Department of Homeland Security to adopt NFPA Standard on emergency preparedness

Dept. of Homeland Security will adopt NFPA 1600 Standard on emergency management, business continuity, and crisis communications.



NFPA 1600, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs has been designed for adoption under the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program (PS-Prep) .

NFPA 1600 addresses emergency management, business continuity, crisis communications, and recovery in a holistic framework that includes organization, management, risk assessment, prevention, mitigation, resource management, response, continuity, and recovery. NFPA 1600 is aligned with the Disaster Recovery Institute's 10 Professional Practices for Business Continuity. The standard recognizes and provides the flexibility entities need when developing individual preparedness programs and does not preclude the use of corporate or industry best practices.

DHS/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published a request for comments in the Federal Register seeking public input on NFPA 1600 and two other standards that it intends to use as the criteria for certification of private sector preparedness programs as mandated by Congress in legislation that implemented the 9/11 Commission's recommendations. The agency considered 25 standards and selected three based on scalability, balance of interest, and relevance to the PS-Prep program. NFPA encourages all interested parties to provide input to DHS/FEMA concerning the selection of standards for the PS Prep Program and to support the use of NFPA 1600 for this national program.

Following the terrorist attacks of Sept.11, 2001, NFPA 1600 was endorsed in the 9/11 Commission's report. The 9/11 Commission's recommendation on private sector preparedness and NFPA 1600 was reiterated in Public Law 108-458 in 2004 and most recently in Title IX of Public Law 110-53. Title IX calls for the voluntary certification of private sector preparedness programs. In addition to the endorsement of the 9/11 Commission, NFPA 1600 has been adopted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the category of Incident Management System Standards along with 26 other NFPA standards.

Please submit your comments to FEMA by November 16, 2009. An electronic comment form and instructions are available at in Docket ID: FEMA-2008-0017-0100.

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