Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., along with Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery Chairman Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Ranking Member Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have submitted formal comments to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on the draft National Disaster Recovery Framework (“NDRF”) released recently.  Those comments stressed that significant gaps still exist in this drafted framework document.

The Senators requested that their comment letter be treated as a response to the request for comments in FEMA Docket ID FEMA-2010-0004 (75 Fed. Reg. 6681 (February 10, 2010)) and included as part of the public record in that matter. 

One of the areas of concern commented upon was the fact that the Senators believe that current preparedness efforts of the federal government, as well as many state, local, and tribal governments, fail to focus adequately on recovery issues or otherwise fall short of what is necessary.

A short summary or overview of all of their concerns over the content of the drafted framework was formally stated and presented in a recent press release from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs group and includes at least some of the following main topics of concern:

Ambiguity in leadership, roles, authorities, and responsibilities

Recovery Support Functions

Federal Recovery Coordinator

Federal Programs

Scalability to a catastrophe

Private Sector Preparedness

Mitigation

Difficulties in Operationalizing the NDRF

The Senator’s letter also recommended that the final NDRF should promote PS-Prep, the voluntary private sector preparedness certification program, established by Section 901 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.  They stated that this important program can play a vital role in helping the private sector recover from disasters, and, they believe the NDRF offers an excellent opportunity to encourage the private sector to voluntarily get prepared through the PS-Prep program

We recommend that you read the entire press release, and, that you pass this information along to those persons in your organization responsible for meeting similar disaster recovery and business continuity requirements affecting their own companies.

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