Understanding our Nation's Approach to Protecting the Homeland...
Homeland Security Information
DavisLogic, operating as All Hands Consulting provides homeland security consulting, and program support. Our consultants provide planning, training, and support services to businesses and governments worldwide.
As a result of the increased threat of terrorism, the terms "homeland security" and “homeland defense” are being widely used to describe America's response to terrorism. However, these popular terms are poorly understood. Since 1997, homeland defense has been used to refer to defending American soil against attack. Since the year 2000, however, the term homeland security has become the term of choice for politicians and pundits. Today, homeland security is the focus of great attention.
The terms "Homeland Security" and "Homeland Defense" have received increased attention since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. While these terms are relatively new, the concepts behind them are not.
Homeland Security is defined as the deterrence, prevention, and preemption of, and defense against, aggression targeted at U.S. territory, sovereignty, population, and infrastructure as well as the management of the consequences of such aggression and other domestic emergencies.
Homeland Defense is a subset of Homeland Security. It is defined as the deterrence, prevention, and preemption of and defense against direct attacks aimed at U.S. territory, population, and infrastructure.
- Source ANSER Institute for Homeland Security
In general, we might consider “homeland security” to encompass policies, actions and structures designed to protect the rights and freedoms inherent in the US Constitution, and “homeland defense” a subset of homeland security with policies, activities and actions designed to defend against extra-territorial threats, to include preemptive operations.
The homeland security space is still being defined. A homeland security industry is still emerging. A new "Homeland Security Industries Association" recently unveiled eight papers focused on improving security in such places as critical infrastructure, airports, seaports and the food supply—and recommended ways that the government can begin tackling the issues. See Story in GovExec.
In November 2002, President Bush signed the the Homeland Security Act of 2002 creating the Department of Homeland Security. The new department absorbs responsibilities from 22 agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard, Border Patrol, and Secret Service. Bush said in part:
"Today, we are taking historic action to defend the United States and protect our citizens against the dangers of a new era. With my signature, this act of Congress will create a new Department of Homeland Security, ensuring that our efforts to defend this country are comprehensive and united.
The new department will analyze threats, will guard our borders and airports, protect our critical infrastructure, and coordinate the response of our nation for future emergencies. The Department of Homeland Security will focus the full resources of the American government on the safety of the American people."
This is the most significant transformation of the U.S. government in over a half-century. The creation of this cabinet-level agency is an important step in the President's national strategy for homeland security. The Department of Homeland Security will have the following organizational structure:
Emergency Mangers had been pleased with Bush's previous attention to emergency management. He was the first president to give the FEMA Director an office in the West Wing. Now, emergency managers are concerned as FEMA has been swallowed up in a new organization with a broader mission. Time will tell but those that respond to and management emergencies have much to do with the response to terrorist events.
Our first line of homeland defense in any emergency is our "first responders" - local police, firefighters, and emergency medical professionals. Local first responders are the ones that will save lives and deal with the consequences of a terrorist attack. In addition, our emergency management and health care capabilities are a critical second tier to the first responders. While we are well prepared for the "normal" emergencies, we do not currently possess adequate resources to respond to the full range of terrorist threats we face. Homeland Security initiatives will likely focus on improving our capability to respond to a terrorist attack.
Homeland security includes "management of the consequences" of terrorist acts and "aggression and other domestic emergencies." This is the part of homeland security where first responders and emergency mangers play a vital role.
Emergency management is defined as "a process to reduce loss of life and property and to protect assets from all types of hazards through a comprehensive, risk-based, emergency management program of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery."
Emergency Mangers have been providing Homeland Security and Homeland Defense services for decades. During the cold war this was called "Civil Defense" and the chief threat was a nuclear attack. Today, Comprehensive Emergency Management, homeland security and terrorism preparedness are included in an "All-Hazards Comprehensive Emergency Management Program (CEMP)." Most emergency managers believe that Homeland Security should be included in a CEMP rather than developed as a separate program.
A Comprehensive Emergency Management Program is an overarching process that includes mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. A good program will address homeland security issues as well as Continuity of Operations, Continuity of Government and related areas. Sound emergency management practices are required to mitigate the impact of day-to-day disruptions as well as managing response to and recovery from terrorist attacks and other disasters.
International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM)
National Emergency Management Association (NEMA)
ERI International Inc. - provides technical assistance, planning and training to educational institutions, emergency response organizations, business and industry, and local, state, federal, and foreign government agencies.
Preparedness Center - Disaster preparedness and emergency management, training and exercises for business, government and industry. Hazardous materials emergencies, catastrophic disaster preparedness, security, counter-terrorism preparedness and exercises
University of Wisconsin - Disaster Management Center
Emergency Management Planning Handbook - This handbook provides a comprehensive guide to emergency management planning in the manufacturing, process, and service industries. It shows managers how to develop and maintain effective emergency management plans for all major hazards, and describes what various companies are going to implement programs.