10/7/2010 12:00 AM
A national effort is under way to combat the threats against America's Critical Infrastructure & Key Resources (CIKR), and TEEX training is helping to address those threats and enhance the protection and rapid restoration of these vital assets.
Government experts say terrorist attacks and natural, manmade or technological hazards could disrupt the functioning of government and business alike, while producing widespread losses and damaging public confidence. The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) was developed to build a safer, more secure and more resilient country by preventing, deterring, neutralizing or mitigating the effects of deliberate actions that could destroy, incapacitate or exploit the nation's CIKR.
The new course, "Critical Infrastructure & Key Resources (CIKR) Awareness," was developed by TEEX experts at the request of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in support of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan. It meets a need identified at the national level by bringing private sector and public jurisdictional partners together, said Sam Cox, Training Manager with TEEX Public Safety & Security.
"The government recognized that a public and private sector partnership was the key factor in both protection and resiliency. It is vital that they understand their roles and responsibilities for protecting key resources and assets under the National Infrastructure Protection Plan," Cox said.
"We bring together people and groups before an event occurs. We work with them to identify the assets in their jurisdictions and discuss interdependencies and the joint threats they face.
"Ultimately, our goal is to make the assets in the communities safer and get the partners to work together toward a common goal. The course is designed to foster understanding and support planning and decision-making across the public and private sectors for developing effective protection strategies. We help them see how they are dependent and interdependent; for example, a manufacturer needs electricity as well as water and emergency services in the event of disaster."
The course has been certified by the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA and is offered a no charge to eligible jurisdictions through TEEX's DHS/FEMA Homeland Security National Training Program. More than 125 people have attended the new course so far in jurisdictions ranging from Florida to Minnesota to California.
"Participants come away with a new understanding of the threats they face as an entire jurisdiction and the necessary components to protect their assets," Cox said. "The course culminates in the partners coming together and developing a roadmap with the steps they need to take to implement the plan."