How does this relate to the notifications and warnings industry--particularly for the public sector? First, the selection of NFPA standards is interesting to us. We continue to see the NFPA show up in conversations related to emergency notification. NFPA 72, for example, recently expanded its traditional definition of "alarms" (historically in-building sirens and flashing lights) to encompass virtually any other form of mass warning, both within the immediate vicinity of a "situation" and beyond (see "Mass Notification Redefined"). We expect to see continued leadership from this organization in the area of alerts and warnings.
Second, the topic of critical communications with emergency personnel and communities is featured throughout each of these standards in some form. While a private enterprise may not be directly responsible for issuing a mass notification alert in a critical situation (a chemical release from a factory for example), it is responsible for providing local officials with timely, specific information that might affect the public. Its existence may even be a primary driver for obtaining an emergency notification solution. Public safety agencies in locations where local businesses could pose a public risk will do well to work alongside these organizations in their continuity planning process--ensuring mass notification procedures are well aligned.
It will be interesting to see how well these standards catch on in the private sector. Already, companies appear to be balking at the notion that DHS, in big-brother form, is telling them how to run their business (there is also a fear that these "suggested" standards will become requirements when selling to the government). In either case, watch out for a continued blurring of the lines between private and public sector crisis communications, pointing to the need for comprehensive, integrated alert and warning programs.
All the best,