Homeland security is hometown security: comparison and case studies of vertically synchronized catastrophe response plans
Liquorie, Paul J.
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National preparedness doctrine has constantly evolved to address the pressing hazards and threats the country faces. Although arguably centered on terrorism, the current status of national policy attempts to have an all-hazards focus. While the contemporary version provides all tiers of government more guidance and structure than ever before, it still remains largely disjointed and lacks an effective overall operational response framework. Various components of catastrophe response have been identified, including threat/hazard identification, interoperability models, and other broad planning concepts. Absent from the federal doctrine is a comprehensive plan for the synchronization of vertical intergovernmental response planning. However, there are international frameworks and domestic catastrophe response plans developed at the Federal Emergency Management Agency regional level that comprehensively close the gap between federal strategy and state/local operational necessities. These are presented as a comparison and in case studies that are evaluated against the leading catastrophe-response planning criteria from government, professional, and academic standards. The conclusion includes recommendations for adapting current federal task force models to focus on catastrophe planning, improving national emergency-response capacity, and restructuring federal homeland security grant funding.
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