In Wednesday testimony to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, David Heyman, the President’s nominee for Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (Policy), emphasized the need for catastrophic risk-readiness.
The following is excerpted from his prepared statement:
In the realm of homeland security, we may face challenges— naturally-occurring disasters and deliberate attacks—so large, they require the full force of our nation—of our cities, states, and federal government—to come together to respond. We face a continuing terrorist threat that is both nimble and dynamic. It exploits the seams of our society, operating in the gaps between bureaucratic notions of foreign and domestic, state and federal, civil and military. To counter these threats, I believe we must have in place a truly national homeland security enterprise—one that is as agile and seamless as those who seek to harm us, and as capable and responsive as needed to prevent, protect against, and, if needed, rapidly recover from all hazards, natural and deliberate. If I am confirmed, I will work every day to meet these challenges, and to help develop a national culture of preparedness that focuses on building more self-reliant communities and individuals. We must institute a greater real-time situational awareness capacity, which means better information sharing consistent with privacy and civil liberties. We need also need to institute a national risk-based planning capability. And we must extend and bolster our capacity at home, by working closely with our international partners abroad.
Mr. Heyman’s complete remarks and an archived webcast can be found on the Committee’s website.