NFPA Offers Workshops On Disaster Preparedness

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is offering a series of two-day workshops on its Disaster/Emergency Management and Continuity Programs standard (NFPA 1600), throughout the U.S., starting next month to help employers in the private and public sectors prepare their disaster plans.

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, signed into law last month by President George W. Bush, includes NFPA 1600, which was among the dozens of recommendations made by the 9-11 Commission. The new law encourages the Secretary of Homeland Security to promote the adoption of voluntary national preparedness standards, such as this one.

The workshops are designed for developing new emergency management and business continuity programs and assessing and enhancing existing ones for potential hazards like hurricanes, tornadoes, utility or technology emergencies, workplace violence and terrorism. The sessions address evacuation, adequate communications capabilities, and continuity of operations should a disaster occur.

Property, engineering, security, and facility managers, as well as those in loss prevention, risk management and others charged with protecting facilities, will benefit from these sessions.

The 9-11 Commission (also known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States) had asked the American National Standards Institute last year to convene a wide range of public and private sector organizations to recommend a voluntary standard for this purpose; that group landed on NFPA 1600 as the best available.

NFPA established the Disaster Management Committee in 1991, and it was charged with developing a standard relating to preparedness and response to recovery from disasters. This was the beginning of NFPA 1600.

The workshops are sponsored in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security