Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced new proposed standards for a 9/11 Commission-recommended program for the private sector to improve preparedness for disasters and emergencies.
"Preparedness is a shared responsibility and everyone—including businesses, universities and non-profit organizations—has a role to play," said Secretary Napolitano. "Ensuring our private sector partners have the information and training they need to respond to disasters will strengthen our efforts to build a culture of preparedness nationwide."
DHS published a notice in the Federal Register today seeking public comment on three new standards identified for adoption under the Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program (PS-Prep). PS-Prep is a partnership between DHS and the private sector that enables private entities—including businesses, non-profit organizations and universities—to receive emergency preparedness certification from a DHS accreditation system created in coordination with the private sector.
The notice proposes new PS-Prep standards to enhance operational resilience, business continuity management, and disaster and emergency management among participating private sector partners.
The proposed standards, developed by the National Fire Protection Association, the British Standards Institution and the ASIS International, were selected based on their scalability, balance of interest and relevance to PS-Prep from a group of 25 standards proposed for consideration following the publication of a Federal Register notice in December 2008 announcing the program.
In addition to the standards in the notice posted today, DHS is establishing classifications and methods of certifications that recognize the unique needs and characteristics of small businesses.
Individuals wishing to submit comments on the proposed standards, recommend additional standards for consideration or comment on other programmatic aspects of PS-Prep may obtain a comment form and instructions for submission online at www.regulations.gov, in Docket ID: FEMA-2008-0017. DHS requests comments by Nov. 15, though it will accept submissions at any time thereafter.
For more information, visit http://www.fema.gov/privatesectorpreparedness/.