The terrorist attacks of 2001 and devastating hurricanes of 2005 have highlighted both the vulnerability and the importance of the nation's infrastructure. So it's no surprise that the U.S. government has been hard at work developing a plan to safeguard that infrastructure. After collaborating with nearly 300 federal, state, local, tribal, and private-sector agencies and organizations, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last summer unveiled a comprehensive strategic program, known as the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP).
Those eager to learn more about the plan have a couple of choices: They can plow through the 180-page document on their own (the text of the NIPP can be found at www.dhs.gov/nipp) or they can enroll in a new online course. Available at no charge from the Department of Homeland Security, the course, "Introduction to the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP)," is a Web-based course developed jointly by the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute. DHS says the course is designed to meet the training needs of a wide range of government and private-sector security partners involved in implementing infrastructure protection programs.
As described by DHS, the course addresses the importance of protecting the nation's critical infrastructure and key resources, and provides an overview of many of the key concepts of the NIPP. Those include the risk management framework; the partnership model designed to facilitate coordination and cooperation between infrastructure owners and operators and the government; the networked approach to information sharing; and the new riskbased approach to resource allocation. It also describes 17 sector-specific plans that address the particular needs of various areas, including the transportation sector. The course may be accessed through the EMI Independent Study Web site at http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/crslist.asp. Select course number IS-860. The course can be taken for certificate credit or simply for information purposes.