Homeland Security

How can DHS improve its Federal response time down to the local level in the first 72 hours of a disaster? Doing some research and reviewing how DHS works, I came across an article that suggested some great recommendations for improving DHS’s Federal response to the local level. Out of the 4 recommendations mention in that section I would agree with recommendation #8. Listed below are two recommendations that I think relate more to the forum question. It is difficult for the Federal level to deal with things on a local level if they are not very familiar with the state or city etc. As mentioned in the article the federalization of routine disasters requires FEMA to become involved with a new disaster somewhere in the United States every 2.5 days. This high operational tempo is affecting FEMA’s overall preparedness because it keeps FEMA perpetually in a response mode, leaving little time and few resources for catastrophic preparedness. Website of the article: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/08/homeland-security-4-0-overcoming-centralization-complacency-and-politics#_ftn13 Stopping the Over-Federalization of Disaster Response

Finding: America has over-federalized disaster response in a way that threatens the resiliency of the nation’s communities. Recommendation #8: State and local governments should run their own disaster responses because they know their own geography, people, business conditions, and needs better than the federal government ever can. State and local governments should be weaned from dependency on FEMA so that they can reassert their traditional role in responding to all but the most catastrophic disasters. With any federal response 48 hours to 72 hours away, state and local response capabilities are key to minimizing the loss of life and property. To be effective, state and local jurisdictions must not only build disaster response capabilities, but also use them for the multitude of disasters, large and small, that occur...
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