EIIP Virtual Forum Presentation - October 13, 2004

Strategies for Private Sector Preparedness
Incentives and Educational Initiatives

William G. Raisch
Executive Director, International Center for Enterprise Preparedness (InterCEP)
Chair, Working Group on Private Sector Preparedness

Avagene Moore, CEM
Moderator, EIIP Coordinator

The following version of the transcript has been edited for easier reading and comprehension. A raw, unedited transcript is available from our archives. See our home page at http://www.emforum.org

[Welcome / Introduction]

Avagene Moore: Welcome to the EIIP Virtual Forum! Amy Sebring, my partner/associate, and I are pleased to see you in our audience today.

Today - October 13, 2004 - is International Disaster Reduction Day. It is very appropriate that we are here on this special day to share information and learn from each other in a mutual desire to make the world safer for all mankind.

Today's topic is also very fitting - "Strategies for Private Sector Preparedness - Incentives and Educational Initiatives." It is my pleasure to introduce today's guest speaker.

William G. Raisch serves as the Chair of the Working Group on Private Sector Preparedness. Mr. Raisch is a new member of the NFPA 1600 Technical Committee, member of the Private Sector Committee of EMAP, and member of the Homeland Security Standards Panel of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Mr. Raisch is also the founding Executive Director of the International Center for Enterprise Preparedness (InterCEP). He will begin his remarks today with details about this recently created entity and how it relates to strategies for private sector preparedness.

Bill, we welcome you to the EIIP Virtual Forum to discuss this important topic with our audience.


Bill Raisch: Hello, all. Thank you, Avagene, for inviting me. It is a pleasure to join you today from the International Center for Enterprise Preparedness (InterCEP) at New York University.

I am most happy to announce that we have recently established InterCEP as the worldwide academic center dedicated specifically to private sector emergency preparedness. The Center will serve in a support role in forwarding many of the strategies that we will be discussing today. Funded as a special initiative of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, it is the mission of InterCEP to serve as a truly global resource for education and research in this critical arena. If our Center can be of any assistance to our colleagues in the emergency management community, I am available at 212-998-2287.

I have been asked today to discuss "Strategies for Private Sector Preparedness" and in particular the voluntary "Emergency Preparedness Standard for the Private Sector" otherwise known as ANSI - NFPA 1600 - the American National Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity. To do so effectively, it is worthwhile putting you in context. As many are aware, businesses and other private sector organizations own 85% of America's infrastructure and employ the vast majority of our country's employees.

Yet the private sector is, on the whole, poorly prepared for emergencies of any type. The need for preparedness has been validated well beyond the terrorist threat by recent events including the 2003 blackout of the Northeast, tornadoes throughout the Midwest, wildfires in the Southwest and hurricanes in the Southeast. All of these underscore the importance of an "all-hazards" emergency management strategy for the private as well as the public sector.

Furthermore, there is a significant efficiency in organizing the private sector's resources of people and property in advance of any emergency - organized workplace units that can be more efficiently coordinated in an emergency situation than "the general public."

There are several key elements of the challenge of private sector preparedness. These have been identified as a result of research undertaken by The Working Group on Private Sector Preparedness. They are a group of stakeholders (primarily private sector corporations) that came together in support of the Federal 9-11 Commission.

The following findings are the product of a series of roundtable discussions, numerous individual interviews of corporate officers, and a coordinated series of workshop meetings. Many of the meetings were held in conjunction with the American National Standards Institute and involved over 100 organizational representatives. The recommendations were subsequently vetted with over 2,000 organizational members of ANSI.

The primary challenges identified were:

1. No Compelling Rationale to Prepare / A Lack of Incentives: Unless motivated by a clear bottom-line financial benefit or required by regulatory authorities (for example, the banking and finance industries), most organizations see little rationale to undertake preparedness initiatives.

American enterprise is efficient and pragmatic. Absent a compelling rationale including incentives (positive or negative) little effort and resources will likely be expended for business preparedness.

2. Little Understanding of What Effective Preparedness Is / Frequent Confusion Given Multiple Recommendations: Companies and other private sector organizations are often uncertain as to what emergency preparedness measures should be undertaken. Most companies have little understanding of the basic elements of emergency management. Others companies are confused by the many different strategies of various consultants and other sources regarding emergency preparedness measures.

3. Little Coordination within the Private Sector & Between the Public & Private Sectors: Even when preparedness measures are undertaken by business, initiatives are often isolated and confined within either a particular organization or industry. Firms very rarely communicate cooperatively across communities or across industries often due to the additional effort necessary as well as concerns about confidentiality.

In addition, the private sector is also poorly integrated with the public sector. Each side often views the other with suspicion or as inaccessible (with the exception of some rare public-private partnerships and recent efforts by the Department of Homeland Security).

Each of these challenges suggests a specific but coordinated response. Allow me to address them in turn.

Firstly, the issue of "No Compelling Rationale to Prepare / A Lack of Incentives."

1. Incentives: The goal will be to identify existing and where necessary facilitate the development of new incentives for private sector preparedness. These incentives will be based upon input from the private sector reflected in ongoing forums, in the recommendations of The Working Group on Private Sector Preparedness to the Federal 9-11 Commission and the initiatives of the Department of Homeland Security.

Appropriately motivated, American private enterprise has historically demonstrated a most efficient and innovative response to most challenges. The effective development of a "business case" for preparedness is critical to both enhancing the private sector's understanding of preparedness strategies and any application of these strategies. Absent a well-grounded rationale and incentives for preparedness, the private sector will, on the whole, take little if any action in this regard. Initially, therefore, the focus will be on identifying and distilling the existing rationale for business preparedness and communicating it widely.

Simultaneously, we must move to develop or enhance new incentives. The following are selected (and prospective) incentives from the recommendations of the Working Group to the Federal 9-11 Commission that were later reflected in the Commission's recommendations to the President and Congress. These incentive areas will be the focus of the Center's initial efforts on incentive development in conjunction with the Working Group on Private Sector Preparedness.

a. Relatively Lower Insurance Premiums & Deductibles and Facilitated Underwriting for Organizations that Voluntarily Follow the Emergency Preparedness Standard (ANSI-NFPA 1600).

b. Reducing the Potential for Legal Liability through Voluntary Conformity with the Emergency Preparedness Standard (ANSI-NFPA 1600) as the "New Standard of Care" for Corporate Preparedness

c. Promote Inclusion of the Voluntary Emergency Preparedness Standard (ANSI-NFPA 1600) in Rating Agency Analysis.

Other potential incentives may be identified and advanced in the process.

The second key problem to be addressed is that of "Little Understanding of What Effective Preparedness Is / Frequent Confusion Given Multiple Recommendations." One strategy follows:

2. Promotion & Communication of the Newly Designated Voluntary Emergency Preparedness Standard for the Private Sector (ANSI-NFPA 1600): In cooperation with media and educational broadcasting efforts, the goal will be to communicate to private sector organizations the key elements of emergency management and in particular the newly designated voluntary Emergency Preparedness Standard.

The voluntary Emergency Preparedness Standard effectively answers the question as to what is appropriate preparedness. The standard is consensus - based reflecting input from both the public and private sectors. It is endorsed by both the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal 9-11 Commission. The Center will promote education on private sector preparedness in general and the voluntary National Preparedness Standard in particular. Key elements of this strategy will be to develop an integrated communications strategy encompassing various media and forum addressing the following:

  • The need for private sector preparedness including the "business case"/incentives for private sector preparedness

  • An understanding of the newly designated Emergency Preparedness Standard including its key functional elements, its status as a consensus-based American National Standard, its applicability to any organization large or small and its common use by both the public and private sectors

  • Involvement of opinion leaders including corporations, professional associations, educational institutions and other organizations that can share both real life experience with emergencies and a demonstrated commitment to preparedness

  • Development of a National Recognition Campaign to recognize private sector organizations on a national basis and/or within each critical infrastructure industry that exemplify emergency preparedness.

A National Emergency Preparedness Award will be awarded annually to a private sector organization(s) (e.g., corporation) in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, other state homeland security offices and key trade associations. The goal of the award will be to parallel the U.S. Department of Commerce's Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award but with a focus on private sector emergency preparedness. An international recognition program is also under consideration.

In addition, a nationwide Workshop Series on Private Sector Preparedness will visit 20 cities across the U.S. starting next month. I look forward to facilitating these workshops and the two-way communications and sharing of insights that they will promote.

The final problem identified was that of "Little Coordination within the Private Sector & Between the Public & Private Sectors." The strategy which will be pursued by the Center in cooperation with the Working Group and other stakeholders is as follows:

3. Integration: The goal will be to promote greater integration of emergency management efforts both among private sector organizations and between private sector and public sector organizations including both governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Coordination of preparedness efforts between private sector corporations as well as between the public and private sectors can dramatically increase the effectiveness of readiness, response and recovery efforts in both the public and private sector realms. Historically, individual corporations as well as various professional and trade organizations have undertaken individual preparedness efforts with varying levels of success. Most of these efforts have been focused on specific industries or professions. There has been little cross-pollination of ideas, insights, best practices, etc.

A key element of this effort will be in facilitating communication regarding emergency preparedness between individual companies, different industries and the public and private sectors. Specific objectives in this regard include:

  • A regular series of public-private roundtables to address key issues of public-private cooperation identified through communication with representatives of the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies as well as private sector communications. Close cooperation with critical industry Information Sharing & Analysis Centers (ISAC'S) is planned.

  • Promoting cross-industry and public-private cooperation in Center communications efforts including conference participation, media interviews and publications.

  • Inviting both public and private sector participants to the National Workshop Series on Private Sector Preparedness discussed earlier.

In facilitating communication among various corporations, industries and sectors, the Center will promote the use of the voluntary Emergency Preparedness Standard as a crosswalk between various public and private preparedness efforts. The high-level functional checklist nature of the Standard can allow the analysis of differing private sector initiatives between one industry and another irrespective of different terminology and program organization used in each industry. This can be most effective in identifying gaps in preparedness and in coordinating efforts among different industries.

Similarly, the use of a common standard can be used in facilitating public - private sector initiatives. As many in our audience are aware, It is important to note in this regard that the National Preparedness Standard (ANSI-NFPA 1600) is also the core of the program that certifies public sector emergency preparedness (EMAP - the Emergency Management Accreditation Program) supported by FEMA.

At this time, I would like to turn over the program to our moderator, Avagene, for any questions or comments. Thank you for your attention. I welcome any questions.

[Audience Questions & Answers]

Rick Tobin: I think we should be careful with the use of industry and then private sector. Over 75"% of the jobs in this country are in small business. They won't find the incentives of much value as mentioned and insurance companies are not going to assist them. Have you considered that?

Bill Raisch: Good point as we tried very hard to look at the overwhelming small business element. The issue of incentives for the smaller business is a difficult one. While the larger firms may see a motivation in lower insurance premiums this will of course be somewhat diffused on the small business side. Nonetheless, I do think that in cooperation with the insurance industry we can see some benefits. Furthermore, the nature of the standard is such that it is very scalable so the effort required by a small business can be minimized.

Eelco Dykstra: Thanks for the concise presentation. Could you please explain to me how your Center is "International"?

Bill Raisch: The goal is to develop a truly international network of both other academic institutions but also and perhaps as importantly corporations which are international in their operations. We have many multi-nationals based in the US and once their headquarters adopt a particular strategy it tends to be pushed globally.

VJ Quigley: How do you see this effort for VOLUNTARY compliance with NFPA 1600 standards in the private sector working with the ACCREDITATION process for the public sector being done through EMAP?

Bill Raisch: Key to this will be a variety of options. Firstly, self-assessment especially by the small to medium sized firms must be facilitated. Secondly, there is discussion in some sectors about a value to independent third party assessment. Likely third party assessment is something that larger organizations would be more interested in if it enhances their strategies.

Tony Alexiou: Thank you. With regards to the national workshop for private sector preparedness, you mentioned that 20 cities will be visited starting next month by this group, does there exist a list somewhere that details which 20 cities it will be?

Bill Raisch: We will be posting it soon and with Avagene's cooperation one of the places will be the EM forum

John Laye: Thank you for a well-organized presentation. Questions: 1. Schedule for workshop tour? 2. Require local emergency managers liaison w/ their community's essential businesses? 3. Criteria for Baldrige II?

Bill Raisch: Just to address the cities questions a little more deeply the cities will span all the major sections of the country. With respect to requiring local emergency managers to attend - I certainly know they will be invited and we will make a particular effort in the workshops to promote public - private discussion. The criteria for the award is in the process of development; we welcome participation in the process and I would be happy to discuss this with you or others offline.

John Bennett: Contract wildland fire fighting has become a business in the west composed of crossover careers structure - firefighters, emergency medical services, hazmat, etc. We need an avenue to integrate into the system nationwide as responders using authorized, agency or local government avenues.

Bill Raisch: Good point. One of the goals with 1600 is to interface it with the professional competencies (e.g., DRII, IAEM, BCI and ASIS and others) so that we can have a single starting point both for organizational and professional advancement.

Lou Leffler: Thank you for this meeting. Are you aware of the work being conducted by the Information Sharing Analysis Centers Council, with 14 represented ISACs, together with the DHS?

Bill Raisch: Yes, it is planned that we will be working closely with the ISAC's especially with respect to cross-pollination efforts.

Dorothy Miller: Thank you for your presentation. I have a comment. We have a certificate program in emergency management at the University of Texas at Dallas and one of our tracks is business continuity. We talk about the NFPA 1600 and private/public sector interface. I would extend that we would be a network option for you to consider.

Bill Raisch: Happily. The goal in all of this is cooperation - mutual aid if you will. We can get a lot more done cooperatively than individually.

Isabel McCurdy: Bill, how long did the working committee take to plan this concept? And what role did you play on this committee?

Bill Raisch: The Working Group began its efforts in September 2003 and then worked cooperatively with ANSI's Homeland Security Standards Panel beginning in January 2004. I serve as chair of the Working Group.

Jonathan Dunfee: Is there any discussion of requiring some level of preparedness assessment to include participation in local disaster exercises? (As opposed to a consultant reading documents and saying "OK").

Bill Raisch: As you may be aware, 1600 requires exercises on a regular basis. The challenge that we are all aware of is allowing for organizational flexibility while promoting competency. Exercises especially in conjunction with the public sector are critical. The key is the mixture of modes (e.g., table top, functional, full scale, etc.) and the organizational disruption argument that must always be addressed.

Amy Sebring: Regarding international efforts, Bill, will you be working with ANSI/ISO for international standards, possibly in connection with the upcoming international program?

Bill Raisch: Yes in fact we are meeting at the ANSI event in this regard this afternoon.

Dorothy Kellogg: We are currently evaluating 1600 against the Responsible Care Management System and Security Code for consistency (my cursory review is that the elements of 1600 are covered in the management system and security code). Does NFPA provide a mechanism for mutual recognition of other programs as substantively equivalent?

Bill Raisch: 1600 was developed as a performance as opposed to prescriptive standard, therefore, the answer is and should be yes. In reality, it should not matter what you call it or how you do it as long as the end is reached.

John Laye: I second Dorothy Millers' offer -- Sonoma State U (CA) has a business continuity course -- we'll also help.

Bill Raisch: I would be happy to begin the consortium effort now. I look forward to talking to each of you later.

Bruce Thompson: This is all excellent information. Is there a way to become a member or participate in some capacity with the Working Group?

Bill Raisch: Just email me at [email protected] or visit http://www.workinggroup.us.

Avagene Moore: Bill, what is the relationship between InterCEP and the DHS Private Sector Office?

Bill Raisch: We work closely with this office and met with them yesterday as a matter of fact. At their request, we have begun holding forums between DHS and other governmental groups and private sector organizations.

Amy Sebring: Do you find that the activism among the 9-11 families is getting attention in the business world? Is not being a "Good Corporate Citizen" an incentive as well? (I guess that ties into the award.)

Bill Raisch: Yes, being a good corporate citizen is and should remain important. However, I am a firm believer in a chorus of voices can be more effective than one. So I want to make sure that we mount an effective bottom-line rationale as well.

Julie Siler: I'll third Dorothy and John's offer. EDS [private sector] also has our own business continuity course. We'd be happy to chat with you. My email: [email protected]

Bill Raisch: Julie let's follow up.

In closing, I just would like to reinforce the fact that I see great opportunity in cooperative effort. There have been many good and valuable contributions to private sector preparedness and there is much we can learn from each other. But the key will be communication and joint win/win relationships which I am confident we can build. The stakes are worth it. Thank you.


Avagene Moore: Thank you, Bill. We greatly appreciate your efforts and time on our behalf today. We wish you great success with the InterCEP and all efforts to enhance private sector preparedness.

Bill gave us his phone number earlier. His email address is [email protected] . Please contact him for further information.

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We welcome two new Partners this week:

EAD & Associates, LLC, Emergency Management & Special Needs Consultants, with Elizabeth A. Davis, Director, as the EIIP Point of Contact; and

BLU-MED Response Systems - Donald A Diesel, PhD, Vice President of Operations, is our POC.

If your organization is interested in becoming an EIIP Partner, please see the "Partnership for You" link on our home page.

Again, the transcript of today's session will be posted later today and you will be able to access it from our home page. An announcement will be sent to our Mail Lists when the transcript is available.

Thanks to everyone for participating today. We appreciate you, the audience! Before you go, please help me show our appreciation to Bill Raisch for a fine job.

The EIIP Virtual Forum is adjourned!