Thursday, May 10, 2012

The First National Preparedness Report Is Issued

In keeping with the requirements of Presidential Policy Directive/PPD-8 (National Preparedness), one week ago the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) formally released the first National Preparedness Report.  The report is based on self-assessments from around the country that graded some 31 mission areas identified as core capabilities supporting National Preparedness.

According to the report, the Nation's current strengths are: 
  • Planning
  • Operational Coordination
  • Intelligence and Information Sharing
  • Environmental Response/Health and Safety
  • Mass Search and Rescue Operations
  • Operational Communications
  • Public Health and Medical Services

While the Nation's current weaknesses are:
  • Cybersecurity
  • Long-term recovery

To learn more, use the links below to read a FEMA Blog post or download the report:

Comment: As the report relates, we have come a long way as a nation since the dark days after 9/11.  However, I would respectfully disagree with the glowing assessment about the pervasive and sophisticated employment of Geographic Information Systems as offered on pages 49-50 of the report under "Situational Assessment".  Reading this section would lead one to believe that things are tracking along just great with the deployment of systems like FEMA's Situational Awareness Viewer for Emergency Response & Recovery (SAVER2), HHS’s MedMap, and others.  Perhaps from a  federal perspective of system technical implementation that is correct.  But if the federal government is going to be involved in responses on the local level (as in: "All disasters are local"), then federal visualization systems are going to need fidelity on the local level. Which means federal systems will need local data - both static and real-time. Something that will never happen without local support and engagement.  Can you say MnGeo Emergency Preparedness Committee?     

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