Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 8, 2011

Be prepared to consider preparedness

Filed under: Preparedness and Response,Strategy — by Philip J. Palin on April 8, 2011

What: Briefing on the new Presidential Policy Directive on Preparedness

When: This morning, April 8, at 10:30 Eastern Time

Where: At the Homeland Security Policy Institute at The George Washington University

or via a live webcast.

Who: Brian Kamoie is Senior Director for Preparedness Policy on the White House National Security Staff

Why: Well, if I need to explain why to any regular HLSWatch reader, I’ll just give up. But before listening to Mr. Kamoie it might help to scroll down the current front page of HLSwatch. Or just consider the three posts I have offered today on issues related to private sector risk readiness, supply chains in catastrophe, and fear of radiation. How will the new approach to preparedness enhance our ability to engage these issues?

According to a DHS preview:

The Directive emphasizes three national preparedness principles:

  • An all-of-Nation approach, aimed at enhancing integration of effort across Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments; closer collaboration with the private and non-profit sectors; and more engagement of individuals, families and communities;
  • A focus on capabilities, defined by specific and measurable objectives, as the cornerstone of preparedness. This will enable more integrated, flexible, and agile “all hazards” efforts tailored to the unique circumstances of any given threat, hazard, or actual event; and
  • A focus on outcomes and rigorous assessment to measure and track progress in building and sustaining capabilities over time.

The Directive calls for the development of an overarching National Preparedness Goal that identifies the core capabilities necessary for preparedness, defined as a spectrum of five broad efforts:

  • Prevention – those capabilities necessary to avoid, prevent, or stop a threatened or actual act of terrorism;
  • Protection – those capabilities necessary to secure the homeland against acts of terrorism and manmade or natural disasters;
  • Mitigation – those capabilities necessary to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters;
  • Response – those capabilities necessary to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs after an incident has occurred; and
  • Recovery – those capabilities necessary to assist communities affected by an incident to recover effectively.

The Directive also calls for development of a National Preparedness System to guide activities that will enable the Nation to achieve the goal; a comprehensive campaign to build and sustain national preparedness; and an annual National Preparedness Report to measure progress in meeting the goal.



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Comment by William R. Cumming

April 8, 2011 @ 2:58 am

Of course I have yet to see PDD-8! But from the description apparently finishes off the FEMA and its statutory mandate as described in Title VI of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act as presently codified and its mandate for the establishment of a FEDERAL emergency management system led by the Adminisitrator of FEMA. Please review 42 USC Sections 5195 and following. This language was placed in the Stafford Act by Public Law 103-337 and reflects language in Public Law 920 of the 81st Congress as amended.

FEMA it was nice to know you!

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 8, 2011 @ 3:00 am

As a principle of statutory construction statutes are construed so as to not conflict if at all possible. How you reconcile a Presidential Directive inconsistent with statute I leave to the Opining of the Office of the Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice and the Federal Judiciary.

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 8, 2011 @ 3:08 am

Historically few Presidential Directives whether labeled NSDD,PDD, PRV, HSPD, NSPD or whatever undergo any kind of comprehensive legal review. We also know that they do not in any way carry a funding mechanism or enforcement mechanism. Thus I would be interested to know if after publication of the new PDD anyone can identify exactly how this document will be implemented. Also even Executive Orders have now been found unimplementable by the courts except as they derive from statutory language. Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer is a good point to start where the implied powers of a President to act [in this case President Truman seizing the steel mills in the middle of the Korean War]by Executive Order was found wanting. In that case each of the nine justices on SCOTUS opined on the subject in separate opinions but most interesting to me is the dissent of Justice Robert Jackson.

Comment by John G. Comiskey

April 8, 2011 @ 4:49 am

In another life, Sec. Clinton wrote it “It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us.” Children teach us that they will do as “we do” more than as “we say.”

“Considering ” preparedness, IMHO, requires education and particularly a National curriculum [a conversation in itself] that includes civic responsibility matched with civic rights.

A whole of government [Nation] effort is an elusive homeland security paradigm that would be served by a culture of preparedness. Austerity has a way of depleting our reserves and evoking thoughts of “hey this could get worse and I should do something, i.e. somehow get ready.” Problem Solving 101-people tend to fix things after they are really broke -maintenance is bothersome.

Time will tell if the Presidential Policy Directive on Preparedness equates to “problem solving.”

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 8, 2011 @ 9:41 am

Unfortunately, PDD-8 was and is not being made available to the public before or during Mr. Kamien speech.

The speech opening indicates Adminsitrator Fugate is being spoken for my Mr. Kamien of the NSS. I wonder?
Still wondering if FEMA even mentioned in the PDD-8!

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 8, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

Correction! PPD-8 not PDD-8! Is that significant don’t know!

In past democratic administrations PDD stood for Presidential Decision Directive and this is a Presidential Policy Directive. A new breed? I could argue use of the term “Policy” combined with “directive” makes no sense.

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