Written by Railway Age Staff
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What’s the value of attending American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) regional meetings? ASLRRA Board Chair Stefan Loeb weighs in. Also, September is National Preparedness Month in the U.S., and the association is offering disaster preparedness tools for members.

Loeb has been attending ASLRRA regional and annual meetings for 18 years. The association Board Chair and Watco Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer recently addressed in a video (watch below) the importance of regional meetings in particular. He highlighted the networking aspect, noting that the number of familiar faces he encounters walking down one hallway at these events replaces 20 individual trips he might take to meet with those same people, according to ASLRRA. Added meeting draws: dynamic educational content and a sense of unity and camaraderie.

There is still time to register for the upcoming regional meetings. The Eastern and Southern Region Meeting will be held Sept. 26-28, in Atlanta, Ga. Register online through Sept. 23; after that, register on-site. There is limited space still available to play in the golf tournament, according to ASLRRA. The Central and Pacific Region Meeting will take place Oct. 25-27 in Milwaukee, Wis., where Loeb will lead the “Discussion with a Shipper” segment.

In addition to the regional meetings, ASLRRA offers more targeted events for railroad personnel with the Finance and Administration Seminar and General Counsel Symposium, which take place in conjunction with the Central and Pacific Region Meeting. Continuing legal education credits (CLEs) are available to symposium participants.

National Preparedness Month offers a reminder to companies and individuals to evaluate and update plans for dealing with emergencies and disasters. “The potential human, community and economic impact underscores the critical need for railroads to have an emergency plan that can be activated on short notice as well as quick access to resources and emergency relief services to facilitate a return to normal operations as quickly as possible,” according to ASLRRA.

With support from railroad and supplier members, the association reports that it has assembled online essential templates and checklists to assist members in developing response plans that can be put in place and used as training tools before disaster strikes, as well as emergency response tools and resources to aid in the recovery process. Available resources include Disaster Planning, HazMat Response, and instructions on accessing an Emergency Docket, in addition to links to other government websites, and members may download materials directly from the website.

Additionally, the association offers members recorded webinars in an online On-Demand Resource Library that may be used to prepare and train for emergency situations. Topics range from Crisis Communications and Media Training to Hazardous Materials Incident Reporting and Emergency Notifications Section Review.

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