Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Department of Homeland Security, announced on September 30 the opening of a public comment period on a private sector emergency readiness certification program specifically tailored to the needs of small businesses. This proposed plan implements separate classifications and methods of certification for small businesses under PS-Prep.
Final standards of the Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program (PS-Prep) were adopted in June of this year after public consultations and a series of regional public meetings. Recommended by the 9/11 Commission, PS-Prep helps the private sector improve their emergency preparedness for disasters.
NIST's Standards Services Group (SSG) played an important role in advising the DHS in how to create and implement the PS-Prep Certification Program. The SSG, together with DHS and private industry, developed the proposed system of accreditation for certifiers for the PS-Prep Program.
"Private organizations across the country—from businesses to universities to non-profit organizations—have a vital role to play in bolstering our disaster preparedness and response capabilities," Napolitano said. "These new standards will provide our private sector partners with the tools they need to enhance the readiness and resiliency of our nation."
The standards to support PS-Prep are:
- ASIS International SPC.1-2009 Organizational Resilience: Security Preparedness, and Continuity Management System – Requirements with Guidance for use (2009 Edition). Available at no cost.
- British Standards Institution 25999 (2007 Edition) - Business Continuity Management.(BS 25999:2006-1 Code of practice for business continuity management and BS 25999: 2007-2 Specification for business continuity management). The British Standards Institution is making both parts available for a reduced fee of $19.99 each.
- National Fire Protection Association 1600 - Standard on Disaster / Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs, 2007 and 2010 editions. Available at no cost.
For more information, visit http://www.fema.gov/privatesectorpreparedness/.