Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2011 Vol. 58 No. 3

PLANNING TO PROTECT OUR INFRASTRUCTURE: THE ABCs OF CIKR

National Infrastructure Protection Plan

(CIKR) Critical Infrastructure & Key Resources is also known as Infrastructure Protection – an emergency management preparedness program based on the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP).

“Simply put, CIKR refers to facilities, resources, and systems that are vital to your community and economy,” said Karl Schumacher, Infrastructure Planner with the Policy & Plans Unit of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. “Emergency management professionals should take the view that there is infrastructure, all of which is important to someone, and there is Critical Infrastructure which is important – and needed to support – a large population.”

Infrastructure can refer to physical structures like roads, bridges, power plants, water and sewage systems, stadiums, conference centers and cell phone towers or communications resources like the Internet, cell phone service and CB radio. The key to determining whether infrastructure is critical depends on the consequences to the community if an infrastructure asset were to be disrupted for any reason.

In other words, a water system or power plant are critical to the community while other public buildings may not be needed immediately following a disaster.

“In the Local Basic Emergency Management Plans and in all of the 22 Local Annexes there is a portion of the plan or annex that recommends that you list what could be considered CIKR,” explained Hanh Truong, Infrastructure Planner, who also works in the Policy & Plans Unit.

Schumacher said: “Documenting the infrastructure in your community and determining what constitutes CIKR for your jurisdiction is fundamentally important for your community’s planning, response, and resource allocation decisions.”

Since September 15, 2010 TDEM CIKR has been able to offer the DHS Automated Critical Asset Management System (ACAMS) for use by emergency management professionals.  This is a free, web-based, CIKR database that is available to communities across the State to use to help manage their CIKR. 

It only requires a commitment of time to take the free DHS required training called Critical Asset Protection Technical Assistance Program (CAPTAP). CAPTAP training is available on-line and it will be offered in at least two classes hosted this year by the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission and the Heart of Texas Council of Governments.

For information about Infrastructure Protection in Texas, please call TDEM’s CIKR office at 512-424-7103, or email Karl Schumacher or Hanh Truong.

For more information, visit the Department of Homeland Security Critical Infrastructure Protection page.

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