MS Congressman says Gulf oil spill shows need to prepare business - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

MS Congressman says Gulf oil spill shows need to prepare business

WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) - Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson points to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as an example that private businesses are not prepared to deal with crisis.

Thompson, the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is urging the government to step up implementation of a program to help private sector companies develop preparedness, response, and business continuity plans.

Thompson (D-MS) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano noting that the program, which came out the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, was required by legislation passed by Congress almost three years ago, and still has not yet been launched. 

The lawmakers wrote that "private sector preparedness is a necessity not a luxury, "given that the private sector owns 85% of the nation's critical infrastructure - the networks and systems that supply energy, allow us to communicate, and conduct financial operations.

"The impact of future disasters on vulnerable cities and towns across the county would be significantly mitigated if businesses were armed with preparedness and recovery programs," Thompson and Lieberman wrote.

The two called on DHS to have a timeline for adopting the standards for the program within 15 days.

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