Earlier this month, FEMA and its partners—state, local, tribal, territorial, and private- and nonprofit sector organizations—released the National Preparedness Report (NPR), which identifies significant progress the U.S. has made in five mission areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. The NPR is part of the Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD), which is designed to facilitate an integrated, capabilities-based approach to preparedness that involves public and private sectors and whole communities. Other PPD reports can be found at the link above.
The good news: The NPR found that the U.S. “has increased its collective preparedness not only for the countless threats posed by those who wish to harm America’s homeland, but also for the many natural and technological hazards that face the Nation’s communities.”
The bad news: The NPR noted that there’s room for improvement in cybersecurity and recovery-focused capabilities. Among the 31 critical areas of readiness, cyber preparedness was ranked last. According to the report,
To counter [cybersecurity] and related threats, federal and private-sector partners have accelerated initiatives to enhance data collection, detect events, raise awareness, and response to cyber incidents. The report also identifies long-term recovery capabilities—including economic recovery, housing, and natural and cultural resources—as areas for improvement.
An overview of the report can be found here. The general public is welcome to contribute ideas on FEMA’s online collaboration forum. The forum hosts a number of hot topic ideas, including discussion centered on the FY 2013 proposal for a National Prepardeness Grant Program, which I wrote about here.
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