November is Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month. Throughout this month, S&T has leveraged our Facebook and Twitter accounts to provide updates on the work S&T oversees in support of the nation’s critical infrastructure. If you haven’t seen our video that explains projects that help us “Get Ahead of the Storm,” I encourage you to do so. It’s a fun way to look at some very serious and needed resources.
As we wrap up this month, I want to highlight the discussion occurring through our National Conversation on Homeland Security Technology dialogue: Resilient Communities: Disaster-Proofing Society. In support of our Visionary Goals, we launched the dialogue to solicit and address cross-cutting resilience issues related to the protection of critical infrastructure. I’ve read through some of the topics and comments online and there is some really interesting discussion going on.
Building resilient communities is no small task—it requires thoughtful examination by a broad array of stakeholders. This dialogue has been an effective way to capture input from city, state, and federal officials, as well as academia, industry, and the general public.
I invite you to go into the dialogue to review comments that have already been posted. From there, I challenge you to think about and offer your opinions on the following questions:
- Should we change our approach to how we discuss resilience?In other words, how can we discuss building resilient critical infrastructure so the conversation moves beyond defining the term “resilience” and more toward examination of specific threats impacting specific critical infrastructure sectors?
- How can we better leverage what other countries have done or are doing to build resilient communities? What efforts should we review, and what do you believe has made those efforts successful?
- How can we better educate and communicate to the public on the current state of our critical infrastructure?
- How can we more effectively incentivize specific sectors, such as water and power, to take steps to build resilience for service providers and the communities they serve?
In addition, as we work on the first phase of our Rapid, Adaptive Processing of Information and Display (RAPID) Apex program, I am pleased to see that much of the discussion on resilient tools and technology is focused on building mapping and visualization tools to address flooding situations in communities. In this area, I ask you: What other tools and technologies should we focus on that address decision support and community risk assessment?
Again, I am highly encouraged by the public discussion that has occurred. I encourage all of us to think of infrastructure resilience issues in new and deeper ways. Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month might be ending but the discussion cannot. I urge you to participate in the Resilient Communities: Disaster-Proofing Society dialogue and make a difference in securing our nation’s infrastructure!
Dr. Reginald Brothers
Under Secretary for Science and Technology