When the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) expanded operations last week, a stronger presence from the business community had a seat at the table. When activated, the SEOC acts as a central point to support local responders, prioritize safety missions, and coordinate resources for those missions. This time, trained partners from Safeguard Iowa Partnership (SIP), are playing a more active role at the SEOC and so far have been critical in these important missions: ∑ Water and hand sanitizers from the Ankeny Wal-Mart store to the Ames Mary Greeley Medical Center ∑Initial donation and delivery of bottled water from Crystal Clear and Casey's General Stores to Ames distribution points ∑ A water pump from Des Moines Water Works for the Oskaloosa hospital "The Safeguard Iowa Partnership was developed to ensure close coordination between public and private sectors partners before, during and after emergencies," explained Jami Haberl, Executive Director of the Partnership. "Having a seat at the SEOC is one way we can accomplish that goal, while also sharing accurate information with our partners," she added. "We've been a member of the Partnership since it was created," explained David Miller, Administrator of the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division. "We clearly recognize the need to ensure public and private partners work together and we welcome them to the SEOC," he emphasized. The Safeguard Iowa Partnership was formed in 2007. It is a nonprofit organization with a mission of strengthening the capacity of Iowa to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters through public-private collaboration.