EIIP Virtual Forum Presentation – May 19, 2004

The American National Preparedness Standard
An Update On NFPA 1600

Lloyd W. Bokman
Chair, NFPA 1600 Technical Committee
on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs

Amy Sebring
Moderator, EIIP Technical Projects 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]

Amy Sebring: On behalf of Avagene Moore and myself, welcome to the EIIP Virtual Forum! We are pleased to have this opportunity to bring you a session on the American National Preparedness Standard -- An Update on NFPA 1600.

Now, I have the pleasure of once again introducing today's speaker, Lloyd W. Bokman, Chair of the National Fire Protection Association's Technical Committee on Disaster / Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs. Lloyd has been a member of the committee since 1993 and has served as its Chair since 1998. He is also the U.S. Dept. of Energy Liaison/Emergency Planner with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and is responsible for the State of Ohio's ESF #10 Hazardous Materials Contingency Plan.

Lloyd was an early participant with the Virtual Forum. His first session with us as a speaker, and our first on this topic, was just over 6 years ago. He also participated in a Panel Discussion during January 1999 and was featured during a week-long special event during September 2000. If you are interested in the history of the development of the standard the easiest way to access all of these previous transcripts is to go to our home page and select the 'Standards' topic from the drop-down box.

But today, we are here for current events, and as Lloyd will explain, there are some very current developments indeed. Welcome back, Lloyd, and I now turn the floor over to you to start us off, please.


Lloyd Bokman: Thank you, Amy. I would like to welcome everybody to the EIIP Virtual Forum and today's update on the NFPA 1600 Standard for Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs. I'm going to talk about the latest revision, which is the 2004 edition. There have been two previous editions – the first was in 1995 and the second was published in 2000. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards are usually revised in a reoccurring 3-4 year cycle.

The revision cycles are followed to comply with the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) rules for accrediting Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), such as the NFPA. The 3-4 year cycle allows for a committee's development/revision of the document including appropriate allotments of time for the public submittal of revision proposals, as well as public comments on the draft revision. The 2004 edition of NFPA 1600 is not much different than the 2000 edition.

One of the first differences that you will see is the numbering system of the chapters and paragraphs. For instance, in the 2000 edition the emergency management/business continuity program elements were in Chapter 3, while the 2004 edition has them numbered under Chapter 5.

Also, in the 2000 version the explanatory material was found in an appendix, but in the 2004 version an appendix is now called an annex. The reason for this is found in the NFPA's new Manual of Style that sets the general format for all NFPA standards. It changed the order and numbering of the chapters, as well as switching from an appendix to an annex.

There are few changes in the content of the standard itself (i.e. the first five chapters). There is an added program element dealing specifically with mutual aid. So now there are 14 program elements rather than 13.

There is also some new language under the Communications and Warning program element that addresses the issue of interoperability. The remainder of the body of the document had changes in terminology that needed updating or that clarified the committee's intent but, in my opinion, made no substantial change to the standard. The major changes in the document are found in the annex items where the non-standard, explanatory material (for informational purposes only) is found. The committee felt that the document really needed to be "beefed" up with more explanatory and informational material so that the reader could get a better idea of the committee's thoughts, reasoning and intent.

As you go through the body of the standard, you will see that certain items have an asterisk "*" next to it. This is to tell the reader that there is a corresponding explanation, example or additional information to be found for this particular item in Annex A. Again, the information found in the Annexes is for educational purposes only and are not considered part of the "language" of the standard. An example would be section 5.1 which gives a general statement of applicability for the program elements. It has an annex item associated with it that is a table showing the relationship between FEMA's Capability Assessment Readiness (CAR) Emergency Management Functions, the Business Continuity Institute's (BCI) & Disaster Recovery Institute International's (DRII) Professional Practices, and NFPA 1600's Program Elements.

Our hope is, that with this additional information, the standard will be easier to understand and use. You can download NFPA 1600 for free at http://www.nfpa.org. You can also go to the background page that Amy has provided for this presentation. She has placed a link there to the download site. Thanks, Amy.

The title of this presentation refers to NFPA 1600 as the National Preparedness Standard. I would like to talk now about this latest development.

Last year, the 9-11 Commission, because of the concerns expressed by many 9-11 families and survivors regarding emergency preparedness, asked ANSI and its Homeland Security Standards Panel (HSSP) to look into the issue of emergency preparedness standards in the private sector.

ANSI's HSSP, working with the Greater New York Safety Council's Emergency Corps Program, sponsored a series of workshops to look at emergency preparedness standards in the private sector. The workshops included participants from several major industries and companies, as well as the federal government. You can see a list of participating organizations at the end of ANSI's recommendation to the 9-11 Commission, which is posted on this presentation's background page.

Throughout the series of workshops, a consensus was reached that NFPA 1600, since it is a high-level or macro-level standard, be recognized by ANSI as the National Preparedness Standard. It was also agreed that ANSI should propose to the 9-11 Commission that the Commission include in its report to Congress and the President a recommendation that NFPA 1600 be recognized as the voluntary National Preparedness Standard for the private sector. This recommendation was presented to the Vice Chair of the 9-11 Commission, Representative Hamilton, by ANSI's President, Dr. Mark Hurwitz, on April 29 at a reception in Falls Church, Virginia.

While the 9-11 Commission considers ANSI's proposal, ANSI continues to work with the Greater New York Safety Council's Emergency Corps and its Private Sector Preparedness Working Group to find ways to implement and promote the implementation of the standard in the private sector. They are looking at possible incentives, such as discounts in insurance premiums or setting up national voluntary accreditation programs for businesses. These may be similar to the national voluntary Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) that is now in place for state and local public sector programs, which also uses NFPA 1600 as its base standard.

More initiatives may be put forth in the future, perhaps by individual industry/business sectors, as ANSI's voluntary National Preparedness Standard becomes better known in the private sector.

Finally, I would like to mention one more recent development regarding emergency preparedness standards. The International Organization for Standardization, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland, has set up Technical Committee 223 on Civil Defence. (ISO - Note: It is the ISO, rather than the IOS, because the acronym would be different in different languages, so ISO was chosen because it is derived from the Greek word "isos" meaning equal.)

The purpose of the Technical Committee is, "Standardization in the field of civil defence (protection); monitoring and prediction of emergency situations of natural and technogenic character; elimination of consequence from natural disasters, emergencies and catastrophes; tools, equipment and outfit for human salvation; public safety systems, training and education of population."

To date, ISO TC 223 has produced a business plan (published in 2002) which outlines a possible course of action in the development of civil defence or, what we would call, emergency management standards. The business plan outlines the production of about 20 micro-level standards that deal with various subject area terms and definitions and technical requirements for various types of equipment, such as rescue, reconnaissance, and hazardous meteorological monitoring equipment.

Just as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is the organization responsible for NFPA 1600, an ANSI standard, the Russian standards making organization, GOST (a Russian acronym), is the Secretariat (Administrator) of ISO Technical Committee 223 on Civil Defence. The United States is represented on Technical Committee 223 by ANSI, which is the official representative of the US at the ISO. ANSI has set up a US Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to represent ANSI on TC 223.

This TAG is administered by the NFPA, as an ANSI accredited Standards Development Organization (SDO). The NFPA just recently formed this TAG and asked me to be the Chair. At present, we are waiting for word from the Russian GOST on the next plenary meeting of TC 223. I am looking forward to working with our international partners on TC 223 in the development of standards for civil defence/emergency management. I think we have a lot to share from our experiences and we have a lot to learn from the many countries that are members of ISO TC 223.

If you want to learn more about the ISO TC 223 on Civil Defence, their web site is:
http://www.iso.org/iso/en/stdsdevelopment/tc/tclist/TechnicalCommitteeDetailPage.TechnicalCommitteeDetail?COMMID=5366 or go to www.iso.org and do a search on TC 223.

I think I've talked long enough, so I'd like to turn the session back to our Moderator, and to thank both Avagene and Amy for their continued dedication to the EIIP.

[Audience Questions & Answers]


Emily DeMers: What is your understanding of the ISO Technical Committtee 223's plans with regard to using what NFPA has already put in place with the 1600?

Lloyd Bokman: Hi, Emily, good question. Unfortunately, since the TC 223 hasn't met yet and we have not discussed the issue I don't know the level of their awareness of 1600 though I do know that several of the member countries, such as France, are aware of 1600.


Amy Sebring: Lloyd, I understand ANSI has or will submit comments for the next revision cycle; can you outline the procedure/timetable for the next revision cycle?

Lloyd Bokman: The recommendations from the ANSI workgroup are now being reviewed by a Task Group that we set up several years ago to keep up to date on the latest developments in our field. The Task Group will give the Committee a report on those recommendations, as well as other recent developments, such as the new NIMS and NRP, when we meet in the Fall. The committee will then look at those recommendations and decide how to address them regarding the next revision of the standard.


Eelco Dykstra: Thanks Lloyd! What, if any, potential do you see for the NFPA/ANSI/ISO standards for international humanitarian assistance programs?

Lloyd Bokman: Eelco, in the long run I can see the standards development process pulling together a lot on the international level. There are some best practices already in place in that area, such as the Sphere project. Through the ISO/ANSI/NFPA process perhaps we can expand on the bigger picture and how all these specific areas work together and fit comprehensively.


Jose Musse: I remember older conference about first edition NFPA 1600, can think not are very popular with CEMs, that change with years?

Lloyd Bokman: Hi, Jose. Yes, I think it has because of the long term involvement and commitment by such organizations as NEMA, IAEM, FEMA, DRII and others to the development of NFPA 1600. The 1600 Committee does have a good representation of Emergency Managers and Business Continuity professionals.


Isabel McCurdy: Lloyd, what are country requirements to be part of TC223? I noticed Canada is not on there which surprises me as we are involved in NFPA 1600.

Lloyd Bokman: Since TC223 hasn't developed any standards yet, it is hard to say how they may affect different levels of government and business. I do know that Canada, through the Ontario Emergency Management and the Canadian Standards Association, has expressed a strong interest in TC223 and, though I can't speak for them, I think they are looking at becoming a member.


Craig Kampmier: 1600 will serve as an umbrella document under which other documents/criteria are implemented to achieve specific requirements of 1600, i.e. NIMS, NFPA 99, chapter on Health Care Emergency Management? I realize NIMS is unto itself.

Lloyd Bokman: Craig, yes, I think that is fair to say NFPA 1600 was designed as an umbrella document to try to give a look at the big picture. Emergency planning principles may be the same but the details between a plan for a chemical facility and that for a bank/financial institution are quite different.


Bruce Hunter: Hi, Lloyd - it's probably premature, but how long might the TC 223 process take?

Lloyd Bokman: I am new to the ISO processes and I am still learning but with the ambitious work plan that TC223 has laid out, I wouldn't be surprised if it takes quite a while. I applaud them for their ambition and scope but in my experience in developing one standard, I have learned that it is a long, though rewarding, process.


Amy Sebring: If I may add, the Draft Business Plan that is available does lay out some of the elements in terms of number of years.


Avagene Moore: Lloyd, first of all, thanks for all your hard work and leadership on the Standard and congratulations on your new assignment! You mentioned one of the changes to the 1600 is a 14th program element. Can you briefly explain what the new program element entails?

Lloyd Bokman: Sure, Avagene, the new element is entitled Mutual Aid, which in the 2000 edition was found under Resource Management. During this revision process, the committee discussed it and felt that Mutual Aid agreements were important enough, especially in today's climate of budget cuts, that it needed to stand out on its own and be a separate program element.


Amy Sebring: I have asked Emily DeMers who is here with us today if she would be willing to give us a brief update on EMAP also. EMAP is actually using the standard for accreditation of state and local programs. How is that going Emily?

Emily DeMers: Thanks, Amy. Many probably are aware that EMAP's standards are based on the NFPA 1600 so there is great synergy in state and local emergency preparedness programs using the same base standard as is being recommended for private sector entities to use to build and evaluate their preparedness programs.

EMAP is conducting baseline assessments of all the states and territories under a program with DHS/EP&R and has done half the states and territories to date. Local (city and county) programs also can use the standards and work toward full compliance which can result in accreditation. This is the first program-type accreditation for emergency management programs, so it is challenging but interesting. Now, I think it is important for us all to look at how to integrate some of the prevention or homeland security-type concepts into standards for emergency preparedness. I'm interested in Lloyd's -- and others -- thoughts on that.

Lloyd Bokman: I think the challenge now may be as Emily says incorporating more specifics for Homeland Security as well as other hazards. 1600 endorses the All-hazards approach, but now that there is an umbrella document, I think it would be helpful to show how existing best practices in various business sectors, whether it is telecommunications, health care, finance, etc., are related to the overall comprehensive program or approach.


Amy Sebring: As you mentioned Lloyd, this is a long-term ongoing process. Thank you very much once again, not only for your time and effort here today, but for all you have done over the years. I hope you will be back again when there has also been some progress on the international level!

Please stand by while we make some quick announcements.

Again, the transcript will be posted late tonight and you will be able to access it from our home page or the background page. We also have a great archive of transcripts which you can access by topic from the home page.

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Thanks to everyone for participating today. Great questions and comments. We stand adjourned but before you go, please help me show our appreciation to Lloyd for a fine job.