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Critical Infrastructure

What is Critical Infrastructure?

Critical Infrastructure are those assets, systems, and networks that provide functions necessary for our way of life. There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors that are part of a complex, interconnected ecosystem and any threat to these sectors could have potentially debilitating national security, economic, and public health or safety consequences.1

State Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Program

Reliable and uninterrupted functioning of our state’s critical infrastructure is a foundation of our communities. Defined by the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2001 and reiterated in The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), critical infrastructure  is “Systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.” 

The Office of Homeland Security (OHS) is committed to its mission to Resolutely safeguard the people of Hawaiʻi, our community values, and our homeland,” to include through the Hawaiʻi State Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Program. This program prioritizes open communication and partner-to-partner collaboration with critical infrastructure entities and stakeholders at all levels to advance, strengthen, and maintain secure, functioning, and resilient critical infrastructure. 

Using a holistic approach to risk management and vulnerability mitigation, the Hawaiʻi State Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Program provides critical infrastructure entities and stakeholders with guidance, resources, and opportunities for: 

  • Planning partnerships to enhance sector-specific and cross-sector security and resiliency;
  • Securing and protecting soft targets and crowded places  through targeted mitigation and risk management approaches;  
  • Preventing terrorism and targeted violence utilizing proactive measures that enhance protective capabilities and capacity;
  • Collaborating and coordinating to enhance asset protection, improve communications, and increase situational awareness; and 
  • Resourcing risk/vulnerability assessments, protective actions, and security investments through relevant Federal Grant Programs.


The Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21):  Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience mandated an update to The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), which came to establish the following 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors in the US:

The Community Lifelines concept was born as a result of the numerous unprecedented multi–billion-dollar disasters that occurred in 2017 and 2018. The concept is a framework for incident management that provides emergency managers with a reporting structure for establishing incident stabilization.  FEMA has identified seven Community Lifelines:  

  • Safety and Security
  • Health and Medical
  • Communications
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Food, Water, Sheltering
  • Energy (Power and Fuel)
  • Transportation

Lifeline functions contain capabilities that are essential for human health, safety, and security.  Any disruption or loss to these functions will not only disrupt day-to-day functioning but will impact our critical infrastructure across numerous sectors. Download the Community Lifelines Fact Sheet.

If you feel your organization fall under one of these Critical Infrastructure Sectors or Community Lifelines, please contact our Plans and Operations Branch Chief  at [email protected] for additional information and opportunities. 

  1. As defined by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure and Security Agency ↩︎