Synchronizing federal operational planning for national catastrophes
Ithier, Jan P.
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This thesis proposes the establishment of a Center for National Catastrophe Planning to address systemic problems in the planning for national catastrophes. The state of the art planning capabilities of the federal government do not include a structure to coordinate, validate and synchronize federal level operational plans effectively. Nor does it include the means to integrate non-federal stakeholders into the planning process. Since the Three Mile Island disaster, the governance structure has been modified after each major catastrophe to address major shortcomings that resulted in poor response performance by the federal government. These failures were consistently attributed to the lack of coordination and synchronization of federal operational plans with key stakeholders. Today, the federal government has a modernized governance framework but the core structure that caused the problems remains in place. The system is based on the assumption that the federal departments and agencies have the required planning capabilities and follow the governance structure as designed to develop, coordinate and integrate operational plans for catastrophes. History has proven the folly of this assumption. The Center for National Catastrophe Planning could effectively bridge these gaps by providing a structure with adequate authorities to integrate and synchronize federal operational plans.
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