VFRE 2000
Emergency Management Track

NFPA 1600 Standard - Session 2
Tuesday – September 19, 2000 – 1:00 PM EDT

"Core Requirements: What Does It Say?"

Dr. Dean R. Larson
NFPA Technical Committee
US Steel Safety & Industrial Hygiene Manager

Amy Sebring, Moderator
EIIP Technical Projects Coordinator

Amy Sebring: Welcome to VFRE 2000 and the second session in the Emergency Management Track, the new NFPA 1600 Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs.

Yesterday we looked at the history and future development of the standard with the NFPA Technical Committee chair, Lloyd Bokman, and Committee member, Bob Fletcher. If you missed that session, a reformatted transcript is now available from the Session 1 page at http://www.vfre.com/presentation21/intro.htm. We learned about the consensus process used to develop the standard, and the correlation of the "essential elements" with FEMA's Capability Assessment for Readiness, itself the result of a consultative process.

As I stated yesterday, the EIIP is a non-profit, educational organization and it is our purpose in doing these sessions to enhance awareness of the standard, and to encourage an educated discussion of its merits.

Today we will focus on the content of the standard in a session entitled "Core Requirements: What Does It Say?" The background page for this session is found at http://www.vfre.com/presentation21/core.htm .

Today we will get into a little more detail about the 13 elements that comprise the core requirements of the standard document, and it is my pleasure to introduce our speaker, Dean Larson. Dean is now serving as a member of the NFPA Technical Committee. He is employed by US Steel as Safety & Industrial Hygiene Manager for the Gary Works, and he has been very active in the Lake County LEPC. He also teaches at Purdue University, and has included elements of the standard in an introductory emergency management course there. Welcome, Dean; I turn the floor over to you.

Dean Larson: Thank you to Amy and Avagene for inviting me to participate in the VFRE.

The 2000 Edition NFPA 1600 "Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs" was published in the spring, 2000, replacing the 1995 Edition. Many changes were made from the earlier (first) edition; especially the "shoulds" were replaced by "shalls."

The NFPA 1600 Committee incorporated a "total program approach" for disaster and emergency management AND business continuity programs. The 2000 Edition is a "standard," replacing the "recommended practice" (1995 Edition). The actual standard covers less than three pages with three appendices providing additional and explanatory information.

Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION contains these three sub-paragraphs:

• The Scope of the standard: a common set of criteria for disaster management, emergency management and business continuity programs.

• The Purpose: a set a criteria to be used by professionals in the three program areas to assess current programs or develop new ones.

• Definitions: establishes a common language for this standard and, hopefully, for common usage by professionals. Seventeen terms are defined in this sub-paragraph.

Chapter 2 PROGRAM MANAGEMENT contains four sub-paragraphs that identify required components to effectively and efficiently manage the "program":

• The five requirements for the written program policy are identified.

• The requirement for a Program Coordinator who is empowered by the entity (local, county, state, commercial organization) to manage the program in consultation with the Disaster/Emergency Management Committee.

• The "committee" requirement, the desired qualifications of the members and the basic duty (advise the Coordinator) is delineated.

• A periodic program assessment of all required program elements is mandated.

Chapter 3 PROGRAM ELEMENTS specifies thirteen program elements that are required for a program that complies with the standard. The program elements are:

  1. Laws and Authorities (official basis for the program);

  2. Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (what could happen within the area controlled by the entity and what impact could these likely events have on the entity, as a system);

  3. Hazard Mitigation (what do we do between hazard events to reduce or eliminate the likelihood and reduce the effects of those events that are still likely);

  4. Resource Management (what stuff do we need to effectively and efficiently manage the hazardous events);

  5. Planning (what plans do we need and what should they look like);

  6. Direction, Control, and Coordination (who is running the show and who is helping);

  7. Communications and Warning (when we know it going to happen, how do we tell the people);

  8. Operations and Procedures (what standardized rules do we follow to make the program work as intended);

  9. Logistics and Facilities (we have to eat and get in out of the "weather");

  10. Training (show our people how to do it);

  11. Exercises, Evaluations, Corrective Actions (what we do in non-emergencies to keep us ready for emergencies; did the training transfer back to the job) and,

  12. Crisis Communications, Public Education, and Information (Rumor Control Central).

There you have it. The template for disasters and emergencies while ensuring we keep the "business" running, while we recover. These three pages are the skeleton, the three appendices are advice on "fleshing out" the program and sources of information and guidance to help us do our jobs.

This past spring I had the opportunity to teach "Introduction to Emergency Management," for Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Indiana. With permission, I used the DRAFT version of NFPA 1600 as text material. Certain sections proved most valuable in the classroom, both from my perspective and the perspective of the students. Please note: These are NOT sections in the DRAFT version, these are sections in the 2000 edition of NFPA 1600.

Chapter 1. - INTRODUCTION. Section 1-3 Definitions. A-3-3.2 Impact analysis.

Chapter 2 -- PROGRAM MANAGEMENT Section 2-1

Policy Chapter 3 - PROGRAM ELEMENTS. Section 3-3.2 "Impact Analysis."

Section 3-4.3 Mitigation Strategies.

Section 3-5.1 Performance Objectives for Resource Management

Section 3-11.1 Training Needs Assessment


A-2-1 Sample Policy Statements

A-3-3.1 Comprehensive list of potential hazards and a list of the accepted risk assessment techniques

A-3-3.2 Impact analysis

A-3-5 Listing of resources for program administration

Amy, That concludes my prepared remarks.

[Q&A with Audience]

Amy Sebring: Thank you Dean. We will now move on to our interactive portion. Please try to limit your questions to the scope of today's presentation, that is, the content of the standard. We will have three more sessions this week including one tomorrow on the business continuity planning aspects, one on Thursday regarding government emergency management planning aspects, and a wrap up group discussion on Friday.


Kenny Shaw: I thought the program committee clause was too general...it does not say who is on the committee i.e. fire chief, police, EMS; shouldn't it though?

Dean Larson: That clause allows the local jurisdiction flexibility. For a starter, you might want to consider the committee composition named in the SARA Title III legislation.

Amy Sebring: There are some additional models regarding committees of stakeholders, such as LEPC's and the Project Impact guidance from FEMA.


D. Seth Staker: Well, is it ok to ask about impact analysis today? I'm not terribly familiar with the legislation, but how does the impact analysis guidance dovetail with local government. planning?

Dean Larson: The basis for the planning must start with the impact analysis. Local government should enlist whatever expertise available to perform the impact analysis as well as past studies.

Amy Sebring: Note, there are 9 specific areas of consideration mentioned and they dovetail with government concerns, not the least of which is concern for safety of response personnel.

D. Seth Staker: Poor question construction on my part. Sorry. I just see the possibilities of much duplication between LEPC, County/Municipal planning, etc.

Dean Larson: I can address the success we have had in our county by combining as much of the planning into one effort. We have been able to avoid duplicate planning by the county and LEPC because we have combined those efforts. The municipal planning has been supported by the LPEC through our local county association of fire chiefs.

Good point. I will ensure that your comment is considered as we work on the next revision.


Gary Scronce: This isn't a question so much as a comment I'd like Dean to address. Section 3-5.1 under Resource Management addresses performance objectives. I might just be reading the language wrong, but the areas for consideration seem to focus on performance of individual elements of planning rather than how they all fit together to serve the customers of EM, e.g. the public.

Dean Larson: Yes, I agree with Gary's comment that the performance objectives seem to point to individual planning elements. We need to consider other performance objectives that will ensure the individual elements are integrated.

Amy Sebring: We also have Lloyd Bokman with us today. He is the Chair of the Technical Committee and will help us out. Lloyd can you also comment on Gary's remark?

Lloyd Bokman: Yes, resource management as a program element is to be looked at as: How do we set up a resource management program to address these hazards in our community and to set it up we need to look at all these possibilities listed in 3-5.1.

Also if I may --- impact analysis can refer to a business impact analysis. Such as, if city hall is destroyed, can the city still collect taxes, cut checks, and provide the basic services that a city provides, which is a little different than a traditional hazards analysis for a chemical or a natural hazard.


Ryc Lyden: How can we 'push' this voluntary program so that business takes it seriously? For now, there isn't any bite to it unless something happens. We suggest we plan for the 'what if' and that is hard to sell. This standard is again 'after’ the ‘what if'.

Amy Sebring: We will be addressing that in more detail tomorrow but, Dean or Lloyd, can you comment?

Lloyd Bokman: The standard was designed as an umbrella type document. That is why it is very general. However, the committee will be looking at providing more detailed criteria in future development.

Ryc Lyden: I understand the 'general' but we need 'the sale' to business. Why do they need this? Rhetorical question.

Dean Larson: I agree with Ryc. Getting business interested "pre-disaster" requires very enlightened management. I believe it a resource issue. Why spend money on something that might happen?


Gary Scronce: Regarding the "periodic" program assessments discussed in Section 2-4, "periodic" is not well defined. Can Dean or Lloyd provide insight on what the committee's intent was here?

Dean Larson: Lloyd, please comment.

Lloyd Bokman: I agree and also the committee felt that any time constraints would be up to the local agency or business corporation.


Chris Waters: The Marine Community has formed a recovery center here. They are taking recovery (impact) seriously. After the hurricanes here they really got into the game. It needs to be pushed from the business groups in your area.. They even have their own EOC.


J Mesite: Can't we 'push' the voluntary program with professional associations like builders', National Governor's Conference, risk management associations etc.? Especially right AFTER a disaster that produced lots of uninsured damage!

Dean Larson: Yes, I agree those associations should be the leaders. The real question has been addressed: How do we sell this without having a disaster?

J Mesite: Agree that they will only be the leaders if we ASK them to? i.e. get on their agendas.


Amy Sebring: Dean or Lloyd, do you find any NEW requirements or elements that are not already in place in existing programs? At least, already theoretically in place! I think I see some new requirements for strategic planning, mitigation and recovery planning?

Dean Larson: I do not see any requirements that could be categorized as "new." I view this standard a common sense management practice.

Lloyd Bokman: I agree and also something new to look at, or re-look at, is continuity of operations for government which used to be called continuity of government or COG. We have tended to ignore that except for Y2K.


Ryc Lyden: I believe that businesses or organizations will look closer at it when we can show that this type of planning can assist in their mission successes. We can't preach only the 'gloom and doom', but must add the positive results to their ongoing operations on a day to day basis. Mission success and bottom line is the key. Integration of EM/BCP planning and Business Operations.

Lloyd Bokman: Ryc is absolutely correct.


Amy Sebring: Do you think having this standard can help get the message across to not only the business interests, but the wider community in general? I ask Dean and Lloyd for a final comment on that question.

Dean Larson: It’s a place to start the discussion. I would like to add my last two comments that were lost when I lost the connection.

The most important aspect of this standard, NFPA 1600, is the product of work of YOUR colleagues. It is really up to you to decide what you and your organization does with this standard.

I find it fascinating that a document that covers three pages in the actual standard and four pages of "explanation" in Appendix A has been the source of so much discussion. Perhaps, the real lasting contribution of this document is the discussion that it has caused.

Amy Sebring: Lloyd, final comment?

Lloyd Bokman: Dean said it all.

Amy Sebring: Our time is about up. Thank you very much Dean for your time and effort and for persevering today! And thank you Lloyd for pitching in. Before I ask the audience to express their appreciation, just a brief "commercial."

The EIIP Virtual Forum hosts live chats on emergency management related topics for one hour every Wednesday at 12:00 Noon Eastern time. Transcripts of previous sessions are posted in our archives and may be accessed from our homepage at http://www.emforum.org.

We are posting transcripts of this week's sessions as soon as we can turn them around and today's should be available from the session page late this afternoon.

Tomorrow, Pat Moore, Strohl Systems Inc., and a member of the Technical Committee, will be with us to go over the business continuity planning aspects.

The next VFRE session starts at 2 p.m. EDT in the HAZMAT track, Hazardous Material Laws, Regulations, Standards and Information Resources -- Joe Ross, Division Chief, Anne Arundel County Fire Department, Millersville, Md.

Our thanks to all our participants today and to VFRE for inviting us to host the Emergency Management Track. Now please help me thank Dean and Lloyd.