US flag signifying that this is a United States Federal Government website   Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Flag and Keyboard

Securing Our Nation’s Critical Infrastructure

Imagine a power outage that knocks out the electric grid in eight states, affecting 55 million people. Residential areas lose water pressure and sewage pumps stop working. Failures in electronic ticketing and traffic control systems cripple land and air transportation. Fuel is scarce because gas stations lack electricity for their pumps. Cellular communications are disrupted, and telephone lines are overwhelmed with emergency calls. And this happens during a heat wave when the demand and usage of electricity is high.

This is not fiction. This is a brief synopsis of the August 2003 blackout that affected regions from New York City to Ontario. The blackout was caused by an unfortunate convergence of events. While it was an accident, it served as a reminder of our nation’s dependence on critical infrastructure.

In an effort to build awareness and appreciation of the importance of critical infrastructure in our daily lives, President Obama has designated November as Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month.

Critical infrastructure provides the essential services that sustain our way of life, such as the power we use in our homes, the water we drink, the transportation that moves us, the bridges that connect us, and the communication systems we rely on to stay in touch with friends and family.

Every day the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with our partners across the government, works closely with stakeholders in the private sector as well as state and local partners to help mitigate threats against that infrastructure and build capacities.

As we acknowledge the role of critical infrastructure in our everyday lives, we must also work to protect the services and functions that Americans depend upon.  But we cannot do it alone. Promoting security and resilience is a collaborative endeavor requiring effort and investment from government, the private sector, and the public. To get involved in this effort to promote the security and resilience of our nation, visit www.dhs.gov/critical-infrastructure.

Back to Top