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NFPA Releases New Edition of Disaster/Emergency Management Standard

On March 19, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released the 2010 Edition of NFPA 1600, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs.

The new edition of NFPA 1600 is a completely revised and reorganized version that includes major changes to the technical requirements and definitions. For example, the chapter on Program Elements now contains four different chapters: Planning, Implementation, Testing and Exercises and Program Improvement.

“Disasters and emergencies are so unpredictable that organizations must always be prepared to manage them before they occur,” said James M. Shannon, president and CEO of NFPA. “Organizations keep turning to NFPA 1600 because it helps them develop the best possible strategy for dealing with unforeseen issues.”

NFPA 1600 establishes a common, high-level set of criteria for disaster and emergency management and business continuity programs to develop, implement, assess and maintain these programs. The programs address management, planning, prevention, mitigation, implementation, response, recovery, testing and improvement.

The standard began in 1991 when NFPA’s Standards Council established the Disaster Management Committee to develop a preparedness standard that recognized the crucial components of a comprehensive plan to be used by a wide variety of organizations and businesses. The plan was designed to address preparations for, responses to and recovery from disasters resulting from natural, human or technological events.

Today, NFPA 1600 is one of NFPA’s most widely implemented standards. It is used by and developed for organizations in both the private and public sector.

The new standard is available for download at no charge on NFPA’s Web site.

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