October 2, 2014

SAFETY Act – Often Overlooked Part of PS-Prep Program

Many of our readers have responded to our postings regarding the PS-Prep Program and the events and information we have passed to them regarding the identification of widely accepted preparedness standards and the incorporation of those standards into company policies and procedures.

However, there is also an often overlooked and second program element to PS-Prep, which is focused on terrorism preparedness, and that program  is explicitly designed to help companies defend against lawsuits.

The DHS-administered Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act is intended to facilitate the development and deployment of “anti-terrorism technology” by capping (and in some circumstances precluding) liability for those who have developed or deployed the technology and received one of several types of DHS approval.

While the SAFETY Act applies only in the event of a terrorism incident, the definition of “anti-terrorism technology” is incredibly broad. It can include not only products and intellectual property but also services of various types. Many mundane services, including security services (e.g., guards), analytical services (e.g., risk assessments) or emergency preparedness services may qualify as “anti-terrorism technology.”

The relative scarcity of service companies that have sought SAFETY Act approval has been a surprise to many observers, including some in the SAFETY Act office at DHS, who have said that many companies may be missing opportunities to obtain significant liability protections.

For more information about this important and often overlooked part of PS-Prep, please click here.   

One of the first indications of this fact was brought our staff’s attention in an article written by Stephen Heifetz, and entitled; “An Ounce of Prevention: DHS Private Sector Preparedness Programs“.

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