Download NFPA 1600 Publication HERE
Intro to NFPA 1600
Edited Transcript of Live Chat
NFPA 1600 establishes a common set of criteria for disaster, emergency management and business continuity programs in both the public and private sectors. It is a consensus standard that was written by a committee whose members are both professionals and stakeholders in the emergency management/business continuity field. This document is nine years in the making, first developed as a recommended practice and recently adopted as a standard. FEMA, NEMA, and IAEM have endorsed the most recent edition, and the standard has been adopted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI.) This session will acquaint you with:
|History – The NFPA Standards Council established the Disaster Management Committee in January 1991, in response to a request from Dr. James Kerr, who, before his retirement, was the Director of Research and Development for FEMA in the 1980s. The committee was given the responsibility to develop documents relating to preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters resulting from natural, human or technological events. The first document that the committee focused on was NFPA 1600, Recommended Practice for Disaster Management. That effort produced the 1995 edition of NFPA 1600, following approval by the NFPA membership at the 1995 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. Because of concerns that the emergency management community was not ready for standards, the committee decided to issue the document as a recommended practice rather than a standard in 1995. This means the various elements of the document were listed as “shoulds” rather than “shalls”.
After 1995 the document went into a revision cycle in which the committee considered proposals to hopefully, improve on the document. For the 2000 edition, the committee incorporated a “total program approach” for disaster/emergency management and business continuity programs in its revision of the document from a recommended practice to a standard. The committee provided a standardized basis for disaster/emergency management and business continuity programs in private and public sectors by providing common program elements, techniques, and processes. The committe expanded provisions both before and after a disaster, so that the impacts would be mitigated, while protecting life and property.
After publishing a draft document during January 1999, and collecting comments during a public comment period which ended April 1999, the Technical Committee met April 28-29, to consider comments received. In July 1999, there was a mail ballot of all committee members to approve the new draft, which was rewritten based on the public comments received. A two thirds majority was needed to accept the committee’s actions and the mail ballot provided this.
The next step in the process was the floor vote of the NFPA membership on NFPA 1600 at the NFPA Fall Meeting in New Orleans, November 13-17, 1999. The membership voted unanimously to accept the document as proposed by the NFPA 1600 Technical Committee. The Standards Council approved the NFPA 1600 for publication as a standard on January 14, 2000 with an effective date of February 11, 2000. The document was published in April of 2000 and is available from the NFPA.
|Consensus-building Process – There are over 60,000 NFPA members world-wide. Of that number, approximately 24% are affiliated with fire departments, the remaining being representatives of the private and public sectors in a wide variety of fields. The standards making process is a process of consensus building, and to do that requires a broad based
representation from interested parties. The public comment period is a mechanism to reach beyond the committee to be even more inclusive. Finally, the general membership of the NFPA must approve before the document becomes a standard.This standard was developed by emergency management/business continuity professionals and stakeholders using input from their own organizations and from the public. Along with the established rules of standards making, this helps to insure fair treatment and discussion of all issues. It also insures a knowledgeable and professional handling of the subject matter. Both the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association have been represented on the Technical Committee, and their logos appear on the cover of the standard, along with FEMA’s, a first for an NFPA standard. The private sector has also participated. Under OMB Circular A 119, Federal agencies support standards that are developed by voluntary consensus organizations, such as NFPA, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has supported the development of a standard that can be embraced by the community at large, that will evolve and continually be improved to challenge the profession.A list of committee members as of the final balloting on the text of NFPA is included in the published version, and a list of all technical committee members as of August 2000 is available from the NFPA Website (see link at top of page). An application to become a committee member is also available from that location. Note: committee members pay their own expenses.
|Capability Assessment for Readiness (CAR) – The development of standards do not take place in a vacuum, and will hopefully reflect the best available practice at the time. Concurrently with the revision of NFPA 1600, FEMA had been engaged in a process of defining 13 emergency management functions on which to base a national Capability Assessment for Readiness, to fulfill a charge from the U.S. Congress. These elements were developed with input from FEMA program managers, FEMA regional representatives, and a number of state emergency management directors representing NEMA. (Further information on the CAR may be found at the link provided above.)A small sub-group of the NFPA Technical Committee suggested that the program elements defined in the CAR process would provide an appropriate structure for the revised standard, and submitted a draft to the whole committee. The committee then performed a line-by-line review in comparison to the four defined phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. In the process, and enhanced set of 13 program elements were defined and ultimately adopted.The 13 original CAR emergency management functions were:
Session Two will cover the current program elements of the revised standard.
|Future Development – The standard is expected to continue its evolution during the next revision cycle over a period of 3 – 5 years, as the emergency management community gains experience with its use, and as the “state-of-the-art” continues to make progress. A Task Group has been formed to look at listing and prioritizing potential future alternative issues that the 1600 Committee may need to address, such as how to provide further detail and guidance on the program elements. The Task Group meets monthly via teleconference and is scheduled to report back to the full committee during June 2001.The Task Group is currently surveying stakeholders to gain feedback how the standard is being used. Interested persons may complete the form on-line (see link above to User Survey), or downloaded as a PDF file, and be returned via regular mail, email, or FAX.In addition, individuals and organizations are encouraged to participate in future development through the public comment process which will occur during the revision cycle. For current status, refer either to the NFPA Status Page, and/or consult the NFPA Database, where you may also sign up for email notification of updates (see above for links).|
NFPA 1600 Intro Slides
Table of Contents