Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

June 7, 2013

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on June 7, 2013

Wildfires in the West.  Tornadoes in the heartland.  The season’s first hurricane in the Gulf.  Many more hackers in the network.  The NSA in your phone records.  Sectarian divide in Syria.  Mass murders in Nigeria.  Knifes stay off planes. What’s on your mind related to homeland security?

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Comment by William R. Cumming

June 7, 2013 @ 6:33 am

Fopcusing on the “management” in EM overtime I have come to believe that logistics and mobilization of resources is one key factor in the management of emergencies.

See one early {1982} document (a Reagan NSDD) that I have identified in my writings in various places as the first truly all-hazards document signed off by a President.

NSDD-47 that can be found on-line at http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dhs/fema/index.html

Perhaps Phil’s comments and studies of supply-chain issues are relevant.

Am I correct in my understanding? Note that the recently issued NPR [National Preparedness Report] or its earlier iterations don’t really discuss either logistics or mobiliztion.

There is a logistics section in FEMA but not sure of its organizational clout?

Comment by Philip J. Palin

June 7, 2013 @ 6:56 am

Bill: Not much is needed to get me to advocate more attention — especially historical analysis and discovery exercising — around logistics and supply chains. The National Preparedness Goal identifies “Supply Chain Integrity and Security” as one of the thirty-one core capabilities. This is beginning to prompt more attention, but only beginning. A big part of the challenge is the very dynamic and almost entirely private character of supply chains.

Your use of “management” is illustrative. To many, especially in the public sector, this is a noun that implies control. To many in the private sector this is a verb that implies something much different than control: coordination or facilitation or adaptation or… depends on context. This is clearly not just a difference in vocabulary but in experience, expectation, and fundamental worldview.

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 7, 2013 @ 8:10 am

I go with Mary Parker Follet’e definition of modern managewment as being anything but control. See her writings back about 1924!

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 7, 2013 @ 9:19 am

Apparently some had trouble with loading page 6 of the FAS/FEMA page for NSDD-47!

Try this improved link:


And NSC-57 that is rescinded by NSDD-47 has still not been completely declassified.

Comment by Quin

June 8, 2013 @ 9:06 am


Great find. I must have missed that before else it would probably have been mentioned in my thesis currently with Dr Bellavita. You can see the seeds of the Whole Community approach in there though this document is much more top down government in its approach, something that probably reflects the Cold War roots. I would say the NRF probably can trace some inspiration from this, though I’ve found that we’re pretty ignorant of anything that happened before 2000. The institutional memory is gone. Took me two years to find a copy of the original FRP from 1992 and that was in an online library from a college in Guatamala. Now finally have copies of all the FRPs, NRPs and NRFs and the two versions of the earthquake plan in the Federal regulations. But I had to find all of the older ones on my own, FEMA didn’t have them online. I would hope there are at least hard copies at EMI, but that doesn’t help unless you actually go up there. Your FAS site is the only place to find most of these documents.

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 8, 2013 @ 11:07 am

Thanks Quinn and some further context on preparedness!

Following is an extract from NSDD-47!

First because issued by the NSC and even though unclassified NSDD-47 was treated in FEMA as though classified. Stovepiping by bureacrats who know no better often a problem. And those with complete access often ignorant of connections, collaborative efforts or worried about the dangers of cooperation. Again Mary Parker Follette instructive.

Second, an extract from NSDD-47!

“Earthquakes–It is the policy of the United States to develop systems and plans to reduce the loss of life, destruction of property, economic instabilities, and the adverse impact on our national
defense capability that would result from a catastrophic-earthquake. The program can reduce the effects of a catastrophic earthquake by
improving earthquake prediction, hazard and risk assessment,warning systems, public education and awareness, response and recovery; by developing further and applying earthquake resistant
design and construction techniques, and land use planning. The initial action will be focused on California, but attention will be focused later on other regions in consideration of their
relative risk from an earthquake. The program will increase capabilities to:
(1) evaluate current earthquake prediction activities; (2)foster the application of advanced scientific and engineering techniques for prediction and mitigation, (3)increase and accelerate basic and applied research efforts; (4) develop a coordination and integration mechanism between Federal and State governments; (5) identify and allocate financial, medical, transportation, shelter, communications, and other resources necessary to assist recovery operations; (6) reduce the negative effects on military installations and defense related industries; (7) ensure more effective public awareness programs to equip all levels of the populace with specific information to
help them survive; (7) promote. international cooperation to increase scientific
and engineering knowledge in applying mitigation measures; (8) provide for the preparation, implementation, and exercising of preparedness procedures; and (9) ensure the adequacy of current Federal legislation and regulations to facilitate an effective response.”

Issued in 1982 to followup a Presidential memorandum assigning FEMA to establish the EMPB [Emergency Mobilization Preparedness Board] reporting through the NSC to the President, the NSDD was a followup to the following circumstances.

In 1977 the Science Committees of the Congress alerted to the possibility that earthquake prediction and warning science and capability might be possible enacted the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 vesting the authority of the Act in the President. The President first assigned the statute for implementation to OSTP [essentially the Science Advisor to the President’s office] and then President Carter reassigned the statutory lead to FEMA under Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978. FEMA held the administrative lead in that effort until 2003 when the lead was reassigned. And BTW earthquake prediction and warning still in future draft as to the sciences.

But the 1977 Act also required that a Federal Response Plan to a Catastrophic Earthquake be developed and published in the Federal Register. Because that plan was fully cleared with all departments and agencies it did not appear until

After that plan appeared I took copies to an SIG meeting with me of the NSC staff and presented it in the context of the NSC already champing for a plan to deal with domestic emergencies. I was able to promote the concept that not only was the plan likely to become an all-natural hazards plan but there was no need for the NSC to have a separate NSC domestic emergency plan overlapping the same function.

Fortunately this was agreed to. Then in May 1992 just before it was issued I as part of my review said to those with power to decide we need more specific discussion in the FRP of its role in NATIONAL SECURITY EMERGENCIES and TERRORISM.
All too briefly this was done.

And Quin the 1999 FRP [appearing the year I retired] provided some largely editorial revisions to the 1992 FRP with some exceptions. A worthy thesis might compare the two. That 1999 version is also on the FAS/FEMA website.

I hope this is off assistance.

The key change IMO from 1992 was the addition of the funding/budgeting annex. The key loss was the participation in the 1999 FRP of DoJ. A separate story.

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 8, 2013 @ 11:13 am

And Quinn, Steve Aftergood of FAS is the one to thank for the website materials. His e-mail is


His Secrecy News list-serve [FREE] gives much insight into the National Security State and its minions.

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 8, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

Quin! Apologize for add an N to your name!

Comment by Christopher Tingus

June 8, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

– Open the White House Doors Now – Our Kids Deserve Better! –

If we cannot keep the White House Doors Open to anyone other than invited rappers, then all such preparedness and bureaucracy will fail as well…It is becoming obvious that while billions and billions have been spent on so much, we are truly unprepared in far too many ways and until We the People can again trust our WH and those from the top down, few any longer have faith in our governing officials….

God Bless our beloved Republic and our Judeo-Christian values and Constitution!

Christopher Tingus
Harwich, Cape Cod

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