National Congress kicks-off in Washington D.C.
| 12.17.2007 | 03:43:36 | Views: 3718 | ID:
December 17 '07: U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff will deliver the keynote address at next week’s National Congress for Secure Communities, a two-day forum dedicated to leveraging public/private partnerships for disaster preparedness and response at the community level.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff will deliver the keynote address at next week's National Congress for Secure Communities, a two-day forum dedicated to leveraging public/private partnerships for disaster preparedness and responseat the community level.The National Congress brings together leaders from the privateand community sectors with top officials from the federal, state and local governments todevelop the National Blueprint, a dynamic framework for disaster response based on input from private industry andlocal/state communities and government. In particular, National Congress delegates willfocus on ways to leverageprivate and community sector response capabilities to supplement the government's response during the first 72 hours following a disaster –the most critical hours of any emergency. "Disaster preparedness and response continue to evolve based on the lessons learned from 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the California wildfires and other crisis situations," said Congress Chair Asa Hutchinson, who serves as Chairman of the Corporate Crisis Response Officers Association's National Advisory Board and is a former Under Secretary of Homeland Security. "Two of these lessons have been particularly important. The first is that we must go beyond preparing for disasters tofocus on resiliency as a national strategy. The second key lesson is that the private sector - which owns and operates over 70% of the nation's critical infrastructure -isessential to this resiliency and must be an equal partner alongside the government, especially in thecritical first hours of an emergency." The National Congress includes two days of events, including a Best Practices Expo, where local leaders will share proven strategies for disaster response in the first 72 hours of a crisis; and a presentation offindings from the ReadyCommunities pilot projects involving key stakeholders in local communities such as Galveston, Texas, and Charleston, South Carolina.
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