Thanks Iain for your excellent question.
From discussions with infrastructure providers and other major providers of services and supplies, there is a real desire to have a more active engagement. While it may sound simple, DM reps should just start a dialogue and just ask for them to be involved.
Busineses that exist in areas that are prone to natural disasters see themselves as part of the community, and will want to accelerated their recovery. These businesses, regardless of size, will welcome a positive dialogue with the DM leaders in the local area. By involving these businesses in disaster preparation activities, including exercisies and briefings, will enhance the relationships and contacts before an event strikes. Such relationships will allow a much more effective response and recovery.
For those businesses that are not located in an area that may experience disasters, but have a capability that can assist, again, early dialogue is worthwhile. Logistics companies, equipment providers (eg temp accom, water treatment) and professional service providers will all welcome early dialogue, with the prospect of being available should their capability be required. This arrangement can be done through standing offer arrangements or select tender lists.
These sentiments are well reflected in the work done at the Auckland consultation for the World Humanitarian Summit in June this year. I was fortunate to attend and helped facilitate the session on Private Sector Participation - here's the web link to the Co-Chairs' Report (refer to item 6): https://www.worldhumanitariansummit.org/bitcache/377febb7702d7ed11281a0ce24852ef85e50c888?vid=543956&disposition=inline&op=view