The private sector owns approximately eighty-five percent of core functions and core services supporting our nation’s public safety, public health and healthcare, emergency management and operations, homeland security and defense. Several businesses have addressed their risk through resilience management, continuity planning, and/or enterprise asset management. Currently, there are no federal or state guidelines in place to assure they have properly prepared for a catastrophic event while businesses are in the process of addressing risk.
As a witness in previous natural disasters, several businesses do not reopen after the disruption or destruction. By being well prepared and resilient to all hazardous events, the impact of a disaster will be reduced and enable a business to successfully recover and reopen. For this reason, the Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program (PS Prep) was established by Title IX of Public Law 110-53, “The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) developed PS-Prep to enhance nationwide resilience in an all-hazards environment by encouraging private sector preparedness. This program was intended to encourage the public sector to gain stronger awareness of private sector capabilities and services. Last year, DHS selected a set of three initial standards developed by; the National Fire Protection Association, the British Standards Institution and the ASIS International based on their scalability, balance of interest and relevance to PS-Prep. A group of twenty five standards were proposed for consideration following the publication of a Federal Register notice in December 2008 announcing the program.
The program is a nice concept, yet there are many uncertainties surrounding its impact on businesses, the role of state and local emergency management agencies, the incentives for participating in the program, and the effect of existing regulations, codes, and laws on the program. For this reason, TISP and DRI International joined the Convergence in Preparedness Symposium, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., on March 21, 2011, at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, New York. As a result of the symposium, TISP and DRI International will collaborate to write a white paper offering a set of recommendations for DHS regarding the implementation of certification procedures for the PS-Prep program.
The agenda targets private sector members: engineering and architecture, finance and banking, health and healthcare, emergency management and operations industries. This symposium is designed as a public and private sector collaboration that will provide a discussion mechanism by which private sector entities may provide DHS with substantive feedback on PS-Prep. In addition, we will discuss:
- Balancing the program with effective regulations and laws
- Impacts on small businesses
- Business implications of the program
- Roles of state, regional, local and tribal agencies
Even though PS Prep is a voluntary program, TISP considers its best interest for businesses to have an impartial evaluator to increase assurance of its resilience to all hazardous events. The potential benefits from the PS Prep program include:
- Increased operational efficiency
- Reduced insurance premiums
- Increased supply chain reliability
- Decreased legal liability
Participation in the symposium is a step to helping reduce financial risk to companies making adequate preparation by setting the appropriate plans in place. We look forward to seeing you in New York City. For more information regarding the symposium and recommendation letter, please contact Bill Anderson, Director and COO of TISP, firstname.lastname@example.org.