The Center for Best Practices at the National Governors Association issued a report yesterday summarizing the results of a survey of state homeland security directors. The full report is available here, and it provides a rich and statistically-significant overview of the current perspective on homeland security from the 50 states.
Some of the more interesting findings in the report include:
- The increased importance of disaster preparedness and pandemic flu planning as top items on state directors’ agendas.
- Criticism of DHS for not working broadly with state directors, arguing that DHS “consults with a limited number of handpicked state officials and then claims to produce policy based on broad state input.”
- The challenges of intelligence-sharing with the federal government, which has led many states to create their own intelligence fusion centers (see this old post for background).
- The extent to which National Guard deployments and budget cutbacks have affected state readiness. The report notes that “the multiple demands on National Guard forces leave 58 percent of states with a 75 percent or less capability to meet the responsibilities of state emergency plans.”
Overall, a very interesting survey, and one that should serve as a call to action for DHS to improve its outreach to states.