Most of us who have been in the business of emergency response or security have said and written repeatedly that the federal government cannot and was never designed to fulfill the “be all, end all” role of protecting the homeland. This is a group effort. One of the great things about this country is that there is not one exclusive decision maker who determines what each of us will do to ensure the defense of the nation. There are many levels of government and countless private sector groups that own or have great influence over the assets of this nation and play a role in determining what level of defense or security they need.

The bottom line is that thousands of Americans have died to protect our rights to be this diversified. It is up to each of us to put our collective wisdoms and efforts to form a unified team to protect our homeland from future attempts to hurt our way of life.

As result of recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission that were reinforced in the aftermath of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Congress has actively developed and passed Public Law 110-53 (9/11 Commission Act 2007).

As part of the new law, DHS will soon develop a business continuity accreditation and certification program for use by the private sector. Although this effort does not come with federal money, experience shows the program will provide a significant cost benefit to the participating accredited firms by way of lower insurance costs. Even more importantly, the added layers of security and preparedness offered through participation could prove invaluable in the long run.