Extract from the BUR:
Increasing preparedness is a key responsibility of DHS. This responsibility includes working collaboratively to increase the preparedness of our State, local, regional, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, and the general public. DHS has responsibility for crafting a national preparedness goal and system and building preparedness capabilities through planning, training, safety and security standards, technical assistance, exercises and credentialing for homeland security partners and stakeholders at all levels of government and industry. The primary vehicle for enhancing preparedness at the State, local, regional, tribal, and territorial level are grant programs—notably the State Homeland Security Grant Program and Urban Areas Security Initiative—which along with other grant programs collectively provide almost $4 billion annually to State, local, regional, tribal, and territorial governments. The Department is also the lead in providing guidance and resources to aid in building preparedness at the local and regional level by encouraging individuals and families, the private sector and community-based organizations to reduce vulnerabilities and improve their capacity to withstand disasters through planning, readiness, and capacity-building activities. To this end, DHS works closely with local and regional officials and first responders encouraging public preparedness activities and awareness campaigns, and works with a number of national networks of community based preparedness teams. Federally-administered training programs—such as FEMA’s National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, Emergency Management Institute, and Center for Domestic Preparedness—also play a critical role in developing the knowledge, skills, and abilities of stakeholders in the private sector and at all levels of government. DHS, through USCG, establishes and enforces safety and security regulations on mariners, vessels, and maritime facilities to ensure all-hazard preparedness. Finally, DHS improves catastrophic preparedness through the establishment of shared preparedness and response objectives and planning for responding to extreme events.”
This post supplements earlier posts and now as the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches time for a candid assessment of National Preparedness. Of course just as Hurricane Katrina was one major calibration point on the spectrum of possible national preparedness we have not yet had another catastrophe impacting widely a geographic area (multi-state) or actual governmental operations.
So how do we measure progress? We do know that whenever DHS and FEMA are held to account they change the paradigm documents. A new National Preparedness Goal is under development or should be if PPD-8 issued March 30th of this year is implemented.
I would argue that DHS/FEMA cannot assess its own capabilities much less that of other federal agencies [OFA] and its STATES and their local government partners.
DHS/FEMA remain unaccountable except from real world events. Why?