ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Final Katrina Workshop Addresses Critical Role of Standards for Emergency Preparedness

New York, Jan 11, 2007

A diverse group of homeland security and emergency preparedness experts gathered yesterday in Washington, DC, for a workshop of the American National Standards Institute’s Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP) on the subject of lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. The purpose of the meeting was to further national discussion on how standards and conformity assessment programs can lend additional support to emergency preparedness efforts in the public and private sectors.

The meeting was the final in a series that looked at the ways standards could help to facilitate the implementation of recommendations issued in major federal reports on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In particular, workshop participants examined the role of NFPA 1600, the American National Standard on disaster/emergency management and business continuity programs.

“We were very pleased with the continued progress of this workshop,” stated Dr. Joseph Broz, vice president of strategic initiatives at Midwest Research Institute and workshop co-leader. “Our findings remain that a majority of the improvements and recommendations contained in post-Katrina analyses and reports would be automatically implemented by the usage of NFPA 1600.”

“The public and private sector participation and expertise in this workshop series has been excellent and illustrates the commitment towards improving national preparedness efforts,” added Dr. Sharon Caudle, assistant director, homeland security and justice team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and workshop co-leader with Dr. Broz. She said that in addition to producing a comprehensive final report and set of recommendations, ANSI-HSSP efforts are being focused to target the appropriate stakeholders and end users to maximize the impact of the workshop deliverable.

NFPA 1600 establishes minimum criteria for disaster management and guides the private and public sectors in the development of an effective disaster preparedness response and recovery program. The standard garnered endorsement by the 9/11 Commission and was adopted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2005. NFPA 1600 is referenced in various pieces of federal legislation and is under consideration as the basis for an international standard.

Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations that have not yet been legislated or fully implemented (H.R. 1 – Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007). The bill explicitly directs DHS to use NFPA 1600 as the basis for an emergency preparedness response program for the private sector. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the subject of ensuring full implementation of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations on Tuesday and is expected to pass legislation out of the committee within the month.

The final report and recommendations from the ANSI-HSSP workshop, including a table mapping the lessons learned against the clauses of NFPA 1600, is anticipated by the end of February. For further information, please contact Matt Deane, director, homeland security standards (

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