Nomination period begins for 2014 DHS resilience award

The Department of Homeland Security announced on Thursday that the nomination period has begun for the 2014 Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience, which recognizes leadership in fostering resilience during the previous year.

Resilience is considered the ability to adapt to changing conditions and withstand and rapidly recover from disruption caused by emergencies. The award is named after Richard Rescorla who led a massive evacuation of Morgan Stanley's 2,700-person workforce in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The evacuation saved the lives of all but six individuals.

"Resilience is part of the fabric of our nation," Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, said. "DHS created the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience to recognize excellence in the preparation for or response to catastrophic incidents."

Rescorla regularly drilled his Morgan Stanley employees in disaster preparedness, response and evacuation. The drills helped ensure employees knew how to evacuate and where to go after the attacks occurred.

The award emphasizes leadership in effective preparation, response and recovery in the face of disasters. The DHS will present the 2014 Rescorla Award to honorees in three different categories: for-profit organizations, not-for-profit organizations and individuals. Nominations must be returned no later than July 17.

On April 3, Johnson presented the 2013 award to the New York Mets, Walgreens and Monsignor John Brown for their community contributions following Hurricane Sandy.