"At the core of the set of challenges that confront national, state, and local government officials concerning homeland security national preparedness public policy are a set of assumptions, upon which current and evolving policies are based, that are suspect if not fatally flawed. The policy outcomes resulting from these faulty assumptions (and facilitated by hindering institutional pathologies, misguided policies, and bad policy instruments) have left the nation less prepared than is possible had forward-thinking, aggressively applied modern public management models been used as the foundation upon which national preparedness could be established. The assumptions brought into focus in this article are:
"1. There is an idealized level of national preparedness; achieving a prescribed level of preparedness to respond to events of national significance, whether man-made or natural in origin, is possible based on current or foreseeable resource levels.
"2. The federal government is obliged to direct the development of national preparedness policy to ensure that state and local governments are working toward policy compliance and are providing full accountability for grant funds.
"3. Current homeland security public policy is coherent, embraces an all-hazards
approach to national preparedness and reflects the comprehensive involvement
of state and local governments in its development, deployment, and
"After a brief discussion of research methodology, this article traces the evolution of national preparedness policies and describes the institutional pathologies and policy instruments that have inhibited national preparedness. The next section provides analysis related to the research and an explanation of why the assumptions identified above are flawed. Finally, recommendations are offered that might allow the next administration and those with public safety, emergency management, and homeland security responsibilities at the state and local level insights into building community resilience and governance capacity that raises preparedness to as high a level as possible." —Introduction.
"The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is an agreement among member states to provide assistance after disasters overwhelm a state's capacity to manage consequences. The compact, initiated by the states and coordinated by the National Emergency Management Association, provides a
structure for requesting emergency assistance from party states. In 1996 Congress approved EMAC as an interstate compact (P.L. 104-321). EMAC also resolves some, but not all, potential legal and administrative obstacles that may hinder such assistance at the state level. EMAC also enhances state preparedness for terrorist attacks by ensuring the availability of resources for fast response and facilitating multi-state cooperation in training activities and preparedness exercises.
"In June of 2008, a bill to reform mutual aid agreements for the National Capital Region (P.L. 110-250) was enacted to expand the types of organizations and agencies in the region that are authorized to enter into agreements and ease the requirements for agents and volunteers to respond to an incident. Legislation in the 110th Congress (S. 1452) would require EMAC to ensure that licensed mental health professionals with expertise in treating vulnerable populations are included in the leadership of the National Disaster Medical System and are available for deployment with Disaster Medical Assistance Teams.
"This report will be updated as events warrant. This report is an update based upon a previous report written by Keith Bea, Specialist in American National
"Natural disasters and acts of terrorism have placed a spotlight on the ability of health care providers to surge in response to catastrophic conditions. This paper reviews the status of efforts to develop the capacity
and capabilities of the health care system to respond to disasters and other mass casualty events. Strategies for adapting routine medical practices and protocols to the demands posed by extraordinary circumstances and scarce
resources are summarized. Existing federal roles, responsibilities, and assets relative to the contributions of state and local government and the private sector are described, including specific programmatic activities such as the Strategic National Stockpile, the National Disaster Medical System, and the Hospital Preparedness Program. Opportunities for federal policymakers
seeking to strengthen and expedite preparations for medical disaster response are highlighted." —Overview.
"Recognizing the need for an overarching emergency communications strategy to address these shortfalls, Congress directed the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) to develop the first National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP). Title XVIII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 United States Code 101 et seq.), as amended, calls for the NECP to be developed in coordination with stakeholders from all levels of government and from the private sector.
In response, DHS worked with stakeholders from Federal, State, local, and tribal agencies to develop the NECP—a strategic plan that establishes a national vision for the future state of emergency communications."—Executive Summary.