Numerous tangible "things" and a broad spectrum of managers and operational personnel are needed to create and improve the nation's physical resilience and recovery capabilities. The process starts, though, in the think tanks and sometimes esoteric planning sessions that determine what specific actions should be taken - when, how, and in what order - and what complications, costs, and conceptual considerations are likely to be involved.
Most U.S. states and major cities, and the nation as a whole, are now better prepared to cope with terrorist attacks and natural disasters than they were prior to 9/11. But the gains made over the past decade will need a steady stream of continued funding, both to maintain the higher level of preparedness capabilities now evident and to protect the U.S. homeland and its people from the even greater dangers lying in wait just over the horizon.
In today's complex world, information technology (IT) systems serve as both the intellectual libraries and operational brains of virtually all components of the vital infrastructures of businesses, utilities, and the organizations and agencies of all levels of government. For this reason, among others, the maintenance, protection, and preservation of IT systems have now moved to the forefront of the nation's high-tech operational and preparedness priorities.
"Treat your employees right and they will treat the customers right." That is both the motto and the official policy of the Sacramento, California, Police Department (P.D.). And, thanks to some helpful advice from Target and other area businesses, the results show it - a surprising drop in the local crime rate, for example, despite recent budget cutbacks.
Everyone is in favor of "good government" (at a reasonable cost). But a clear, complete, and universally accepted definition of what constitutes good government is almost impossible to find. The same holds true of "resilience" - which all responders, emergency managers, political leaders, and everyday citizens approve of - and are even willing to pay for. Here is a "robust" analysis of the problem.
One of the nation's highest priorities in emergency preparedness has been, and will continue to be, the creation of vastly improved communications capabilities. Considerable progress has been made to date. But much more is needed, probably accompanied by additional funding at all levels of government: federal, state, and local.
A senior HHS executive, and world-class authority on medical-surge programs and requirements, discusses both the National Health Security Strategy the Whole Community FEMA approach - introduced earlier this year in that agency's 2011-14 Strategic Plan - mandated to maintain "truly integrated and scalable public health...in an environment of increasingly constrained fiscal resources." This is required reading for all grant applicants!
The guiding principle in emergency preparedness is virtually identical to one of the Golden Rules of good health: Prevention is much better, and almost always lower in cost, than recovery and rehabilitation. Which is why intelligent "grantsmanship" not only focuses first on the reduction of risks and vulnerabilities but also remembers that, somewhat like fingerprints, each grant program possesses "its own unique requirements and standards."
A distinguished national officer of the International Association of Emergency Managers provides a short but concise list of helpful recommendations that grant-seekers at all levels of government, and in the private sector, might be well advised to follow in preparing, reviewing, submitting, and following up on their own grant applications.
Before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, federal funding for preparedness grants was much lower than it should have been. Then it was increased exponentially. The nation is now better prepared than ever before to deal with mass-casualty incidents - and there are huge fiscal problems ahead. So major cutbacks in grant programs seem not just probable but inevitable.