The critical infrastructure upon which communities rely every day faces a vast array of ever-evolving threats, from terrorist attacks and cyber intrusions, to extreme weather and deferred maintenance. Investing in critical infrastructure that can withstand and quickly recover from any and all threats is essential to maintaining our nation’s economy, security, and health.
The Infrastructure Security Division's Infrastructure Development and Recovery (IDR) program works with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government officials and infrastructure owners and operators to plan, design, and implement solutions that enhance the security and resilience of critical infrastructure against a variety of threats. Through the program, IP provides:
- A holistic, long-term approach to incorporating security and resilience measures into infrastructure investment and recovery decisions
- Community planning tools and decision guides for developing and investing in resilient solutions for new and aging infrastructure
- Technical assistance and training from a network of subject matter experts across the fields of planning, cybersecurity, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, and social sciences
- Field support following disasters—such as post-incident assessments and technical assistance—that aid long-term recovery, planning, and mitigation measures for infrastructure systems in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other interagency partners
- Coordinated programs and information for incorporating security and resilience into planning, design, construction, and maintenance of critical infrastructure
What Is Our Approach to Infrastructure Resilience?
As communities design, build, update, or retrofit their critical infrastructure, it is important to consider the entire lifecycle of an investment, including demographic changes, interdependencies with other infrastructure systems, immediate and long-term risks, potential disruptions, and the consequences of those disruptions on economies, public health, and well-being. Because many of these critical infrastructure systems that rely on one another are owned and operated by a network of public and private organizations, the need to work together when considering the consequences of potential disruptions and failures are increasingly important in today’s interconnected world. For example, a failure in energy transmission can have cascading effects on transportation safety, water supplies, hospitals, businesses, and community services.
The IDR Program offers an interdisciplinary and partnership-based approach that incorporates resilience strategies and policies into all phases of critical infrastructure planning, design, construction, and maintenance. This holistic approach helps public and private owners and operators, and state, local, tribal, and territorial planners and policy makers effectively prioritize and integrate resilience measures into policies, plans, designs, and operational procedures. An infrastructure investment may need to last 60 years or more, and the lifecycle cost for infrastructure is significantly greater when risk mitigation measures are incorporated after development and construction.
What Types of Planning and Analytic Support Does the IDR Program Offer?
Because state, local, tribal, and territorial governments are faced with complex long-term decisions, uncertainties, limited sources of revenue, and changing populations, the program offers technical assistance from subject matter experts across multiple planning and engineering disciplines, decision support guides, a library of infrastructure resilience research and best practices, the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Toolkit (CIRT), and facilitation of local and regional critical infrastructure planning collaborations.
- Communities and counties that depend on multiple providers for lifeline resources may ask the program to review the plans of each jurisdiction and infrastructure sector, identify gaps and vulnerabilities, and facilitate meetings between providers and jurisdictions to establish investment priorities.
- The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Toolkit (CIRT) includes the Infrastructure Resilience Planning Guide, a step-by-step assessment and planning process for incorporating cybersecurity, drought, and other resilience considerations into long-term community plans, and decision-support guides to address different hazards and sectors.
- The Infrastructure Resilience Planning Guide includes templates and resources to assess the vulnerability of community infrastructure services to natural and human threats and to develop a local or regional infrastructure resilience plan. Resilience plan elements are adaptable and can be included in existing capital improvement plans, hazard mitigation plans, or other planning documents, as well as funding requests. The guide can be used with or without IDR assistance by local and regional planning and development organizations.
- The Quick Guide on Cybersecurity for Infrastructure Development lists considerations when improving cybersecurity in infrastructure facilities and business operations.
How Does the IDR Program Support Resilient Infrastructure Design?
Before resilient infrastructure can be constructed, it must first be designed to be flexible, multifunctional, and able to recover rapidly from disruption. To combine policy with practice, the program is building a resilient design curriculum and connects current resilient design research and community resilience initiatives. IDR also participates in multiple national resilience initiatives, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology Community Resilience Center for Excellence, Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities, and others.
- The program convenes experts from varying disciplines and professions to review facility designs and consider how to address multiple hazards and future risks across the project lifecycle, as well as dependencies on other facilities and systems, such as communications, water, and transportation.
- In conjunction with academic institutions and professional associations, the program incorporates principles of resilient infrastructure design into existing educational and professional programs, such as urban and regional planning, architecture, landscape architecture, public administration, and engineering.
How Does the IDR Program Support Recovery after Incidents?
When states and localities face natural or man-made disasters, the immediate emphasis on restoration of basic services and meeting urgent needs can often limit opportunities to rebuild in a way that will reduce future vulnerabilities and costs. The IDR Program’s recovery function coordinates long-term reconstruction and restoration of infrastructure to be resilient to future threats and hazards.
- States and communities facing disasters can request infrastructure assessment expertise under the National Disaster Recovery Framework. Under this framework, IDR works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and Infrastructure Security Division regional offices to provide recovery support personnel during disasters and recovery operations to assess, secure, and restore the infrastructure and lifelines necessary for community health.
- During recovery and mitigation, IDR provides training, exercises and technical assistance to state and local officials to support investments in infrastructure that is more resilient to future threats.
How Does the IDR Program Facilitate Collaborative Local and Regional Infrastructure Resilience?
Because most critical infrastructure systems cross jurisdictions and are managed by multiple public and private owners and regulators, the program facilitates meetings to aid in collaborative planning and decision-making that might otherwise be limited by jurisdictional, political, and ownership boundaries.
- The program works with regional government councils and state, local, and tribal governments to convene groups of water and wastewater providers, cities and counties, energy companies, dam operators, and others to collaborate on planning and investment strategies across geographic and jurisdictional boundaries.
- The program works with regional and local government officials and infrastructure owners and operators to implement Regional Resiliency Assessment Program (RRAP) findings.
- State and regional agencies and associations partner with the IDR Program to deliver training and technical assistance that considers infrastructure resilience as part of hazard mitigation and other plans.
- Through membership on multiple federal coordinating councils, the program shares knowledge and capabilities across DHS, the federal government, universities, professional associations, and others to develop and implement infrastructure resilience measures. Some of these partnerships include:
- National Drought Resilience Partnership
- Committee on Marine Transportation Systems
- FEMA Mitigation Framework Leadership Group (MitFLG)
- FEMA Recovery Support Function Leadership Group (RSFLG)
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology Community Resilience Planning Guide
- The Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University
- Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities
For more information on how the IDR Program can assist your organization, please contact IDR@hq.dhs.gov.