NFPA 1600® Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs
“NFPA 1600 establishes a common, high level set of criteria for disaster and emergency management and business continuity programs to develop, implement, assess, and maintain these programs. The programs address management, planning, prevention, mitigation, implementation, response, recovery, testing and improvement.”
A major difference between the 2010 version and the 2007 version is omission of one chapter: Program Elements, and the creation of new chapters: Planning, Implementation, Testing and Exercise, and Program Improvement. The contents of 2007′s Program Elements chapter was broken down and added to these new chapters, then expanded upon.
Chapter 4 – Program Management, has been elaborated to create specific guidelines for individuals who are leaders for their company’s disaster and emergency plans. Leadership and commitment has been added to this chapter along with performance objectives, finance and administration, and records management.
Chapter 5 – Planning, includes planning process, risk assessment (carried over from the former chapter 5), business impact analysis, mitigation, and more.
Chapter 6 – Implementation, includes much of what was Chapter 5 in 2007 along with new additions: employee assistance and support, Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), training and education.
Chapter 7 – Testing and Exercises reminds Emergency Leaders that practice makes perfect when it comes to implementing an evacuation plan.
Chapter 8 – Program Improvement has been added in order to recognize that emergency plans are “working” documents. As regulations and recommendations are updated by NFPA or there are changes in personnel at your facility, your emergency policy must be updated accordingly. This chapter also calls for reviews after each incident to reevaluate your program and learn from lessons.
2010′s 1600 seems like a more thought-out version than the 2007 1600. Please make your safety officers aware of these updated changes. Well-practiced emergency procedures keep employees safe from injury or even death – do not take these recommendations lightly.