Draft of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan is Available for Review

The Office of Bob Stephan, the assistant secretary for Infrastructure Protection of the Department of Homeland Security posted a notice to the Nov. 3 Federal Register announcing that the draft National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) Base Plan is available for review and comment.

Through Homeland Security Presidential Directive-7 (HSPD-7), Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization and Protection, President George W. Bush directed the secretary of Homeland Security to produce a comprehensive, integrated national plan for the protection of critical infrastructures and key resources. On Feb. 9, DHS released an interim version of the NIPP Base Plan. Since that time, DHS has been working to revise the NIPP

Interested parties have 15 days to request a copy of the plan, and can do so by forwarding the request by:

  • E-mail: [email protected] or
  • Mail: NIPP Program Management Office, Department of Homeland Security, Preparedness Directorate/IP/IPD, Mail Stop 8560, Washington, DC 20528-8560.

Include your name, organization, mailing address and e-mail address when submitting your request.

For further information, contact Charles Davis at the NIPP Program Management Office, Preparedness Directorate/IP/IPD, DHS, by calling (703) 235-5338 or by e-mailing [email protected]

Comments on the document should be submitted to DHS by Dec. 5.

DHS Urges Small and Medium-Sized Businesses to Take Steps to Prepare for Emergencies

Ready Business, an extension of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) successful Ready campaign, is designed to educate owners and managers of small to medium-sized businesses about preparing their employees, operations and assets in the event of an emergency.

"Small businesses form the backbone of our nation's economy, and their emergency preparedness is crucial to keeping our nation secure," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "A commitment to planning today can protect a business and give it a better chance for survival in the event of a natural disaster, terrorist attack or other emergency."

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses represent more than 99 percent of all employers; provide approximately 75 percent of the net new jobs added to the economy; and represent 97 percent of all U.S. exporters. Unfortunately, small to medium-sized businesses are also the most vulnerable in the event of an emergency. By taking some steps ahead of time, many of these businesses can be better prepared to survive and recover after an emergency, thus making the nation and the economy more stable.

Although most businesses agree emergency preparedness is important, too few are taking the necessary steps to prepare. According to an October 2005 survey of small businesses conducted by the Ad Council, 92 percent of respondents said that it is "very important" or "somewhat important" for businesses to take steps to prepare for a catastrophic disaster, such as an earthquake, hurricane or terrorist attack. However, only 39 percent said that their company has a plan in place in the event of such a disaster. Qualitative research with this audience demonstrated that even though many acknowledge the value of preparedness, they see time, workforce and money constraints prohibiting them from developing a business continuity plan. The goal of these new Ready Business ads is to show that developing an emergency preparedness plan can be relatively easy and cost-affordable.

"The Ready Business campaign has been very well received during the past year, and many businesses have been motivated to take steps toward preparedness," said Ad Council President Peggy Conlon. "I believe this new round of work will resonate with the business community on a personal level, and reach those businesses that still have not taken advantage of the important resources available to them."

To help spread the Ready Business message, DHS, in partnership with The Advertising Council, has sponsored new business-specific public service announcements (PSAs). The PSAs will launch nationally this month, and will focus on the affordability and ease of business continuity planning, and the resources available to aid businesses in the process.

The new PSA campaign, titled "Experience Lines," was created by Chicago-based business-to-business agency Slack Barshinger and includes print, radio and Internet PSAs. Designed to reach managers and owners of small- to medium-sized businesses in a number of industries, the advertisements encourage business people to visit the Ready Business campaign Web site at Ready.gov. The Web site and other Ready Business materials provide practical steps and easy-to-use templates that can assist businesses in tasks such as creating an evacuation plan; planning for fire safety; considering people with special needs in their plans; securing facilities and equipment; and reviewing insurance coverage.

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