InterCEP Director Addresses Council on Foreign Relations
September 21, 2006 1:04 PM
Paula A. Zahn, anchor with CNN, moderated an active discussion on private sector readiness for crises at an internationally webcast forum held by the Council on Foreign Relations at its headquarters in New York City on September 8, 2006. Bill Raisch, InterCEP’s Director, stressed the need for government at all levels to develop a clear and coordinated strategy for private sector engagement. It is widely understood that businesses control 85% of the critical infrastructure in the United States. Raisch also stressed that the private sector can provide critical expertise, goods, and services to preparedness, response, and recovery activities. Scarcity of key resources is a common situation following many large scale emergencies.
With businesses preparedness widely assessed as insufficient, Raisch emphasized two fundamental factors for success: a clean “what to do” coupled with a compelling “why to do it.” The preparedness standard endorsed by the 9-11 Commission and the Department of Homeland Security (NFPA 1600) was cited as a good consensus-based guidance for “what” should be in an organizational program for business continuity and emergency management. Raisch further stressed that a compelling business case for preparedness was critical to sustained activity and commitment of resources by businesses. Government should consider tax and other incentives to promote preparedness in addition to market-based incentives. Raisch briefly reported on InterCEP’s initiatives in insurance, legal liablilty, mitigation, and rating agency acknowledgement of corporate preparedness.
Bill Raisch was joined on the panel entitled, What Individuals and Organizations Can Do, by Dr. Jeffrey Runge, Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Homeland Security, and Stephen Flynn, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations.
For the transcript of this discussion, please visit the Council on Foreign Relations website at: http://www.cfr.org/publication/11417/council_on_foreign_relations_policy_symposium.html