southern Bell-Florida ST: Florida, Virginia IN: SU:


JB-RC -- FL002 -- 4905 06/23/93 09:53 EDT
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Date:Jun 23, 1993
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