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DHS Now Accepting Comments on Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program

New York, Dec 30, 2008

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it is developing a voluntary private sector preparedness accreditation and certification program. The initiative will assess whether a private sector entity complies with voluntary preparedness standards adopted by DHS.

The program, known as “PS-Prep,” is being created in response to authorization by Congress given in the Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (the 9/11 Act). Participants will be assessed through a system of accreditation and certification set up by DHS in close coordination with the private sector.

According to last week’s Federal Register notice about the program, PS-Prep is expected to raise the level of private sector preparedness through a number of means, including:

  • establishing a system for DHS to adopt private sector preparedness standards;
  • encouraging creation of those standards;
  • developing a method for a private sector entity to obtain a certification of conformity with a particular DHS-adopted private sector standard, and encouraging such certification; and
  • making preparedness standards adopted by DHS more widely available.

DHS welcomes comments from interested stakeholders at any time; however, comments regarding recommendations of currently-existing private sector preparedness standards that can be adopted by the program should be submitted by January 23, 2009. Comments can be submitted online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, by email to, by fax to 866.466.5370, or by post to Office of Chief Council, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Room 845, Washington, DC, 20472. All submissions must be labeled with Docket ID FEMA-2008-0017.

In addition, DHS will hold two public meetings in Washington, DC, to provide a forum for public comment on the subject of private sector preparedness standards. Details on the meetings, which are expected to be held in January and February 2009, will be published in the Federal Register and posted at

For more information on the PS-Prep program and submitting comments, see the Federal Register notice.

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