DHS to adopt ASIS standard for private sector

The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that it is adopting standards proposed by ASIS International, along with the National Fire Protection Agency and British Standards Institution, for new program aimed at improving preparedness in the private sector for natural disasters and terror attacks.

The DHS program tilted “Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification” or PS-Prep for short, is a partnership between the agency and the private sector which enables private entities to receive emergency preparedness certification from the agency using a system based on the proposed standards. The DHS is also seeking public comment on the standards being proposed for use in the program and has published a notice in the Federal Register.
"Preparedness is a shared responsibility and everyone—including businesses, universities and non-profit organizations—has a role to play," said DHS Secretary Janet 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."
ASIS President Michael R. Cummings said that the ASIS standard, “Organizational Resilience: Security, Preparedness, and Continuity Management Systems–Requirements with Guidance for Use,” provides private businesses with the flexibility to design a preparedness program around their own needs.

“The importance of resilience management cannot be overstated,” Cummings said in a prepared statement. “Organizations need to be able to adapt to an ever-changing environment. The ANSI/ASIS Organizational Resilience Standard provides organizations with a flexible tool they can use to tailor their preparedness needs to meet their business needs.”

To submit a comment on the proposed standards or the PS-Prep program itself, visit www.regulations.gov, in Docket ID: FEMA-2008-0017. The agency asks that comments be submitted by Nov. 15, but said that it will continue to take them thereafter.