[cifnmedia] Critical Infrastructure Protection

  • From: Sean & Kimberly Aaron <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: CIFN LIST <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 02:06:39 -0800 (PST)

Updated: 03-16-2004 12:58:21 PM

United States Fire Administration Critical Infrastructure Protection - March 
11, 2004


USFA Infogram

Emergency Services: A National Critical Infrastructure 

The National Strategy for Homeland Security identified 13 critical 
infrastructure sectors: government, emergency services, water, agriculture, 
food, defense industrial base, information and telecommunications, energy, 
transportation, banking and finance, chemical and hazardous materials, postal 
and shipping, and public health. The human assets, physical entities, and 
communication systems that comprise these critical infrastructure sectors 
enable Americans to enjoy security, safety, and public health standards far 
exceeding most nations of the world. Therefore, the Federal Government 
considers these critical infrastructures so vital to the United States that 
their incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on national 
physical and economic security in addition to public health and safety. 

The Emergency Services Sector (ESS) basically consists of the fire, police, 
emergency medical, and emergency management professionals who provide the 
fundamental services that citizens depend on to survive. Consequently, the ESS 
has tremendously high value for the people of this nation as well as our 
adversaries. Those opposed to American political, social, and religious ideals 
recognize that the ESS is a lucrative and vulnerable target. These domestic and 
transnational terrorists understand that a calamitous attack on the ESS would 
significantly diminish the national morale and overall confidence in federal, 
state, and local governments. 

Considering this reality, the Emergency Management and Response-Information 
Sharing and Analysis Center (EMR-ISAC), representing a portion of the ESS 
(i.e., firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and emergency managers), will 
continue to research and propose time-efficient and resource-restrained 
protective measures and best practices for the EMR sub-sector. Despite severely 
limited resources, senior leaders of the sub-sector should persistently seek 
and find the appropriate means to prepare for, mitigate, or respond to 
terrorism and all hazards. Furthermore, all preparations and responses should 
guarantee the survivability, continuity of operations, and mission success of 
EMR organizations and agencies. 

The Wildfire Threat 

Repeatedly, the EMR-ISAC has maintained that wildfires are a threat to the 
critical infrastructures of community operations and emergency responders, in 
addition to citizens and their property. Now officials from the National 
Interagency Fire Center, Boise, Idaho, are concerned that much of the West 
faces a potential wildfire danger that threatens to exceed all previous 
records. Center experts affirmed that persistent drought, exacerbated by 
below-average snow pack, and insect-infested timber killed off huge tracts of 
forestland creating conditions for a possibly devastating wildfire season. 

FEMA’s Region VIII, in Denver, Colorado, responsible for many Western States, 
is working aggressively with its local and state officials to promote wildfire 
mitigation measures. They are also encouraging homeowners to take steps as soon 
as possible to reduce the “fire load” around their homes and to consider 
making family disaster communication and evacuation plans. Basic CIP Start-Up 

There are increasing numbers of first response departments that are currently 
exploring how to internally implement the discipline of critical infrastructure 
protection (CIP) without the expenditure of a lot of labor and money. To assist 
these and other organizations, the EMR-ISAC offers the following three basic 
CIP start-up suggestions: 

Establish accountability by deciding which senior leader in the department will 
be responsible for the effective implementation of CIP. 
Ensure the senior accountable leader utilizes the CIP process to determine what 
really needs protection from all hazards. 
Promote awareness of the threats to the organization’s critical 
infrastructures from all hazards and maintain constant vigilance for those 
More specific guidance can be obtained in the CIP Process Job Aid: 
http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fire-service/cipc/cipc-jobaid.shtm, or by contacting 
the EMR-ISAC at 301-447-1325, or by e-mail at emr-isac@xxxxxxxx 

Animal Diseases: A Threat? 

At the recent International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, 
veterinary medicine specialists agreed, “continually evolving new disease 
threats necessitate more attention toward the health of animals.” They 
reported 91 percent of the most dangerous bioterrorism agents and 75 percent of 
the new diseases that menaced mankind during the last 20 years are animal 
diseases that gained the ability to infect humans. They expressed particular 
concern that “bioterrorists could cause famine and widespread economic 
disruption by targeting farm animals like cattle or swine.” 

The conference participants recommended a detection system that “merges 
surveillance for people, wildlife, and animals so that, as these microbes are 
spread form one population to another, we will understand the nature of the 
spread and come up with prevention strategies.” They further indicated that 
expeditiously recognizing symptoms in people and animals should be a crucial 
component of disease detection. 

CIP specialists hypothesize that that a bioterrorist attack on farm animals 
could directly involve the EMR community in at least two ways: emergency 
medical personnel will come in contact with contaminated victims, and emergency 
management and response leaders will have to conduct preparedness planning and 
actual response operations. For these reasons, the EMR-ISAC proposes that EMR 
decision-makers give some thought to the readiness of their plans and personnel 
for human infections resulting from animal diseases. 

The Department of Homeland Security Information Analysis and Infrastructure 
Protection (IAIP) Directorate is the central point for notifications regarding 
infrastructure disruptions and intrusions. Members of the emergency response 
community are requested to report any incidents or attacks involving their 
infrastructures using one of the following points of contact: 

1) IAIP - Voice: 202-323-3204/3205/3206, Fax: 202-323-2079, E-Mail: 
2) Your local FBI office - Web: http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm
3) U. S. Fire Administration - Voice: 301-447-1325, E-Mail: emr-isac@xxxxxxx, 
fax: 301-447- 1034, Mail: Room J-247, 16825 South Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg, MD 

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Sean A. Aaron (CIFN*1)
Central Illinois Fire Network

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