The American National Standards Institute and the National Fire Protection Association have recommended to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States that the NFPA 1600 Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs be recognized as the national preparedness standard. In addition to examining the circumstances surrounding the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., the commission is charged with making recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.

NFPA 1600 establishes a common set of criteria for disaster management, emergency management, and business continuity programs. In addition, it identifies methodologies for exercising those plans and provides a list of resources within the fields of disaster recovery, emergency management, and business continuity planning. The standard also outlines planning guidelines that address stabilizing the restoration of the physical infrastructure, protecting the health and safety of personnel, crisis communication procedures, and management structures for both short-term recovery and long-term continuity of operations.

NFPA 1600 is available online at www.nfpa.org/PDF/nfpa1600.pdf?src=nfpa.