Today marks the start of Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month. Throughout November, the Department of Homeland Security will take a unified approach to building awareness and appreciation of the importance of critical infrastructure and reaffirming the nationwide commitment to keep our critical infrastructure and communities safe and secure. Our nation’s infrastructure includes our roadways, tunnels, bridges, utilities, buildings, the Internet, communications systems — all of the systems that keep our society functioning.
We want to get ahead of the next storm. When the next disaster strikes, when the next storm does hit, we want to make sure our communities are prepared. At S&T, we are focused on identifying potential infrastructure vulnerabilities and then finding solutions for them.
Improving and making our critical infrastructure more secure is not only a priority here at S&T, it’s one of our Visionary Goals:
Resilient Communities: Disaster-Proofing Society
Critical Infrastructure of the future will be designed, built, and maintained to withstand naturally-occurring and man-made disasters. Decision makers will know when disaster is coming, anticipate the effects, and use already-in-place or rapidly-deployed countermeasures to shield communities from negative consequences. Resilient communities struck by disasters will not only bounce back, but bounce forward.
Our program managers work hand-in-hand with our DHS component partners, responders, and other stakeholders across the nation to define technology gaps and challenges, and find the technical solutions to resolve them. We can’t ensure our critical infrastructure is resilient and poised for future disasters without talking about technology. These solutions include a tunnel plug that protects against flooding in subway and highway tunnels, the Recovery Transformer or RecX – which the American Civil Society of Engineer described as a “game changer”, – and our newest Apex program, Relational, Adaptive Processing of Information and Display or RAPID, which will create a decision support system for community risk assessment and resilience planning to save lives, reduce property loss, and enhance resilience to disruptive events.
Over the course of this month, we’re going to use our social media platforms to discuss the technologies and concepts I mentioned above and several more. Join us on November 17 from noon to 1 p.m. EST for an hour-long Twitter chat focused on “Getting ahead of the storm: S&T’s Solutions for Resilient Critical infrastructure.” Follow us on Facebook and explore this website to learn more about our resilient systems and critical infrastructure projects.
S&T has a critical role in conducting research and development to find solutions that will strengthen and improve the resilience of our communities and nation far into the future, but everyone must get involved. Download the DHS Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month Fact Sheet and learn how you can help make your community, and ultimately our nation, stronger and more resilient.
Dr. Reginald Brothers
Under Secretary for Science and Technology