NFPA 1600 2007


NFPA 1600 2007 is NOW OBSOLETE. See ISO 22301 2012.


The NFPA Standards Council established the Disaster
Management Committee in January 1991. Its mandate was
to develop a document that defines recommended disaster
management practices
. This work was completed and formally
approved in 1995 by the NFPA membership during its Annual
Meeting. At this point, NFPA was not yet an official standard.
It was merely a recommended practice.

This changed in 2000 when the NFPA 1600 document was
elevated from a
recommended practice to a standard. At the
same time, the NFPA standard was expanded beyond disaster
to include both emergency management and
business continuity management. NFPA 1600 was again
updated in 2004. The 2004 edition renumbered and refined
some of the sections and definitions. In addition, a section
on Mutual Aid was added.

The current updated version of NFPA 1600 came into effect
on December 20, 2006 and is formally referred to as the 2007
. The standard has changed quite a bit. A new section on
Incident Prevention (5.4) has been added in addition to several
new subsections and five new definitions. In addition, most of
the old text has been revised and rewritten. As a result, we
believe that the new standard is a major update.

  NFPA 1600 is a standard for:
  • Disaster management programs
  • Emergency management programs
  • Business continuity management programs

However, instead of asking you to establish three separate
programs, NFPA developed this standard to help you establish
a single integrated program. The result is simply called “the
, according to NFPA. We’ll call it the NFPA 1600
, in the absence of a more informative alternative.

Of course, depending on your particular background, you may
choose to call your NFPA 1600 Program a Disaster Management
, an Emergency Management Program, a Business
Continuity Management Program
, or something else.

  The purpose of the NFPA 1600 Standard is to help the disaster
management, emergency management, and business continuity
communities to manage disasters and emergencies. Its purpose
is to help organizations and jurisdictions to:
  • Prevent disasters and emergencies

  • Mitigate disasters and emergencies

  • Prepare for disasters and emergencies

  • Respond to disasters and emergencies

  • Recover from disasters and emergencies

The NFPA Standard can be used to:

  • Establish a new program

  • Evaluate an existing program

The NFPA Standard applies to:

  • Public disaster management, emergency
    management, and business continuity programs

  • Private disaster management, emergency
    management, and business continuity programs

  • Not-for-profit disaster management, emergency
    management, and business continuity programs

  NFPA 1600 2007 can be used to deal
with the following kinds of hazards:

1. Hazards caused by nature

  • Geological hazards include earthquakes, tsunamis,
    landslides, mudslides, sinkholes, volcanic eruptions,
    glacial avalanches, iceberg dangers, and so on.
  • Meteorological hazards include storms, floods, droughts,
    famines, avalanches, forest fires, grass fires, tidal waves,
    flash floods, lightning strikes, hurricanes, cyclones,
    tornados, wind storms, sand storms, hail storms,
    geomagnetic storms, snow storms, ice storms, heat
    waves, very cold temperatures, ice, sleet, and so on.

  • Biological hazards include diseases, epidemics,
    infestations, insect bites, animal attacks, and so on.

2. Hazards caused by humans

  • Accidental hazards include fires, explosions, explosive
    materials, corrosive materials, radioactive materials,
    flammable liquids, flammable gases, flammable solids,
    utility failures, power disruptions, communication
    interruptions, energy shortages, fuel shortages, food
    shortages, resource deficiencies, air pollution, water
    pollution, contamination, poison, vehicle accidents,
    building collapses, structural failures, dam failures,
    dike failures, economic collapse, hyperinflation,
    misinformation, and so on.
  • Intentional hazards include wars, riots, violence,
    public unrest, labor unrest, mass hysteria, political
    insurrection, sabotage, hijackings, military attacks,
    nuclear attacks, radiological attacks, biological attacks,
    electromagnetic pulses, explosions, theft, fraud, arson,
    vandalism, product defects, product contamination,
    disinformation, and so on.

3. Hazards caused by technology

  • Technological hazards include computer failures,
    equipment malfunctions, software bugs, utility
    failures, power disruptions, energy shortages,
    telecommunications breakdowns, and so on.


On July 22, 2004 the 9/11 Commission published its final report.
It recommends that the NFPA 1600 Standard be adopted by the
private sector. The 9/11 Commission further recommends that
insurance and credit-rating industries look closely at a company's
compliance with the NFPA Standard in assessing its insurability
and creditworthiness. The Commission believes that compliance
with the NFPA Standard should define the standard of care owed
by a company to its employees and the public for legal purposes.*
: The 9/11 Commission Report, page 398.


On August 3, 2007 H.R.1, Implementing Recommendations of the
9/11 Commission Act of 2007
was signed by the President and
became Public Law No. 110-53. One subsection on Private Sector
encourages the use of business continuity and
disaster recovery standards such as NFPA 1600. It also calls for
the development of a private sector preparedness accreditation
and certification program. Such a program would be used to
certify the preparedness of private sector organizations.


For a detailed overview of NFPA 1600, please see
NFPA 1600 2007 Translated into Plain English




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Updated on March 26, 2013. First published on May 28, 2004.

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