Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief


Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler

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      We were asked by our nation's leaders to serve as the chair and vice chair of the commission investigating the “facts and circumstances relating to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.” In July 2004, the 9/11 Commission issued its report and made 41 recommendations, including several that spoke to the importance of emergency preparedness and response.

      Since that time, many of those recommendations have been addressed through changes in law and policy. Risk and vulnerability are now the standards for allocating homeland security assistance. Emergency response agencies nationwide have adopted the Incident Command System and unified command procedures. There are national voluntary standards in place for private sector preparedness, and the Department of Homeland Security is working with the private sector—owners of 85 percent of the nation's infrastructure—to achieve compliance with those standards.

      Still, there is so much work to be done. The allocation of broadcast spectrum for public safety purposes is stalled; there is no nationwide interoperable public safety broadcast network. Even where laws and policy have changed for the better, the hard work of implementation is still a major task ahead. The scholarly and policy communities have devoted renewed attention since 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina to the questions of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Whether the cause is terrorism or natural disaster, much of the necessary emergency preparedness and response—by the citizen, the community, and the country—is the same.

      We welcome the Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief as an important reference for students and all citizens. Emergency preparedness requires public education, and these volumes will contribute to a better understanding of the challenges before us. If its lessons are well-heeded, the country will be safer and more secure. For civilians and first responders, the lessons of 9/11 can be stated simply: They—we—are the primary target.

      Civilians and first responders will again find themselves on the front lines of catastrophe, whether it is natural or man-made. As we wrote seven years ago, a rededication to preparedness is perhaps the best way to honor the memory of those we lost that day. We welcome this encyclopedia as an important part of the effort to honor their memory.

      Thomas H.Kean, Chairman
      Lee H.Hamilton, Vice Chairman 9/11 Commission

      About the General Editors

      K. Bradley Penuel is the Director of the New York University (NYU) Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response (CCPR). CCPR is a university-wide research center dedicated to improving preparedness and response capabilities to catastrophic events including terrorism, natural disasters, and public health emergencies. Drawing on the resources of NYU's 14 schools, CCPR conducts research that addresses issues ranging from first-responder capacity during crises, to public health response, to legal issues relating to security, to private-sector crisis management and business continuity. Additionally, Penuel serves as the Assistant Vice President for Health Initiatives at NYU.

      Prior to joining NYU, Penuel worked for the firm Chemonics International, serving on projects for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank. Previously, he worked as an environmental engineer for Gresham, Smith and Partners, in Nashville, Tennessee. Penuel received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Auburn University and a Masters degree in Urban Planning from NYU's Wagner School of Public Service.

      Matt Statler is the Richman Family Director of Business Ethics and Social Impact Programming and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at NYU Stern School of Business. Prior to joining Stern, Statler served as the Director of Research for NYU's Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response (CCPR), where he focused on how businesses can become more strategically prepared for crises. Statler initially developed this research focus while serving as the Director of Research at the Imagination Lab Foundation in Lausanne, Switzerland. His research has recently appeared in the Journal of Business Ethics and the Oxford Handbook of Organizational Decision Making, and he is the co-author of Everyday Strategic Preparedness: The Role of Practical Wisdom in Organizations.

      Statler earned his B.A. in Philosophy and Spanish Literature from the University of Missouri at Columbia and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University. He spent one year at the University of Heidelberg as a Fulbright Scholar.


      While scholars may legitimately debate the definition of the term disaster, people need relief whenever their capacity to maintain and restore the patterns of everyday life is overwhelmed by a major event. Thus for the purposes of this volume, we have defined disaster relief broadly to encompass the entire spectrum of concepts, issues, techniques, disciplines, and practices relevant to addressing that human need.

      In an effort to represent that broad spectrum, this two-volume encyclopedia contains over 400 entries addressing the various phases of disaster management, including: mitigation, planning, emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. Other entries approach disaster relief at different levels of scale, including: local, national, and international. The contributors themselves represent a true cross section of the various disciplines involved in disaster relief studies and practice, including: political science, government, and law; education; structural, civil and mechanical engineering; computer science and information technology; management, leadership, and communication studies; and social sciences including sociology, anthropology, and psychology. Finally, in addition to scholarly contributions, the volumes contain descriptive accounts of major historical events, as well as first hand observations of recent events.

      Throughout history, so long as people have suffered from the negative impacts of natural and human events, others have sought to provide relief. However, modern notions of disaster relief took shape during the early 20th century as a means of protecting civilian populations from the ravages of war, including the direct risks associated with combat as well as the indirect effects such as starvation and disease. These practices evolved during the massive blitzkriegs of the early 1940s and changed again in character during the Cold War, when the emphasis shifted to preparing for a thermonuclear exchange. In the 1980s, the end of the Cold War as well as the cumulative effects of repeated natural disasters led to further changes in the field, leading to the birth of more decentralized, or locally based systems with a civil protection emphasis.

      Today, the field continues to evolve rapidly. For example, in the United States, the institutional landscape experienced a monumental reorganization in 2001 with formation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Through technological innovation, the tools used to gather data, provide situational awareness, communicate, and share information in a disaster are changing almost daily. The body of academic knowledge about disaster relief continues to grow, and this knowledge is increasingly shaping both the formulation of policy as well as the management of disaster relief operations.

      The evolution of the field is occurring alongside a rapidly changing landscape of threats and hazards. In this current era, we have seen a rise in transnational man-made events (that is, terrorism) as well as natural events (for example, the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the Haitian Earthquake). These trend lines, coupled with the projected impacts associated with global climate change (including famine, a rise in sea levels, and geopolitical instability from mass migrations), suggest that the field will need to continue growing and changing in the years to come.

      These prospects are daunting indeed. However, this volume seeks to promote a message of hope. Although there is much work to be done, whenever advances in theory and practice are made, they can have the relatively immediate effect of alleviating suffering by extending and enhancing the provision of relief to people in need.

      As participant-observers in this diverse and dynamic field over the past few years, we have seen that often the most impressive accomplishments come through multidisciplinary collaboration. Indeed, our own organization, the Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response (CCPR) at New York University (NYU), is not situated within an individual school. Instead, our operational model encourages multidisciplinary collaboration involving researchers from across the 14 schools within the broader university. This model was chosen by NYU leadership deliberately (cf. Statler et al., 2006) in an effort to frame the rapidly changing nature of the field as an asset.

      While we believe hope lies in multidisciplinary collaboration, we know this is not an easy task. Developing common languages between and among all the various fields and disciples takes commitment, time, and patience. This type of collaboration, and the trials inherent in undertaking such work, are evidenced by the enormous effort currently being devoted in the United States to creating the National Response Framework (NRF) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

      These protocols establish a comprehensive, national, all-hazards approach to domestic incident response. NIMS provides the template for the management of incidents, while the NRF provides the structure and mechanisms for national-level policy for incident management. The difficulty in creating such a plan can be seen even superficially in the fact that the title of this effort has changed over time; what began as the National Response Plan (NRP) in 2004 become the National Response Framework (NRF) in 2008. In view of such issues, we suggest that the logical next step, following the development of overarching common languages and standards of practice, is to implement them at the local level. For example, the New York City Office of Emergency Management has created the Citywide Incident Management System (CIMS) that integrates fully with the national level system, NIMS.

      These examples are evidence of the rate at which this field is evolving and the levels of scale across which changes are currently taking place. As with any new initiative, these plans, systems, and tools will be refined, changed, and tweaked over time. But it is evidence that through collaboration, common terms, management frameworks and standards of practice are materializing and providing relief to those in need.

      In sum, we present this encyclopedia as a snapshot of this dynamic field at one point in time. It is our hope that it provides a foundation for continued interest and investment in the field, and thereby, helps to meet the needs of people and communities struggling to sustain the practices of everyday life following a disaster.

      We extend our sincere sympathy to those who experience physical and emotional pain in any disaster. We also challenge those of you active in this field to collaborate with colleagues from other disciplines to determine the most effective response and recovery strategies in reference to the contents of this volume. Our hope is that people dealing with the catastrophic events will draw on the most current knowledge and utilize emerging best practices to alleviate human suffering. Looking ahead, although it may never be possible to prevent earthquakes or other disasters from occurring, we hope that this volume helps demonstrate how specific policies, technologies, and operational capacities can help communities become more resilient to the impacts of such disasters.

      K. BradleyPenuel, MattStatler, General Editors

      Reader's Guide

      List of Entries

      List of Contributors

      • Abdalla, Rifaat Defence R&D Canada Toronto
      • Alcock, Nate York University
      • Alexander, David E. University of Florence
      • Altshuler, Alex Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
      • Amaratunga, Dilanthi University of Salford
      • Andrulis, Dennis The Texas Health Institute
      • Asgary, Ali York University
      • Barnhill, John H. Independent Scholar
      • Barnshaw, John University of South Florida
      • Beck, Diana L. Knox College
      • Beech, Colin Independent Scholar
      • Berkson, Emily K. Knox College
      • Berne, Rebecca Carnegie Corporation of New York
      • Bligh, Edward P. International Rescue Committee
      • Bono, J. James University of Pittsburgh
      • Boslaugh, Sarah E. Washington University
      • Boyce, Allan S. U.S. Army Command andGeneral Staff College
      • Buckle, Philip Oxford Brookes University
      • Burke, Jennifer A. Strayer University
      • Burkholder-Allen, Kelly University of Toledo
      • Cagliuso, Nicholas V. Independent Scholar.
      • Carlin, Sarah E. Knox College
      • Chen, Yung-Fang Coventry University
      • Cigler, Beverly A. Penn State Harrisburg
      • Coleman, Jill S. Ball State University
      • Collins, Andrew E. Northumbria University
      • Crisp, Monty Independent Scholar
      • Cupp, O. Shawn U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
      • Detwiler, Steve Orange County Office of Emergency Management
      • Dixon, Darryl J. International Association of Emergency Managers
      • Dowty, Rachel Louisiana State University
      • Duke Mewborn, Virginia New York City Office of Emergency Management
      • Edwards, David A. Arizona State University
      • Egan, M. Jude Louisiana State University
      • Fox, Alexander M. Knox College
      • Fuller, Brian D. Calvin College
      • Gaillard, J. C. University of Auckland
      • Gair, Brad Independent Scholar
      • Gan, Ivan Calvin College
      • Garayev, Vener University of Central Florida
      • García-Basteiro, Alberto López London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
      • Gardner, Robert Owen Linfield College
      • Gifford, Richard B. University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton
      • Gonshorek, Daniel O. Knox College
      • Green, Dick International Fund for Animal Welfare
      • Gross, Matthias Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research
      • Gupta, Kailash University of North Texas
      • Hagen, Ryan Independent Scholar
      • Hamza, Mohamed Oxford Brookes University
      • Hebblethwaite, Benjamin University of Florida
      • Heifer, Jason A. Knox College
      • Hooper, Patricia University of Washington
      • Ifelebuegu, Augustine Osamor Coventry University
      • Isaacs, Ken Samaritan's Purse
      • Jaboyedoff, Michel University of Lausanne
      • Kailes, June Isaacson Western University of Health Sciences
      • Kapucu, Naim University of Central Florida
      • Karagoz, Kasim Erciyes University
      • Kelman, Ilan Cicero
      • Klenow, Daniel J. North Dakota State University
      • Kte'pi, Bill Independent Scholar
      • Lachlan, Kenneth University of Massachusetts, Boston
      • Lanfair, Jordan K. Knox College
      • Lang, William R. Independent Scholar
      • Lasley, Carrie E. University of New Orleans
      • Lassa, Jonatan United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security
      • Letukas, Lynn University of Delaware
      • MacGregor, Susan Humber College
      • MacLean, Tammy L. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
      • Mahone, Christian D. Knox College
      • Malkin-Dubins, Lilia York University
      • Massey, Evan M. Knox College
      • McAdoo, Brian G. Vassar College
      • McIntyre, J. J. University of Central Arkansas
      • Milen, David Paul Walden University
      • Miller, DeMond Shondell Rowan University
      • Miller, Dorothy L. Florida International University
      • Mishra, Prafulla Kumar International Rescue Committee
      • Mitchem, Jamie D. Gainesville State College
      • Mohanty, Manoranjan University of the South Pacific
      • Morinère, Lezlie Caro Erway University of Arizona
      • Morris, Kerry-Ann Office of Disaster Preparedness andEmergency Management, Jamaica
      • Mountain, Ron Coventry University
      • Mueller, Thomas California University of Pennsylvania
      • Nelson, Lindsay D. Florida State University
      • Nix, Hallie George Washington University
      • Nthakomwa, Martin Coventry University
      • Okay, Nilgun Istanbul Technical University
      • Paulus, Jeremy Independent Scholar
      • Pedrazzini, A. University of Lausanne
      • Peerbolte, Stacy Lynn Walden University
      • Peterson, Cher N. Independent Scholar
      • Poulin, Thomas E. Old Dominion University
      • Prizzia, Ross University of Hawaii, West Oahu
      • Pugal, Julie A. Independent Scholar
      • Purdy, Elizabeth Rholetter Independent Scholar
      • Purtle, Jonathan Drexel University School of Public Health
      • Ray, Sally J. Western Kentucky University
      • Ray-Bennett, Nibedita Shankar Northumbria University
      • Rega, Paul Patrick University of Toledo
      • Rholetter, Wylene Auburn University
      • Rostis, Adam Saint Mary's University
      • Rovins, Jane E. American Military University
      • Ruhl, Stephanie M. Western Michigan University
      • Sahin, Bahadir University of Central Florida
      • Santos-Hernandez, Jenniffer M. Oak Ridge National Laboratory
      • Sawyer, Dalton University of North Carolina Health Care System
      • Schartung, Charles Todd Center for Hazards Research and Policy Development
      • Schmidlin, Emily Independent Scholar
      • Schmidlin, Thomas W. Kent State University
      • Schroth, Stephen T. Knox College
      • Schultz, David M. University of Helsinki, Finland
      • Siddiqui, Nadia J. Texas Health Institute
      • Smith, Jacqueline S. Yale University
      • Snow, Mary Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
      • Snow, Rich Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
      • Spence, Patric R. Western Michigan University
      • Stanbrough, Lucy Aon Benfield UCL Harvard Research Centre
      • Stevens, Kristin L. New York University Langone Medical Center
      • Stewart, Barclay T. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
      • Stolley, Kathy Virginia Wesleyan College
      • Stough, Laura M. Texas A & M University
      • Subanthore, Aswin Oklahoma State University
      • Sudmeier-Rieux, Karen University of Lausanne
      • Tekeli-Yesil, Sidika University of Basel
      • Thomas, Marcia New York University
      • Thompson, Wiley C. U.S. Military Academy
      • Thu, Tran Nguyen Anh Independent Scholar
      • Trevino, Marcella Bush Barry University
      • Trivedi, Jennifer University of Iowa
      • Twigg, John University College London
      • Waskey, Andrew Jackson Dalton State College
      • Webb, Peter C. Dothan Fire Department
      • Wilkinson, Emily University College London
      • Williams, Derreck Matthew Rowan University
      • Winningham, R. Samuel Federal Emergency Management Agency

      Chronology of Disaster Relief

      79 C.E.: The southern Italian stratovolcano Somma-Vesuvius erupted cataclysmically on August 24–25. Pyroclastic flows, lahars (volcanic mudflows), and copious ash fall occurred. Various towns were engulfed, including Herculaneum, Pompeii, Stabiae, and Oplontis. Up to 18,000 people are thought to have been killed. The size and style of eruption that occurred in 79 is now termed Plinian after the statesman Pliny the Elder, who was killed by gases while trying to mount a rescue operation.

      1244: The Venerable Archiconfraternity of the Misericordia was founded in Florence, Italy, to minister to the victims of plague. It is now the world's oldest humanitarian and emergency medical organization.

      1556: On January 23, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake occurred in Shaanxi (Shensi), China, killing at least 820,000 people. No other seismic event has caused such a death toll since then.

      1601: The English Parliament passed the Charitable Uses Act, which gave the first legal definitions of the meaning and function of a charitable organization. It was superseded by the Act of 1888.

      1631: A major eruption of Mount Vesuvius in southern Italy sent a nuèe ardente (incandescent ash cloud) into the town of Portici, killing 4,000 inhabitants. The eruption was, however, much smaller than that of 79, but it inaugurated three centuries of almost continuous volcanic emissions from Vesuvius.

      1755: On November 1, an earthquake of estimated magnitude 9.0 destroyed Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. It was accompanied by a major urban fire and a tsunami that ran up the estuary of the River Tagus. About 60,000 people were killed, and it took 20 years to reconstruct the city. However, the work was carried out using rational planning to limit future fire and seismic risks.

      1815: After several centuries of dormancy, the Indonesian volcano Mount Tambora erupted. It is located on Sumbawa Island in the Lesser Sunda group. The emission of gases and magma reached a climax on April 10 and became the largest historical eruption of all, four times larger (Volcanic Explosivity Index [VEI]=7) than the Krakatoa eruption of 1883. Up to 48,000 people were killed, many by starvation due to damage to agriculture and fishing.

      1863: Swiss businessman Henry Dunant founded the first committee that led to the establishment of the international Red Cross movement. Having witnessed the carnage of the Battle of Solferino in northern Italy in 1959, he realized the need for impartial, effective medical aid to injured soldiers.

      1864: The first Geneva Convention on the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field was signed.

      1883: Krakatoa, a marine volcano located in Indonesia between Java and Sumatra Islands, erupted cataclysmically on August 27. Four huge explosions sent out sound waves over a radius of 5,000 km and atmospheric pressure waves over 6,000 km. Tsunamis 10–40 meters high killed 36,000 coastal inhabitants of Java and Sumatra.

      1900: From August 27 to September 12, a major (unnamed) hurricane affected four Caribbean nations and a significant portion of the United States. Wind speeds reached 220 km/hr. The storm made landfall in Texas, where low-lying Galveston was overwashed. Five thousand of the 12,000 fatalities caused by the hurricane occurred there, as the citizens had no warning.

      1902: On May 8, Mount Pelée, a volcano on the French Caribbean island of Martinique erupted with a major nuée ardente (directional pyroclastic flow) caused by the collapse of a lava spine ejected from its central vent. The town of Saint-Pierre was overrun and all 26,000 inhabitants, except two, were killed.

      1906: On April 18, fire and an earthquake destroyed large parts of San Francisco, killing about 3,000 people and leaving 20,000 homeless. The magnitude was 7.8.

      1906: In southern Italy, an eruption of Mount Vesuvius killed 100 people and emitted more lava than any other event in history on Vesuvius. The volcano remained active until 1944, when after a final moderate cataclysm it became dormant.

      1908: On December 28, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake followed by a tsunami occurred in the Strait of Messina, impacting the cities of Messina and Reggio Calabria. Some 129,000 people were killed, and the two cities were reduced to rubble.

      1912: On its maiden voyage to New York the steamship RMS Titanic, launched from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, northern Ireland, in 1912 (the flagship of the White Star Line) struck an iceberg and sank. The provision of lifeboats was utterly inadequate, and 1,517 of the 2,227 people on board died.

      1919: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was established in Geneva. It federates 186 national societies in the Red Cross-Red Crescent movement.

      1919: Following the Treaty of Versailles that concluded World War I, the League of Nations was founded. It lasted until 1946 and at its most successful included 58 nations, but the United States never joined.

      1920: Samuel Henry Prince published his Columbia University Ph.D. thesis “Catastrophe and Social Change.” Prince ministered in his role as a priest to the survivors of the Halifax, Nova Scotia, munitions ship explosion. His observations on this experience constituted the first serious academic work on the sociology of disasters.

      1920: The International Save the Children Union (ISCU) was founded in Geneva by Elgantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton, founder of Save the Children UK. In 1923, the Union issued the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. The ISCU was granted the patronage of the Red Cross movement and the Declaration, much expanded, was adopted by the United Nations in 1959.

      1923: Harlan H. Barrows, professor at the University of Chicago, delivered his presidential address to the Association of American Geographers, in which he defined human ecology and inaugurated the study by geographers of processes of human adaptation to hazards and disasters.

      1938: In September, a hurricane formed in the mid-Atlantic and traveled rapidly up the U.S. eastern seaboard. It made landfall on Long Island and, with strong forward momentum, penetrated New England. Up to 800 people died, 100 of them in Rhode Island and another 500 elsewhere in New England.

      1942: The Oxford Committee for Famine Relief met for the first time at the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Oxford, England, under the auspices of Gilbert and Mary Murray, Cecil Jackson-Cole, and Alan Pim. It grew in subsequent years to become a major humanitarian charity composed of 14 organizations working in 100 countries with 3,000 partners.

      1944: On March 2 at Balvano in the Province of Potenza, southern Italy, a train stalled in a tunnel. It was double-headed by two steam locomotives, but poor combustion led to the emission of carbon monoxide that killed at least 600 people, and possibly more than 1,000. In terms of mortality, this was the worst disaster in the history of railroads.

      1945: Gilbert Fowler White published his Ph.D. thesis “Human Adjustment to Floods: A Geographical Approach to the Flood Problem in the United States,” as a University of Chicago Geography Research Paper. A student of Harlan H. Barrows, White went on to have a seminal influence on U.S. flood management policy.

      1945: On October 24, the United Nations organization was founded. From an initial 51 nations, it came to have 192 member states in the General Assembly, a more restricted Security Council, and a Secretariat.

      1945: The fledgling United Nations established the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), with offices in Quebec City, Canada. Six years later, it moved to Rome, Italy. Eventually, 191 nations joined FAO, aiming to defeat world hunger. In 1960, FAO inaugurated the World Food Programme.

      1946: On December 11, the United Nations General Assembly created the UN children's fund, UNICEF, to provide humanitarian and development aid to children and mothers afflicted by poverty and deprivation.

      1947: On June 5, the United States established the European Recovery Plan (ERP), known as the Marshall Plan, named after Secretary of State George Marshall. Funding for the plan ran from 1948 until 1952.

      1948: On December 10, in Paris, the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Detailed covenants were added in 1966.

      1949: The fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War was signed. Protocols were added in 1977 and 2005.

      1949: The forerunner of Christian Aid was started by the British Council of Churches. This charitable humanitarian organization acquired its present name in 1964.

      1950: The United Nations High Commission for Refugees received its statute.

      1951: The Convention on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons was adopted by the United Nations. It entered into force in 1954. A protocol was added in 1966 and a Declaration on Territorial Asylum was made in 1967.

      1960: The United Nations established the World Food Programme (WFP) as its food aid branch. It has striven to eradicate hunger and malnutrition.

      1961: An executive order of the president of the United States established the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, as an independent federal agency guided by the secretary of state.

      1963: Thirteen British charities formed the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to improve their provision of clean water, medical assistance, and humanitarian aid in international disasters.

      1966: Flooding in Florence, Italy, on the night of November 3–4 killed 34 people (and a further 60 elsewhere in northern Italy) and did enormous damage to priceless art treasures. Flood depths exceeded 3.5 meters in parts of the city center.

      1967: From 1967 until 1970, civil war was waged in Nigeria, when the southeastern provinces attempted to break away and form the Republic of Biafra. In 1968, denial of food aid was used as a weapon by the federal forces, leading to famine and starvation. Although the causes were artificial, this can be considered the first modern disaster, as the consequences of famine were widely televised in what almost amounted to real time.

      1969: On August 17, Hurricane Camille made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River. This category 5 hurricaine caused a 7.3-meter storm surge and killed 259 people.

      1971: Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF—Doctors Without Borders) was founded by French doctors in the aftermath of the Nigerian (Biafra) war of succession. MSF expanded to include 26,000 workers in 60 countries. In 1999 it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

      1972: The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held in Nairobi, Kenya in June. It led to the founding of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

      1974: A supertornado outbreak occurred over an 18-hour period between April 3 and 4. In all, 148 tornadoes were observed in 13 U.S. states from Alabama to Michigan. At least 315 people were killed, and the event was the most severe convective weather episode in the history of the United States.

      1974: The U.S. Congress passed the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Act (PL93–288, the Stafford Act). This is the main federal disaster response legislation. Amendments were passed in 1988 (PL100–707), and a new Disaster Mitigation Act (PL106–390) was passed in 2000.

      1976: On July 28, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake occurred at Tangshan in eastern China. More than 240,000 people were killed and 164,000 were severely injured.

      1979: On April 1, a U.S. presidential order created the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate national responses to disasters in the United States. FEMA subsequently went through many reorganizations, of which the largest was its incorporation in 2002 into the Department of Homeland Security.

      1982: El Chich?n (El Chichonal), a volcano located in Chiapas, northwest Mexico, erupted cataclysmically from March 29 to April 4, killing 2,000 people. The effects of the eruption on global climate persisted for about four years.

      1984: On December 3, the Union Carbide pesticide plant at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh State, India, released a cloud of methyl isocyanate. Up to 10,000 people were killed within three days and 25,000 died subsequently of gas poisoning and related effects. The plant continues to pollute the area, and no one has been prosecuted as a result of the disaster. In 2001, Union Carbide became part of the Dow Chemical Company.

      1985: On the evening of November 13, the Colombian volcano Nevado del Ruíz erupted. Spontaneous melting of the overlying ice cap produced lahars (volcanic mudflows) that coursed through the town of Armero, and several villages. As warnings were ineffective, 23,000 people were killed in the second worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century and the worst in South America.

      1987: On June 26, the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect.

      1988: Under United Nations auspices, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established to evaluate the risks of changes in climate caused by human activities such as burning fossil fuels.

      1988: On December 7, an earthquake of magnitude 6.9 occurred in Armenia (then part of the Soviet Union) close to the cities of Spitak and Leninaken. It killed 25,000 people and virtually destroyed Spitak. Poor quality building led to the collapse of very many buildings and reconstruction cost $3 billion.

      1990: On June 21, an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 occurred with an epicenter close to the cities of Rashd in northwest Iran. Known as the Manjil-Rudbar earthquake after other nearby cities, it killed 40,000 people, injured 60,000 and left 500,000 homeless, especially the inhabitants of unreinforced mudbrick dwellings.

      1990: The United Nations inaugurated the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR, July 1990-June 2000) and 140 countries founded national committees to promote Decade activities. The UN structure for the IDNDR was subsequently transformed into a permanent agency, the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, which works with countries' national ISDR platforms.

      1991: In June, on the Philippine island of Luzon, Mount Pinatubo erupted in the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. Some 70,000 people were evacuated. Major blasts, ashfalls, and lahars (volcanic mud-flows) occurred.

      1992: Complex emergency starts to become internationally accepted as a term that describes humanitarian crises in which there is “total or considerable breakdown of authority resulting from internal or external conflict” (UN-OCHA).

      1992: The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, Rio de Janeiro) published Agenda 21, a blueprint for sustainable development. It includes provisions for social aspects, sustainable economic development, sustainability management, and conservation. Local initiatives are encouraged in Chapter 28, also called Local Agenda 21.

      1992: The Second Delors Commission of the European Union established ECHO, the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office, which has partnerships with 200 relief agencies.

      1992: On August 24, Hurricane Andrew made landfall on the Florida coast at the town of Homestead. Sixty-five people were killed, and reconstruction cost an estimated $40 billion, which was then the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history.

      1993: Over the period April-October flooding affected 840,000 square kilometers of land in the Mississippi-Missouri River basin. Land flooded from the Canadian border to the Gulf Coast. It was the most persistent and costly flood (with $15 billion in damages) in U.S. history.

      1994: In Rwanda, east-central Africa, genocide was carried out by Hutus against Tutsis and Hutu moderates. From April 6 to mid-July, between 800,000 and 1 million people were killed.

      1994: The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs coordinated the production of the Oslo Guidelines on the Use of Military and Civil Defense Assets in Disaster Relief. The Oslo Guidelines were fully revised in 2007.

      1995: On April 19, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Marrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. One hundred and sixty-eight people were killed and 680 were injured.

      1995: During the Balkan war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992–95) the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica (also known as Srebrenitsa) was captured by the Army of the Republika Srpska. On July 1, 1995, an estimated 8,372 Bosnian Muslim men were massacred there, while nominally under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). This was the worst case of genocide in post-1945 Europe.

      1998: In Geneva, the Sphere Project brought out the first edition of its Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response, which was successively revised in 2000 and 2004. Sphere is a cooperative effort of humanitarian agencies and Red Cross-Red Crescent societies.

      1998: In late September, Hurricane Georges did severe damage in the Caribbean and Gulf Coast states of the United States. Six hundred and four people were killed.

      1998: Over the period October 22-November 5, Hurricane Mitch impacted eight Caribbean and Central American nations, notably Nicaragua and Honduras. Rotational wind speeds reached 285 km/hr. The death toll was estimated at 11,374, and damage set back development in the region by up to 20 years.

      1999: On August 17, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake occurred near Izmit in northern Turkey, killing 17, 127 people and injuring 43,959. Damage to housing was extensive, and a major oil refinery fire occurred. This disaster was followed on November 12 by the Duzce earthquake (magnitude 7.2), which affected an area west of Izmit and killed 894 people.

      2001: On September 11, coordinated terrorist attacks killed almost 3,000 people in New York City (collapse of the World Trade Center), Washington, D.C. (attack on the Pentagon), and Pennsylvania (crash of a commercial jetliner).

      2002: On November 5, in response to the terrorism threat, the U.S. federal government established the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), its greatest reorganization since 1947. The DHS is an umbrella organization for many government bodies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

      2003: On December 26, an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 occurred with an epicenter located close to the city of Bam in Kerman Province, southern Iran. It killed 26,271 people and injured 30,000. Widespread use of unreinforced mudbrick buildings exacerbated the damage.

      2004: On March 11, in a coordinated action, suicide terrorists caused 10 explosions on four commuter trains in Madrid, Spain. One hundred and ninety-one people were killed and 1,800 injured.

      2004: On December 26, an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 off the coast of Indonesia generated a tsunami that killed an estimated 229,866 people in 14 countries and left almost 1.7 million homeless. It led to the largest ever public donation of relief funds, $4.6 billion.

      2005: In January, the World Conference on Disaster Reduction was held in Kobe, Japan, at the mid-point of the International Decade for Disaster Reduction (IDNDR, 1990–2000).

      2005: The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction brought out the Hyogo Framework for Action, 2005–2015, a fundamental blueprint for national and local disaster risk reduction.

      2005: On July 7, suicide terrorists set off four bombs in central London, England, killing 52 people and injuring 700. Major disruption to transportation systems ensued.

      2005: On August 29, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and caused severe damage to New Orleans, which was heavily flooded, especially by the breaching of many levees. Between 1,700 and 2,500 people died, especially those who were not evacuated from the lowest lying areas of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. It was followed on September 23 by Hurricane Rita, a less powerful storm that made landfall in Texas and Louisiana.

      2005: On October 8, an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 occurred with an epicenter near Muzaffarabad in the Kashmir area of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province. It killed 1,400 people in India and 79,000 in Pakistan, where it left 3.3 million homeless.

      2006: In September, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and World Bank launched the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) to support national, regional, and global initiatives in disaster risk reduction.

      2006: On December 13, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

      2008: On May 2, Cyclone Nargis caused the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Burma (Myanmar). At least 146,000 people died. The Burmese government accepted remarkably little of the international aid that was offered, and made it difficult for international responders to obtain entry visas and clearance for the importation of relief goods.

      2008: On May 12, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake occurred in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, China. About 88,000 people died and 374,000 were injured. Massive slope failures occurred, and rivers were dammed by landslides.

      2010: On January 12, an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 killed at least 230,000 people and injured 300,000 in Haiti. In Port-au-Prince, the National Palace collapsed, and so did the local UN building, headquarters of MINUSTAH, the Haitian Stabilization Mission. The director, deputy-director, and 99 other staff were killed in the collapse.

      2010: On February 27, an earthquake of magnitude 8.8 occurred off the coast of the Maule region of Chile. A destructive tsunami occurred on the southern Chilean coast. At least 486 people were killed and 500,000 homes were damaged. The earthquake caused destruction in six Chilean regions and affected 80 percent of the country's population.

      2010: On April 20, an explosion occurred on BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and injuring 17. The rig burned for 36 hours and then sank. Damage to the drilling riser resulted in the spillage of 35,000–60,000 barrels of crude oil a day, causing an oil slick up to 6,500 square kilometers in size, which drifted toward the U.S. Gulf Coast. Significant damage occurred to coastal ecology, fishing, and tourism.

      DavidAlexander, University of Florence
    • Glossary

      • AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome)—A disease caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It progressively reduces the effectiveness of the immune system and leaves it open to infection by opportunistic infections and tumors. AIDS is a pandemic that has spread to more than 33 million people.
      • Alarm—see Alert.
      • Alert—The process of readying personnel, equipment, and supplies, in anticipation of a predicted incident or disaster. In addition, populations can be alerted and instructed to take precautions or to evacuate. The diffusion of an alert requires a prediction based on hazard monitoring and the decision to disseminate an alarm.
      • All-hazards planning—An emergency plan should be usable when confronted with both hazards that are endemic to the area it covers, and thus well-known locally, and those that are uncommon or unheard of, including future emerging risks. Scenario modeling should be used to identify emergency needs associated with known hazards, and generic procedures should be used when unexpected hazards materialize.
      • Avalanche—An abrupt movement of snow, ice, rock debris, or a combination of all three. Snow avalanches may involve powder, slab, or fragmented movements, with or without air launch and destructive air blasts. On steep mountain slopes, debris avalanches can move at several hundred kilometers per hour and involve millions of cubic meters of rock. Avalanches can bury people and objects, sweep them away, or destroy them. Avalanches into bodies of standing water can cause destructive waves.
      • Building code—A set of mandatory, usually national regulations designed to ensure the structural and functional integrity of structures. Building codes include sanitary (public health) provisions and measures to resist damage caused by hazards (e.g., the use of fire-resistant materials and earthquake resistant construction techniques). The Caribbean Uniform Building Code and Eurocode 8 (antiseismic) building code are examples.
      • Business continuity—the process of organizing, planning, and preparing to maintain productive activities during a crisis. Business continuity management can apply to the private and the public sectors, as both require the continuity of their basic functions during the interruptions caused by disasters.
      • Catastrophe—Although the term is often used synonymously with disaster, a catastrophe can be regarded as an event with a larger impact. It will have international ramifications (including the mobilization of a global response) and will severely disrupt the life of the country in which it occurs. There is, however, no quantitative definition of catastrophe. Nonetheless, the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, which severely affected 12 countries and killed more than 231,000 people, fits the definition of a catastrophe. An asteroid impact on Earth would undoubtedly do so, and global warming may well fit the definition.
      • Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism—Terrorist acts that involve the use of harmful substances, including chemical and biological toxins, radio isotopes, or improvised nuclear devices. CBRN terrorism may involve gases, liquids, or solids and a wide variety of forms of delivery. A “dirty bomb” is an explosive device (possibly improvised) that is contaminated with a CBRN material such as a radio isotope. The amount of toxic material required to do harm depends on the nature of the substance, but is generally least for radiological and biological toxins (see Improvised Explosive Device).
      • Civil contingencies—Another name for civil protection, but possibly signifying the capacity to manage a broader range of hazards and events, including, for example, national demonstrations and ceremonies, strikes, epidemics, and power outages.
      • Civil defense—The protection of a country, its inhabitants, and leaders against armed aggression by terrorists, foreign powers, or subversive elements. Civil defense usually involves a centralized system commanded by the national government with assistance from the armed forces and paramilitary organizations. It may include volunteer organizations and will interface with crime investigation (forensics), policing, and intelligence gathering (cf. Civil protection).
      • Civil society organization—In this context, a voluntary organization or other grouping constituted to provide assistance in case of incidents or disasters or to provide services related to resilience and disaster risk reduction. Civil society organizations include residents' associations, pressure groups, and emergent groups (i.e., organizations spontaneously formed by the victims of disasters).
      • Civil protection—A system of defense against calamity, with regional and local bases and a national coordinating mechanism. In the case of the European Union, there is also a supranational civil protection office, but with very limited powers (cf. Emergency preparedness, Civil contingencies).
      • Cold snap—A period of intense or unusually cold weather leading to a possible health emergency, especially among people such as the homeless, who lack adequate protection against the weather. Cold snaps usually do not last more than a few days and are not characteristic of places such as Arctic communities, in which intense cold is the rule rather than the exception (cf. Heatwave).
      • Command and control—The process of directing emergency responses by establishing control of operations and issuing orders. Command and control has a military origin and may be antithetical to models of emergency response based on collaboration and cooperation.
      • Communicable disease—A contagious or infectious viral or bacterial pathology requiring epidemiological surveillance and control. By and large, disasters do not lead to major outbreaks of disease, unless there is a large potential for increases in a locally endemic pathology. However, surveillance may lead to apparent increases in disease as more cases are brought to light, including those in which infection predated the disaster.
      • Complex emergency—A situation of collapse in security, governance, normal economic activity, and social welfare. Complex emergencies are characteristic of countries or regions in which there is intense conflict, perhaps through insurgency (asymmetric or low-intensity warfare). They may involve periodic natural disasters, as in the highly seismic country of Afghanistan, or the drought-prone areas of the Horn of Africa. They result in a prolonged emergency that requires large amounts of humanitarian assistance and military intervention to restore stability and restart economic development.
      • Concept of operations (Conops)—The strategic overview and goals of emergency operations. Conops is the basis for planning emergency response. It articulates the pattern of forces and resources that will be used in the field, the basic relations between the various organizations, and the main goals of emergency response. The term has a military origin and is used by analogy in a civilian context.
      • Contingency plan—see Emergency plan.
      • Control—see Command and control.
      • Crisis—A state of calamity or catastrophe; an incident or other form of significant interruption of service. In a crisis, normal procedures and activities are necessarily suspended and emergency responses are substituted. Crises can be inadvertent or predicted in advance. They can be sudden or slow to develop, and short lived or long drawn-out.
      • Critical incident stress—A form of post-traumatic stress disorder applicable in particular to first responders who have had to work in traumatic emergency situations, particularly those involving danger, casualties, and graphic situations of violence or destruction. It can sometimes be resolved by psychological debriefing and follow-up care (cf. Post-traumatic stress disorder).
      • Decision support system—A computerized system that involves logic and decision trees to provide answers to complex questions with the minimum input of data. A decision support system is a simple interface between a data bank, an analytical system, and a user who can query it. One particular form is the expert system, which uses Boolean logic to provide a route through a complex series of questions and answers.
      • Desertification—A process of (usually gradual) degradation of the biological productivity of land, and one that is usually difficult or impossible to reverse, for example because soil has been eroded away. Desertification may result from climate change, but is mostly the result of inadvisable human use of the land, for instance, overgrazing. It includes salinization caused by irrigation with water rich in salts.
      • Desktop exercise—see Exercise.
      • Development—The process of raising a country's or region's economic activity and levels of education, healthcare, welfare, and resistance to disaster. Lack of development impedes disaster risk reduction, while the cumulative and persistent effects of disaster set back the process of development. To be effective, development must raise the standard of living and security of the whole of society (particularly its poorer members) and provide resilience to disasters.
      • Disaster—A major impact on people's lives, livelihoods, and property of a natural, social, or technological phenomenon. Disaster potential is mainly determined by vulnerability and exposure to hazards. For an incident to become a disaster, the impact must be far-reaching, but there are nevertheless no indisputable quantitative definitions of what constitutes a disaster. However, lives may be lost, people may be injured, activities may be seriously disrupted, and property will probably be damaged on a large scale. A very large disaster, perhaps with international implications, may be regarded as a catastrophe (q.v.).
      • Disaster cycle—The phases of mitigation (risk reduction), preparedness (readiness), emergency intervention, restoration of basic necessities, and post-disaster reconstruction. As many forms of disaster are repetitive, this forms a cycle. Although not all forms of extreme event are regularly repetitive, the most cyclical are meteorological phenomena such as severe storms. Even where specific types of events are not repetitive, emergencies often are, as no place on Earth is completely free of disaster risk.
      • Disaster medicine—Surgical, first aid, public health and other forms of medical intervention designed for mass-casualty events. Disaster medicine involves rapid treatment and rationing of scarce resources, for example, through triage of patients (q.v.). It also involves epidemiology (q.v.).
      • Disaster plan—see Emergency plan.
      • Disaster psychology—The practice of psychiatry for the benefit of survivors, witnesses and emergency workers emotionally affected by disaster. Early work in this field defined a “disaster syndrome,” or state of post-disaster shock, but later work did not confirm this. Most interventions in disaster psychology deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (q.v.) and its subsidiary, critical incident stress (q.v.), and with depression and bereavement.
      • Disaster relief—Intervention to limit damage and suffering caused by the impact of disasters. Relief may involve national or international resources directed to activities such as search and rescue, abatement of further impacts, clearance of debris, provision of shelter and medical care, and evacuation of people at risk. International disaster relief in major disasters or catastrophes may be coordinated by United Nations agencies, such as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA). A long-term aim is to shift the emphasis from providing relief (i.e. reacting to disasters after they have occurred) to preventing the worst effects of future disasters. However, this is a persistently elusive goal.
      • Disaster risk reduction (DRR)—The overall process of preparing for, preventing, responding to, and reducing the impacts of disasters. DRR is practiced by governments and communities alike. It is designed to increase the resilience of society. DRR is now a major factor in efforts to combat the effects of climate change, which is likely to produce more intense and frequent meteorological disasters, and flooding due to rising sea levels.
      • Disease control—see Epidemiology.
      • Early warning—see Warning.
      • Earthquake intensity—The classification of felt effects and damage at the Earth's surface caused by earthquakes. Some modern scales have 12 points, which range from imperceptible effects to cataclysmic damage and alterations of the ground surface. The father of modern intensity scales was the Italian volcanologist Giuseppe Mercalli (1850–1914). Earthquake effects are mapped by macroseismic survey, giving lines of equal intensity on a map—isoseismals.
      • Earthquake magnitude—The amplitude of the largest seismic (elastic) wave standardized to a nominal distance of 100 km from the epicenter (point or ellipse on the Earth's surface corresponding to the location of initial fault slippage). Magnitude is a surrogate measure for the release of seismic energy. The relationship between points on the scales is logarithmic: hence, a magnitude 8 earthquake is 31.5 times larger in energy release terms than a magnitude 7. The Richter scale is the progenitor of modern measurements, but is seldom used now as it is inaccurate at high magnitudes.
      • Education and training—Processes of instructing emergency managers and responders in their duties by courses based in the classroom and practical exercises. Education generally includes a theoretical component, while training is largely practical.
      • Emergency—An untoward situation that generates pressing needs, such as evacuation, shelter, or measures to reduce an impact. In disaster management, emergencies are qualitatively different from normal alerts, in that they require special procedures.
      • Emergency management—The process of responding to crises, incidents, disasters, and catastrophes by coordinating the supply, deployment, and use of appropriate resources (e.g., personnel, vehicles, equipment, supplies, communications, or buildings). Many different specialties need to be coordinated, from engineering and earth science, to psychology and accounting.
      • Emergency medical services (EMS)—Health services designed to provide first aid, triage, and emergency treatment during mass-casualty events. EMS includes ambulance services and accident and emergency (A&E) departments in trauma hospitals.
      • Emergency Operations Center (EOC)—The “nerve center” of emergency response. A building or room, equipped with robust communications, from which emergency resources are acquired, deployed, and directed in the field when an incident or disaster occurs. Many EOCs are bicameral, as they consist of a “quiet” room for decision making and a “noisy” room in which decisions are activated and communicated to responders (and information is collected from the site of operations).
      • Emergency plan—Also known as a disaster plan, crisis plan, or contingency plan, this is a document (or more properly an instrument) that specifies the modalities of response to crises, major incidents, and disasters. Modern emergency plans are based on scenarios of known hazards and are adaptable to many forms of contingency. They specify emergency requirements, tasks, forms of cooperation and communication, and the responsibilities of the various participants in emergency response. An emergency plan should be a “living document,” frequently updated, disseminated, and tested.
      • Emergency preparedness [civil protection]—The process of implementing and utilizing a system designed to ensure efficient and effective response to major incidents and disasters. Civil protection should be locally based, as the local area is invariably the theater of operations. Modern systems use all-hazards planning (q.v.) and can respond to all forms of crisis, from natural disasters to terrorism and technological hazards.
      • Emergency support function (ESF)—A sector in the process of responding to emergencies, for example, telecommunications, logistics, search and rescue, personnel management, or shelter. ESF's can be set up in such a way as to support emergency operations by ensuring the supply of relief commodities and personnel. Their use facilitates and simplifies communication between the various centers and points of emergency command.
      • Environmental fire—see Wildfire.
      • Epidemic—A large outbreak of a disease or other health condition in a human population, which is probably interregional and possibly international in scope (cf. Epiphytotic, Epizootic, Zoonosis).
      • Epidemiology—The study of outbreaks, occurrence and transmission of diseases and health conditions in human populations. Disaster epidemiology includes the incidence and prevalence of injuries and diseases (including fatalities) in populations affected by calamity. In disasters, epidemiological surveillance is usually the most efficient and effective means of ensuring that disease outbreaks can be quickly controlled.
      • Epiphytotic—A communicable disease outbreak in a plant population, for example, potato blight. It will usually be of fungal, bacterial, or insect in origin
      • Epizootic—A communicable disease epidemic in an animal population, for example, foot-and-mouth disease (cf. Epiphytotic, Zoonosis).
      • Ethnic cleansing—A euphemism for the process of separating cultural or kinship groups (e.g. tribes) by forced migration or genocide.
      • Evacuation—The process of removing groups of people (or animals or goods) from harm's way in advance of a forecast hazard impact. If there is enough forewarning, compliance from the evacuees, time to complete operations, and availability of reception centers, evacuation is usually the best way to protect people from natural disaster.
      • Exercise—A simulation of emergency conditions and appropriate responses by a group of participants. Exercises can be conducted in the field or in an emergency operation center (q.v.). They vary widely in degree of realism, duration and objectives. The main reasons for using them are to ensure that responders are familiar with their roles, to test emergency plans, and to publicize civil protection services.
      • Expert system—see Decision support system.
      • Exposure—Susceptibility to hazards. Exposure differs from vulnerability (q.v.) in that it implies no particular level of harm, merely being in the way. Hence an asset can be highly exposed, but not very vulnerable. Exposure can vary over time: for example, hurricanes may be seasonal hazards, but exposure to earthquakes is continuous as they may occur at any time. In the insurance industry, exposure means liability to pay out in the event of a claim.
      • Famine—Widespread and prolonged food shortage, leading to possibly fatal human consequences. Nutritional deficiencies caused by famine cause kwashiorkor and marasmus (wasting) as well as stunting in children. Famine can lead to the nutrition-infection complex, in which illnesses that are not fatal in well-nourished people become lethal. Modern famines are seldom the result of absolute lack of food, but more commonly are the result of market distortions, hoarding by middlemen, or failure of the food distribution system.
      • Field exercise—see Exercise.
      • Flood—An excessive level of water above some datum such as a river bank of backshore area. Floods can be caused by excessive precipitation, rapid and copious snowmelt, tsunamis, hurricanes (the storm surge) and dam failures. Most riverine flooding is the result of high rainfall onto saturated ground, but intense storms can cause instantaneous runoff even in desert areas and thus very rapid flash floods. In highland areas, floods often occur with landslides.
      • Forecasting—see Prediction.
      • Forest fire—see Wildfire.
      • Geographic information system (GIS)—A digital form of mapping and map analysis in which layers of data can be superimposed and conjointly analyzed or transformed. GIS is widely used in portraying dynamic hazard and impact situations, elements of infrastructure, and emergency response needs.
      • Global change—World-wide changes in natural and socio-economic conditions resulting from global warming and the progressive integration of the global economy.
      • Global warming—Progressive world-wide rise in average temperatures, and increase in extremes, largely as a result of anthropogenic increases over the last 200 years in gases (e.g., carbon dioxide and methane) that trap solar insolation in the boundary layer, the lowest part of the atmosphere.
      • Globalization—The process of progressive integration of the global economy such that the production of goods and services can occur in any country. It tends to lead to unfettered capitalism, as companies and investors can evade national laws, but it also results in global movements for justice and equity. Perhaps as much as one fifth of the global market is illicit, and almost half of that is trade in illegal drugs, a truly international enterprise. Increased global news coverage has brought disasters into high relief with an immediacy hitherto undreamed of, but globalization has not reduced disaster risk: rather it has increased vulnerability and marginalization (q.v.).
      • Hazard—A potentially dangerous and damaging phenomenon, of a natural or anthropogenic origin. Hazards are one component of risk; the other is vulnerability (q.v.).
      • Heatwave—A period of intense or unusual hot weather leading to a potential health emergency or mass-casualty situation. Heatwaves usually last no more than a few days and are not characteristic of areas such as certain tropical regions, in which very hot weather is the norm rather than the exception (cf. Cold snap).
      • Human development index (HDI)—An index originating in the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP's) annual Human Development Reports. For each of 180 countries, it measures life expectancy, schooling, literacy, and standard of living (in relation to per capita Gross Domestic Product). The HDI thus combines measures of economic and social progress. In the late 2000s, Norway and Australia came out on the top and Afghanistan and Niger on the bottom.
      • Human immunodeficiency syndrome—see AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).
      • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)—A lentivirus of the retrovirus family which has infected about 0.6 percent of the world's population. By reducing the effectiveness of the immune system and making the body susceptible to viruses and tumors, it causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS, q.v.).
      • Human rights—Basic, inalienable rights and freedoms that for fundamental moral and ethical reasons should be enjoyed by all people in the world. They include the right to safety, security, food, clean water, and self-determination. They are encoded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.
      • Humanitarian assistance—Aid of a non-military nature provided to non-combatant civilians. Humanitarian assistance may be supplied during disasters or in long drawn-out situations in which development is stalled, such as persistent complex emergencies. It may include food and water, shelter, medicines, medical assistance, and other forms of help with the process of recovering from disaster.
      • Hurricane (typhoon, tropical cyclone)—A cyclonic storm that develops over warm ocean water with a surface temperature of at least 26 degrees Celsius. Air spirals into a calm low-pressure center, where angular momentum forces it up into the stratosphere and out in the form of a convective cell. The hurricane is thus a massive heat engine, fuelled by a positive feedback process based on condensation and evaporation. It may track forward at up to 100 km/hr (although usually less) and for the hurricane classification to apply, wind rotation speeds must exceed 120 km/hr (65 knots). Hurricanes are known as typhoons in the eastern Pacific and tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific. Their strength is measured on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with categories 1 to 6.
      • Improvised explosive device (IED)—A homemade or otherwise rudimentary bomb, in which the explosive substance or the fuse and detonation mechanism has been concocted from common, easily obtainable materials. Commercial explosives such as C4 (Semtex) may be included in the device and detonation may be by remote control, possibly by mobile telephone.
      • Incident—An extraordinary event that requires special procedures of management and response. An incident is usually smaller and more localized than a disaster. However, if conditions worsen, some incidents are capable of developing into disasters.
      • Incident command system (ICS)—A system for managing emergencies on a modular basis with command vested in a coordinating figure based at the site of operations. ICS was developed in the United States in response to complex wildfire situations. It is designed to be expandable as operations increase in size, to limit the span of command of each response director, and to divide up competencies into different sectors, such as planning, safety, communications, operations, logistics and information management (see Incident commander, National incident management system).
      • Incident commander—In the incident command system (ICS, q.v.), the incident commander is the chief on-site coordinator of emergency operations. He or she acts as an interface between the emergency operations center (EOC, q.v.) and the forces on the ground, and directs the various branches of operations: planning, safety, communications, operations, logistics, and information management
      • Influenza—An infectious disease caused by ribonucleic acid viruses and transmitted in birds and mammals. It can be communicated from one species to another, as in the outbreak of avian influenza, a virulent strain developed first in birds, and then in human beings and other animals. Influenza viruses are capable of mutating rapidly in order to benefit from host conditions.
      • Information and communications technology (ICT)—Computerized technology relating to data processing and transmission for analysis and telecommunication.
      • International convention—A treaty or agreement signed by sovereign nations that obliges them to respect rights, norms, or protocols, and to conduct certain actions. Many international conventions, such as that on Human Rights (1948), have been promoted by the United Nations organization. The Geneva Conventions (1964–49) set the standard for humanitarian action under conditions of war or other form of conflict.
      • International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)—A United Nations agency that developed out of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR, 1990–2000). Its function is to promote disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the different countries and regions of the world, and to promote the adoption of the UN's Hyogo Framework for Action, 2005–15.
      • Intranet—A digital computerized network of communications similar to, or utilizing, the Internet, but with access restricted to certain participants. Intranet is the name given to such a network when it is set up within an organization and extranet refers to a restricted-access network that spans more than one organization. Intranets and extranets are widely used in disaster management because they facilitate communication without the network saturation that comes from public participation.
      • Land degradation—see Desertification.
      • Landslide—Processes of instability of the ground technically known as mass movements, as the mechanisms may involve any combination of falling, toppling, sliding, flowing, avalanching, gliding, or creeping.
      • Logistics—The process of identifying, marshalling, transferring, and deploying resources (e.g., personnel, equipment, supplies, vehicles, and communications) in order to respond to a disaster.
      • Marginalization—The situation that arises when a population or group of people is deprived of political voice and economic power. Marginalized groups are the world's most poverty-stricken and exploited people and they tend to live in the least safe places. Hence they not only lack access to resources, but also are at the mercy of the most virulent hazards and have the shortest life expectancies.
      • Mass-casualty disaster—The impact of an extreme event that causes widespread or concentrated death and injury or illness (mortality and morbidity). With the exception of those events that cause famine, most mass-casualty events are sudden-impact disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, explosions, or transportation crashes.
      • Microzonation—The process of detailed mapping of hazards, vulnerabilities, risks, or impacts of the natural or anthropogenic phenomena that cause disasters (see also Zonation).
      • Military aid to civil communities (MACC)—A set of protocols and procedures for the supply of military assistance during civilian events such as natural disasters to local communities, in which military personnel should by convention be under the control of civilian authorities. It differs from military aid to the civil power (MACP), only in that the latter involves military assistance to national government for the purpose of responding to a non-bellicose event such as a disaster.
      • Mitigation—Processes of reducing the impacts of future disasters by mitigating risks—i.e. reducing vulnerabilities and, less often, hazards. One can distinguish between structural and non-structural mitigation. The latter involves building physical defenses and strengthening buildings, while the latter consists of planning and organizational measures, including civil protection and the prohibition of vulnerable land-uses in hazardous areas.
      • Mutual aid agreement—A formal protocol or treaty designed to ensure that, when one jurisdiction is unable to cope with the effect of an incident or disaster, neighboring authorities will supply assistance. The agreement will specify the kind and amount of assistance, the conditions under which it is to be furnished, and who will pay for it. Mutual aid agreements can be bilateral or multilateral, but in any case they usually only apply when the donating jurisdiction does not need the resources it has to offer.
      • Na-tech hazards—Natural hazards (such as floods and earthquakes) can trigger technological disasters, a process that is sometimes known as the domino effect. The complex interactions between natural events and technological vulnerabilities give rise to the category of na-tech hazards, or “natechs.”
      • National incident management system (NIMS)—A codified system developed by the federal government to ensure compatibility in emergency operations during large incidents and disasters in the United States. NIMS is based on the Incident Command System (q.v.).
      • Natural disaster—see Natural hazard.
      • Natural hazard—A dangerous phenomenon with an origin in the natural environment (geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, or atmosphere). Natural hazards include earthquakes, floods, severe storms such as hurricanes, droughts, landslides (mass movements), and avalanches. They vary considerably in their scope, impact, speed of onset, duration and effects.
      • Nongovernmental organization (NGO)—A civil society or charitable organization that provides disaster or humanitarian relief or other not-for-profit assistance to people in need. The range of operations of an NGO can be domestic or international.
      • Non-structural mitigation—see Mitigation.
      • Pandemic—A very large epidemic in which an infectious disease is transmitted from one country, and most probably one continent, to another. AIDS (q.v.) is at pandemic stage and non-seasonal influenza (H1N1, H1N5) has the potential to return to that status.
      • Paramedic—An emergency medical technician, a form of medical first responder. Paramedics should be skilled in advanced first-aid techniques, including defibrillation and intubation, but they do not have the medical knowledge of a doctor. Their main role is to carry out simple on-site diagnoses, stabilize a patient's condition using simple prophylaxes, and transport the patient to a medical center. Paramedical work can be considered a form of nursing, an increasingly professional and scientific discipline.
      • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—Condition in which a person (a victim, witness, or emergency responder) is affected by flashbacks, arousal, and a profound sense of inadequacy as a result of negative experiences during an incident or disaster. Symptoms can be physical (somatic), emotional, intellectual, or behavioral. Therapy may involve counseling or group debriefing. (See also Critical incident stress, Disaster psychology.)
      • Prediction—In this context, the process of forecasting the timing, extent, magnitude, and effects of a damaging event. Prediction is entirely feasible for some hazards (floods, hurricanes, landslides) and difficult or impossible for others (earthquakes, terrorist outrages, transportation crashes). Generally, it is not an exact science but requires confidence limits to be imposed. Many predictions involve a window of time that may be more or less long. Earthquakes, for example, cannot be predicted over short timespans, but the general seismicity of areas is quite predictable if geophysical investigations are adequate.
      • Preparedness—All activities designed to reduce the effects of disaster. Preparedness involves structural and non-structural mitigation (q.v.). To succeed, it needs the support of political leaders and the general population and needs to be concentrated at all levels, from local communities to national governments.
      • Protocol—A formal statement of a procedure or set of relations. Protocols are used together with emergency plans to ensure that disaster response and management are efficient and effective. Protocols may define the competencies, responsibilities, and relations among some of the many organizations that work together in disaster response.
      • Real-time communication—Immediate transmission of orders, information, and data during disasters for the purposes of instant analysis and response. Computerization and information technology have made real-time response a reality. Global telecommunications have opened up vast possibilities for the instantaneous acquisition, transfer, and analysis of data, including maps, images, messages, and analytical routines.
      • Reconstruction—The process of rebuilding or replacing items damaged by disaster, including housing, businesses, and infrastructure. Reconstruction also applies to social relations and people's sense of community. It does not necessarily imply rebuilding things exactly as they were before disaster struck, especially if this would recreate a situation of high vulnerability. In fact, reconstruction should be combined with sustainable measures for disaster reduction. In a major disaster, it may take from 10 to 25 years.
      • Recovery—The process of restoring livelihoods, economic activities, and well-being after disaster. Measures of local wealth production usually determine whether recovery is occurring, but there may also be demographic indicators and the visual signs of clean-up and rebuilding.
      • Recurrence interval—see Return period.
      • Relief agency—Any entity that provides aid and assistance after a disaster, including supranational, governmental, voluntary, charitable, and citizens' organizations. Major nongovernmental organizations such as Oxfam, Charitas, and Save the Children have a long history of involvement in post-disaster work. UNICEF and the World Food Programme are examples of United Nations relief agencies.
      • Relief appeal—When disaster strikes, a government may launch an appeal for international assistance. In many cases, this will then be managed by the United Nations. Major disasters produce responses from as many as 70 different countries, and dozens or hundreds of relief agencies from around the world. Public donations tend to respond, not merely to the launching of a relief appeal, but to the amount of publicity given to the event and the appeal by the world's mass media. Thus, the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 was so widely publicized, and through exotic tourism, rich countries had such direct involvement, that it led to the greatest ever level of post-disaster donation—$4.5 billion.
      • Resilience—The continuous process of ensuring that society and its critical systems are robust and resistant in the face of hazards of any and all kinds. Modern resilience requires a complex structural and non-structural approach, but one that involves entire populations and communities in sharing the risks and the strategies used to tackle them.
      • Response—The process of reacting to a disaster or incident by providing relief and aid.
      • Return period—The calculated average length of time that elapses between hazard impacts of a given size in a defined area. Also known as recurrence interval, the return period is the inverse of the annual probability of occurrence of the event in question. Generally, small events have short return periods, and large ones have long recurrence intervals. The infrequency of major impacts means that they may be poorly understood.
      • Risk—The product of hazard (or threat), vulnerability, and exposure of the assets at risk. Risks need to be assessed, measured, analyzed, communicated to stakeholders, and managed.
      • Risk assessment—The process of estimating risks and deciding on their importance relative to one another.
      • Safety—see Security and safety.
      • Scenario—The exploration of a hypothetical sequence of events for the purposes of planning and preparation prior to a disaster. Scenarios are usually based on significant past events and can cover vulnerabilities, impacts, and needed responses. Due to variations in aggregate patterns of human behavior, which alter people's vulnerabilities, disaster impact scenarios may be very different at different times of day, the week, or the year.
      • Sea surge—A set of water waves or a sustained localized rise in sea level leading to the inundation of coastal lands and caused by tsunami or hurricane. In the latter case, the combination of the friction of high winds on the sea surface and low atmospheric pressure causes water to mound up and be driven on land—the storm surge.
      • Search and rescue (SAR)—The process of searching for, locating, retrieving, evacuating, and providing medical care to people who are trapped, lost, or marooned by disaster. SAR may occur on land, at sea, in fog or snow, in mountains or caves, under the rubble of collapsed buildings, or in tunnels. It may involve generalized searches for many people, as in major earthquakes (in which the process is termed urban search and rescue, USAR) or it may involve searches for single individuals, couples, or small groups who are lost. Modern USAR involves the provision of basic medical care at the site before the evacuation of the victim.
      • Secondary hazard—a threatening phenomenon set off by a primary hazard. Thus, an earthquake may result in a flood if it causes a dam to breach. Natural hazards that lead to technological hazard consequences, natechs (natural-technological hazards, (q.v.) involve the “domino effect” of secondary hazards.
      • Security and safety—In one context, the term security is usually applied to the protection of populations and VIPs against acts of terrorism, while the term safety is more often used in the context of protection against politically neutral risks, such as earthquakes and floods. The term security can also refer to the continuity and reliability of basic necessities, such as food, shelter, healthcare and water supply.
      • Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)—An influenza-like infectious disease that affects the human respiratory system and can be fatal, even in formerly healthy subjects. One near-pandemic has occurred (in 2002–03), with more than 8,000 known cases and 774 deaths.
      • Shelter—The provision of accommodation to survivors of a disaster. Large hurricanes or earthquakes can leave many people homeless and give rise to large demands for shelter. Transitional shelter can include tents, mobile trailers, and prefabricated or containerized homes, even the distribution of plastic sheeting as a stop-gap measure. Temporary shelter may be associated with evacuation of populations at risk of disaster (q.v.).
      • Simulation of emergencies and disasters—see Exercise.
      • Social disasters—Disasters of a social origin, such as crowd crushes and stampedes, riots, and violent demonstrations. The category of social disasters is usually considered separately from natural, technological, and intentional (terrorist related) disasters, but it has potential links with each of these.
      • Span of control—The limits of a single individual's ability to command several groups, people, or situations at once when each problem requires to be followed constantly. Limiting the span of control to reasonable levels is a critical issue of modern emergency management.
      • SPHERE Project—A group of 70 non-governmental organizations that in the 1990s got together in Geneva to design a set of standards and guidelines for the provision of humanitarian assistance in disasters and crises.
      • Standard operating procedures—Protocols or guidelines and instructions designed to ensure that all participants in an emergency work to the same specifications. Standard operating procedures are intended to guarantee interoperability and a measureable quality of emergency response.
      • Standby—The state in which a disaster impact is expected in the near future and key personnel are put in a state of alert and readiness. If the impact does not materialize, standby will immediately be followed by stand-down (q.v.).
      • Stand-down—The declaration of the end of the emergency phase of an incident or disaster, in which responders are invited or ordered to cease activities, such as search and rescue and first aid medical care. The term is also applied to the end of an alarm that does not result in an impact, for example, because a storm abates before causing damage. After stand-down, normal activities resume, or clean-up and recovery become the main focus.
      • Storm surge—see Sea surge.
      • Technological hazards and disasters—Risks and impacts in which the main causes are anthropogenic. Technological disasters include transportation crashes (air, rail, road, and maritime), toxic spills and emissions, episodes of major contamination, failures of major infrastructure (e.g., prolonged loss of electrical power distribution) and major failures of information technology. Although terrorist outrages are a form of technological disaster, they are usually considered in a separate category (see Na-tech hazards).
      • Terrorism—The use of violence to procure terror for political or ideological motives or reasons of vengeance. Terrorism may be directed against military personnel, political or community leaders, or randomly against the general public. It may be carried out by individuals or groups, which may or may not have a valid grievance. Terrorists may aim to cause changes in society by a process of violent attrition. Whereas most reasonable people condemn terrorism as morally unacceptable, the dividing line between terrorist activity and fighting for freedom is not always entirely clear. Cyberterrorism is the use of information technology to attack institutions or companies through the Internet.
      • Training—see Education and training.
      • Trauma—Physical or psychological injury that requires rapid or immediate treatment by qualified health professionals.
      • Triage—A process of rationing scarce medical resources when demand peaks, especially in mass-casualty disasters. Patients are classified on the basis of whether some simple intervention is capable of making a significant difference to their prognosis. Thus, Red category patients are those whose lives are likely to be saved, or at least who can be brought out of danger, by rapid assistance. Black category patients are dead or moribund, and other categories can wait for assistance as their conditions are not life-threatening (cf. Disaster medicine).
      • Tropical cyclone—see Hurricane.
      • Tsunami—A body wave resulting from the abrupt displacement of a column of (usually deep) water that travels with high speed and low amplitude until it reaches shallow water and coastal environments. Bottom friction and conservation of energy then causes it to slow down and increase in amplitude, perhaps to more than ten meters. Tsunamis are caused by undersea or coastal earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or submarine landslides, potentially also by asteroid or meteorite impact. Ocean basin seismicity is the main cause of tsunamis (seismic sea waves), although cataclysmic volcanic eruptions have been known to create huge tsunamis. In a tsunami event there may be five or six main waves.
      • Typhoon—see Hurricane.
      • United Nations organization agencies—Various UN agencies participate in disaster relief. The main ones are the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), the High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), and the World Food Programme (WFP). Smaller organizations include INSARAG, the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group. The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction spearheads the fight for better disaster risk reduction, while the United Nations University, headquartered in Tokyo, but with bases in more than 20 countries, has provided valuable research on disasters.
      • Urban search and rescue—see Search and rescue (SAR).
      • Vector control—A vector is any living organism that carries an infectious agent and can transmit it from one host to another, thus creating the risk of an epidemic. Vector control of insect pests is achieved by measures that act upon the pest itself (e.g. insecticide) and on its habitat (e.g. drainage of marshes to reduce the risk of malaria).
      • Voluntary organizations—Charitable civil society associations composed of volunteers who bring relief, humanitarian aid, or other forms of assistance to the victims of disaster. Most such agencies are in the fire-fighting, medical response, or international humanitarian fields. However, there are others that provide, for example, radio communications or logistical support during emergencies.
      • Volunteer emergency responder—A member of civil society who works to bring relief to populations affected by emergencies and does not receive a stipend or salary. Spontaneous volunteerism has declined in recent years, and most volunteers are trained, equipped members of organizations.
      • Vulnerability—The propensity for harm to people, objects, society, economic activities, and infrastructure. Together with hazard, vulnerability is the main component of risk and may be the most important factor, as small hazards can cause big disasters if they affect highly vulnerable systems.
      • Warning—The process of issuing an alert and probably a set of instructions for action based on the prediction or forecast of an impending impact. The comprehensive business of recognizing the indicators of a developing situation and designing a strategy to inform stakeholders is sometimes termed early warning.
      • Welfare—A complex of indicators relating to human health and well-being. The indicators may be positive (e.g. regarding freedom from illness) or negative (e.g. regarding substance abuse or domestic violence). Ensuring welfare after disaster requires the provision of measures to guarantee adequate shelter and nutrition, healthcare, security, safety against hazards, and epidemiological surveillance.
      • Wildfire—An uncontrolled environmental fire (e.g., bushfire, forest fire, and range fire) with consequences that may be damaging for ecology, soil erosion, and adjacent human settlement. Wildfires can propagate along the ground surface, beneath it, or through the crowns of trees. High temperatures, dry conditions, and strong winds favor the spread of fires.
      • Window of opportunity—The situation that prevails for some days, weeks, or months after a disaster in which the general public and political leaders are highly sensitized to the need to improve safety and emergency response.
      • Zonation—The process of dividing up a region into areas of particular susceptibility to hazards, either singly, or as collections of risks. It can include zonation of vulnerability to hazards and contributes to knowledge of the “hazardousness of place,” or geographical variation in the distribution of risks (see also Microzonation).
      • Zoonosis—A disease, such as H1N1 influenza, which can be transferred from animals to humans. Large human populations that live in close proximity with pigs, cattle, and chickens are particularly susceptible.
      DavidAlexander, University of Florence

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      U.S. Department of Homeland Security

      National Preparedness Guidelines

      September 2007


      President Bush has led a committed effort to strengthen the Nation's preparedness capabilities. The national preparedness architecture encompasses the full spectrum of prevention, protection, response, and recovery efforts to prepare the Nation for all hazards - whether terrorist attack or natural disaster.

      Homeland Security Presidential Directive-8 (HSPD-8) of December 17, 2003 (“National Preparedness”) directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a national domestic all-hazards preparedness goal. As part of that effort, in March 2005 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the Interim National Preparedness Goal. Publication of the National Preparedness Guidelines (Guidelines) finalizes development of the national goal and its related preparedness tools.

      The Guidelines, including the supporting Target Capabilities List, simultaneously published online, supersedes the Interim National Preparedness Goal and defines what it means for the Nation to be prepared for all hazards. There are four critical elements of the Guidelines:

      • The National Preparedness Vision, which provides a concise statement of the core preparedness goal for the Nation.
      • The National Planning Scenarios, which depict a diverse set of high-consequence threat scenarios of both potential terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Collectively, the 15 scenarios are designed to focus contingency planning for homeland security preparedness work at all levels of government and with the private sector. The scenarios form the basis for coordinated Federal planning, training, exercises, and grant investments needed to prepare for emergencies of all types.
      • The Universal Task List (UTL), which is a menu of some 1,600 unique tasks that can facilitate efforts to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from the major events that are represented by the National Planning Scenarios. It presents a common vocabulary and identifies key tasks that support development of essential capabilities among organizations at all levels. Of course, no entity will perform every task.
      • The Target Capabilities List (TCL), which defines 37 specific capabilities that communities, the private sector, and all levels of government should collectively possess in order to respond effectively to disasters.

      The Guidelines reinforce the fact that preparedness is a shared responsibility. They were developed through an extensive process that involved more than 1,500 Federal, State, and local officials and more than 120 national associations. They also integrate lessons learned following Hurricane Katrina and a 2006 review of States' and major cities' emergency operations and evacuation plans.

      Protecting America requires constant vigilance and innovation. These Guidelines will shape and support preparedness activities in the months and years ahead, while growing and evolving with the Nation as it strengthens preparedness at all levels of government and within the private sector.

      —Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security, September 2007


      On December 17, 2003, the President issued HSPD-8. HSPD-8 established national policies to strengthen the preparedness of the United States to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies within the United States. HSPD-8 directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a national domestic all-hazards preparedness goal in coordination with the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies and in consultation with State, local, tribal, and territorial governments. The National Preparedness Guidelines (Guidelines) finalize development of the national preparedness goal and its related preparedness tools.

      The purposes of the Guidelines are to:

      • Organize and synchronize national (including Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial) efforts to strengthen national preparedness;
      • Guide national investments in national preparedness;
      • Incorporate lessons learned from past disasters into national preparedness priorities;
      • Facilitate a capability-based and risk-based investment planning process; and
      • Establish readiness metrics to measure progress and a system for assessing the Nation's overall preparedness capability to respond to major events, especially those involving acts of terrorism.

      The Guidelines include a vision, capabilities, and priorities for national preparedness. In order to support a consistent nationwide approach to implementation, the Guidelines establish three capabilities-based preparedness tools and a National Preparedness System - all of which are discussed in the sections that follow.


      The vision for the National Preparedness Guidelines is:

      A NATION PREPARED with coordinated capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from all hazards in a way that balances risk with resources and need.

      This vision is far-reaching. It recognizes that preparedness requires a coordinated national effort involving every level of government, as well as the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and individual citizens. It addresses capabilities-based preparedness for the full range of homeland security missions, from prevention through recovery. States, communities, and the Federal Government have worked together for decades to manage natural disasters and technological emergencies, particularly with regard to response and recovery. However, they have far less experience with terrorist attacks, particularly with regard to prevention and protection. The Guidelines address all hazards and place heavy emphasis on events at the catastrophic end of the risk continuum, especially terrorist attacks, which would require rapid and coordinated national action. The vision acknowledges that the Nation cannot achieve total preparedness for every possible contingency and that no two jurisdictions possess identical capability needs. We must weigh the relative risk of catastrophic events when determining the resources available to address each contingency and the unique needs of each community, determine how to best address needs in light of the risks, and thereby achieve optimal and reasonable levels of preparedness.

      The Guidelines are the Umbrella for a Range of Readiness Initiatives

      HSPD-8 is one of several presidential directives that address how the Nation should prepare to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from major incidents. Other presidential directives address the evolving threats posed by terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

      The Guidelines are umbrella documents that collate many plans, strategies, and systems into an overarching framework, the National Preparedness System. Plans and systems will be implemented and requirements will be matched with resources, consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

      Figure 1: The Guidelines in Context
      The Guidelines are all-Hazards

      As directed by the President in HSPD-8, the Guidelines adopt an all-hazards approach to preparedness. An all-hazards approach addresses capabilities-based preparedness to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.

      The Guidelines are Risk-Based

      The Guidelines establish a risk-based approach to preparedness. Risk is a function of three variables: threat, vulnerability, and consequence. Both threat and vulnerability are influenced by the probabilities of events that are highly uncertain. In order to compensate for that uncertainty, the Guidelines provide a set of National Planning Scenarios that represent a range of threats that warrant national attention. The National Planning Scenarios establish common assumptions to guide planning nationwide regarding potential vulnerabilities and consequences (or impacts) of major incidents. Analysis of the range of potential impacts is essential for defining capabilities in terms of both capacity (i.e., how many are needed) and proficiency (i.e., how well must they be able to perform). These capabilities must be reflected in emergency operations plans (for the near-term) and in preparedness strategies (for the long-term). Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial officials supplement this approach with risk assessments that provide additional data on their specific threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences. As a result, officials can tailor their approach according to differences in risk across the Nation.

      The Guidelines are a Call to Action

      Preparedness is the foundation of successful National Incident Management System (NIMS) implementation. The NIMS places responsibility on individual Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments and agencies for establishing a preparedness cycle in advance of an incident and for including the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and individual citizens, as appropriate. The cycle of preparedness for prevention, protection, response, and recovery missions may be summarized as follows:

      • Plan
      • Organize and Staff
      • Equip
      • Train
      • Exercise, Evaluate, and Improve

      Preparedness is the responsibility of every level of government, every department, and every agency consistent with its authorities. This includes coordinating preparedness activities among partners operating within their jurisdictional borders, as well as across jurisdictional and geographic borders when dictated by identified threats and risk assessments. Preparedness should be coordinated across the same multi-agency coordination entities as described in the NIMS. This is the basis for implementing the Guidelines, particularly the national priority to Expand Regional Collaboration (see Section 4.1).

      Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments, in cooperation with the private and non-profit sectors, each have a unique role in supporting the preparedness framework established by the Guidelines. All levels of government should integrate into their preparedness and response plans the capacity of community, faith-based, and other nongovernmental organizations. This integration includes engaging such organizations in the planning process, providing necessary training and credentialing of their personnel, providing necessary resource support for involvement in a joint response, and incorporating the organizations in training and exercises. Of highest importance is the development of mechanisms for coordination of the volunteers, goods, and services available through these organizations.

      The Guidelines provide a national framework for a capabilities-based preparedness system and are designed to be measurable so that progress can be determined and specific improvements can be made. Specific metrics and standards are under development for jurisdictions to use when conducting preparedness assessments. Additionally, a process is being established to measure the Nation's overall preparedness. (Guidance on institutionalizing the Guidelines is provided within the Secretary's Letter of Instruction in Appendix A.)


      The Guidelines establish a capabilities-based approach to preparedness. Simply put, a capability provides the means to accomplish a mission. The Guidelines address preparedness for all homeland security mission areas: prevention, protection, response, and recovery. Capabilities are presented alphabetically below by mission area for ease of reference (see Figure 2). Some capabilities cut across all mission areas and are therefore placed in a Common Mission Area.

      Figure 2: Capabilities

      A capability consists of the combination of elements required to deliver the desired outcome. Capability elements are consistent with the NIMS (see Figure 3).

      Figure 3: Elements of Capability

      Any combination of elements that delivers the desired outcome is acceptable (see Figure 4).

      Figure 4: Capabilities and Outcomes (Listed in Alphabetical Order)

      The challenge for government officials, working with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and individual citizens, is to determine the best way to build capabilities for bolstering preparedness and achieving the Guidelines. The “best way” will vary across the Nation. In order to assist officials in that effort, the Guidelines establish a Capabilities-Based Preparedness process and three planning tools: the National Planning Scenarios; the Target Capabilities List (TCL); and the Universal Task List (UTL), which are discussed in detail in Appendix B. The National Planning Scenarios are designed to identify the broad spectrum of tasks and capabilities needed for all-hazards preparedness. The TCL is a comprehensive catalog of capabilities to perform homeland security missions, including performance measures and metrics for common tasks. The UTL is a library and hierarchy of tasks by homeland security mission area. Capabilities-Based Preparedness encourages flexibility and requires collaboration. More importantly, it helps to ensure that operations planners and program managers across the Nation can use common tools and processes when making planning, training, equipment, and other investments, and can produce measurable results. For more information on how the Guidelines contribute to the development of specific homeland security capabilities, please refer to Appendix B.


      HSPD-8 directs that the Guidelines establish measurable readiness priorities and targets. The Guidelines include a series of national priorities to guide preparedness efforts that meet the Nation's most urgent needs (see Figure 5). The priorities reflect major themes and recurring issues identified in national strategies, presidential directives, State and Urban Area Homeland Security Strategies, the Hurricane Katrina Reports, and other lessons-learned reports. The priorities will be updated or refined over time as we implement the Guidelines or encounter changes in the homeland security strategic environment.

      Figure 5: National Priorities and Associated Capabilities

      Federal departments and agencies are required to review the national priorities periodically in order to ensure that Federal preparedness programs and initiatives support their implementation. They are also required to provide information on specific, concrete actions that will demonstrate progress in achieving these priorities in their annual program guidance. A brief discussion of the national priorities follows, including examples of major Federal programs that support each priority.

      Expand Regional Collaboration

      National Priority: Standardized structures and processes for regional collaboration enable entities collectively to manage and coordinate activities for operations and preparedness consistently and effectively.

      Discussion: Regional collaboration is critical to improving preparedness and achieving the tenets set forth in the Guidelines. As used in this document, a “region” generally refers to a geographic area consisting of contiguous Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions. Major events often have regional impact; therefore, prevention, protection, response, and recovery missions require extensive regional collaboration. It is vital to enhance efforts by Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial entities to communicate and coordinate with one another, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and individual citizens. The intent is to identify geographic regions that work best for achieving and sustaining coordinated capabilities and mutual aid agreements. Federal departments and agencies should foster those regional groupings through planning and Federal preparedness assistance. Formal arrangements among geographic regions will enable the Federal Government, working with States, territories, local, and tribal governments and other partners, to coordinate preparedness activities more effectively, spread costs, pool resources, disburse risk, and thereby increase the overall return on investment.

      One example of an initiative that supports this priority is the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) managed by DHS. This initiative focuses on a limited number of high-threat urban areas. The UASI also includes multi-jurisdictional metropolitan regions identified by States that do not have a designated urban area. Another example is the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI), led by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the United States Postal Service. This initiative focuses on selected cities to help them prepare to provide life-saving interventions through the timely delivery of medicines and medical supplies during a large-scale public health emergency. The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a State-to-State partnership coordinated by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), also supports this priority. The EMAC was congressionally ratified in 1996 to provide a fast and flexible response system through which States send requested personnel and equipment to help disaster relief efforts in other States. All 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have enacted legislation to become members of the EMAC. During Hurricane Katrina, EMAC provided interstate mutual aid in the response effort by deploying more than 67,000 personnel to Louisiana and Mississippi.

      Additional information on Homeland Security Grant Programs such as UASI can be found online at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/odp/grants_programs.htm

      Additional information on the Cities Readiness Initiative can be found online at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/cri/

      Additional information on the EMAC can be found online at: http://www.emacweb.org

      Implement the National Incident Management System and National Response Plan

      National Priority: The National Incident Management System (NIMS) and National Response Plan (NRP) are fully implemented nationwide and support the coordinated development of capabilities.

      Discussion: Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5 (HSPD-5) (“Management of Domestic Incidents”) of February 28, 2003, mandated the development of the NIMS and the NRP. The NIMS, released in March 2004, provides a consistent framework for government entities at all levels to work together to manage domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity. The NIMS includes a core set of guidelines, standards, and protocols for command and management, preparedness, resource management, communications and information management, supporting technologies, and coordination and maintenance to promote interoperability and compatibility among Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial capabilities.

      The NRP, using the template established by the NIMS, was released in December 2004. The NRP is an all-discipline, all-hazards plan that establishes a single, comprehensive framework for the management of domestic incidents. It provides the structure and mechanisms for evolving or potential incidents requiring a coordinated Federal response. The NRP is always in effect. However, the NRP coordinating structures and processes are flexible and scalable and can be activated at different levels depending on the nature of the threat or incident. Actions range in scope from ongoing situational reporting and analysis, through the implementation of NRP Incident Annexes and other supplemental Federal contingency plans, to full implementation of all relevant NRP coordination mechanisms.

      In May 2006, DHS published a Notice of Change to the NRP in order to address a limited number of issues requiring amendments prior to the official review of the NRP. The alterations, or in some cases, clarifications, were based on lessons learned from exercises and real-world events. The modifications in the Notice of Change strengthened national doctrine and operating concepts for incidents requiring a coordinated Federal response. All Federal departments and agencies, and other NRP signatories, are required to implement and operate under the concepts of the NRP.

      Since then, DHS has worked closely with stakeholders to revise the National Response Plan (NRP). Because the issues are complex and require national-level policy decisions, DHS is working on an updated document that addresses the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and incident management structures. DHS will release the new draft of the NRP once stakeholders have been able to review and comment on the document. In the meantime, the structures and mechanisms of the original NRP, with modifications from the May 2006 Notice of Change, are still intact and should be used for any hazard or threat occurring prior to the approval and release of the revised NRP.

      Additional information on the NIMS can be found online at: http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nims/

      Additional information on the NRP can be found online at: http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/editorial/editorial_0566.xml

      Implement the National Infrastructure Protection Plan

      National Priority: The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) is fully implemented nationwide and supports the coordinated development of critical infrastructure protection capabilities.

      Discussion: The Homeland Security Act of 2002 directs DHS to ensure the protection of the Nation's critical infrastructure and key resources (CI/KR). Homeland Security Presidential Directive-7 (HSPD-7) (“Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization, and Protection”) of December 17, 2003, directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a national plan, working closely with other Federal departments and agencies, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and the private sector, to unify the Nation's efforts to protect CI/KR. The NIPP is the comprehensive risk management framework that clearly defines critical infrastructure protection roles and responsibilities for all levels of government, private industry, nongovernmental agencies, and tribal partners. The NIPP lays out the plan for setting requirements for infrastructure protection, which will help ensure our government, economy, and public services continue in the event of a terrorist attack or other disaster. The NIPP was released on June 30, 2006. The purpose of the NIPP is to “build a safer, more secure, and more resilient America by enhancing protection of the Nation's CI/KR to prevent, deter, neutralize, or mitigate the effects of deliberate efforts by terrorists to destroy, incapacitate, or exploit them; and to strengthen national preparedness, timely response, and rapid recovery in the event of an attack, natural disaster, or other emergency.”

      Achieving that national priority requires meeting a series of objectives that include: understanding and sharing information about terrorist threats and other hazards; building security partnerships; implementing a long-term risk management program; and maximizing the efficient use of resources. Measuring progress toward implementing the NIPP requires that CI/KR security partners have the following:

      • Coordinated, risk-based CI/KR plans and programs in place addressing known and potential threats;
      • Structures and processes that are flexible and adaptable, both to incorporate operational lessons learned and effective practices, and also to adapt quickly to a changing threat or incident environment;
      • Processes in place to identify and address dependencies and interdependencies to allow for more timely and effective implementation of short-term protective actions and more rapid response and recovery; and
      • Access to robust information-sharing networks that include relevant intelligence, threat analysis, and real-time incident reporting.

      The NIPP details actions to accomplish the following:

      • Implement a risk management framework to guide CI/KR protection programs and activities;
      • Strengthen linkages between physical and cyber, as well as domestic and international CI/KR protection efforts;
      • Enhance and sustain information sharing and public-private sector coordination;
      • Integrate steady-state CI/KR protection programs in an all-hazards environment;
      • Integrate CI/KR protection as part of the homeland security mission;
      • Maximize efficient use of resources for CI/KR protection; and
      • Achieve an effective and efficient national CI/KR protection program over the longer term.

      Sector-Specific Plans (SSPs) detail each sector's specific approach for executing the NIPP risk management framework, including setting sector security supporting goals, inventorying assets, assessing risks, prioritizing assets, implementing protective programs, and measuring progress toward CI/KR protection.

      For more information, the NIPP is available online at: http://www.dhs.gov/nipp

      Comments and questions can be sent to: NIPP@dhs.gov

      Strengthen Information Sharing and Collaboration Capabilities

      National Priority: Information sharing and collaboration capabilities are developed to target levels in the States, tribal areas, territories, and designated urban areas that are consistent with measures and metrics established in the TCL.

      Discussion: This national priority focuses on the Intelligence and Information Sharing and Dissemination and the Counter-Terror Investigations and Law Enforcement capabilities outlined in the TCL. It is also closely linked to the national priority to Strengthen Interoperable and Operable Communications Capabilities (see Section 4.5). A common operating picture can only be achieved through a national information management system supported by an operational interoperable communications network.

      The Intelligence and Information Sharing and Dissemination capability refers to the multi-jurisdictional, multidisciplinary exchange and dissemination of information and intelligence among entities at all levels of government, as well as nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, and citizens. Intelligence is derived by gathering, analyzing, and fusing relevant information from a wide range of sources on a continual basis. Successful homeland security efforts require a national information management system that provides an effective and seamless capability to gather, analyze, disseminate, and use information regarding threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences to support prevention and response efforts. As the response to Hurricane Katrina demonstrated, prompt and effective information sharing and reporting is essential for response activities. Successful responses are dependent upon real-time, accurate situational awareness of both the facts from the disaster area and ongoing response activities. Strengthened information sharing and collaboration capabilities will enable a more accurate situational awareness and allow development of a real-time common operating picture. To support these efforts, government departments and agencies need a single reporting system (or system of systems) to ensure critical information reaches the appropriate decision-makers and the public in a timely manner. The Law Enforcement Investigation and Operations Counter-Terror Investigations and Law Enforcement capability contributes to successful deterrence, detection, disruption, investigation, and apprehension of suspects involved in terrorism and related criminal activities. Law enforcement and other appropriate personnel must be partners in the Intelligence and Information Sharing and Dissemination capability to conduct successful investigations.

      The President and the Congress have directed the creation of an Information Sharing Environment (ISE) to provide and facilitate the means for sharing terrorism information among all appropriate Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as private sector entities, through the issuance of policy guidelines and technologies. A number of Federal initiatives support this national priority, including the following:

      • Establishment of an ISE Program Manager position in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. On November 16, 2006, the Director of National Intelligence delivered the ISE Implementation Plan to the Congress. The report provides a vision, strategy, and roadmap for developing a comprehensive implementation plan and outlines the activities to be undertaken by the ISE Program Manager, Federal departments and agencies, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and private sector entities.
      • Establishment of the Information Sharing and Collaboration Office within DHS to serve as the DHS focal point for information sharing policy, coordination, and implementation both within DHS and with the Department's partners to achieve effective information sharing and collaboration.
      • Embedding intelligence and operational personnel from the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis in State and local fusion centers. These deployed professionals will facilitate the flow of timely, actionable, all-hazard information across State and local governments as well as the national intelligence and law enforcement communities.
      • Expansion of the Homeland Security Information Network, managed by DHS, to strengthen the real-time, collaborative information flow among homeland security partners.
      • Establishment of the Law Enforcement Information Sharing Program, which provides data exchange services that enhance the information-sharing capabilities of the Department of Justice (DOJ). One component of that capability is provided by the Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF), led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The JTTF enhances communication, coordination, and cooperation among agencies at all levels of government representing intelligence, law enforcement, defense, diplomatic, public safety, and homeland security disciplines by providing a point of fusion for terrorism intelligence. Another component of this capability is provided by the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Councils led by the U.S. Attorneys, which also facilitate information sharing among law enforcement organizations at all levels of government.

      Additional information on the Homeland Security Information Network can be found online at: http://www.dhs.gov/xinfoshare/programs/gc_1156888108137.shtm

      Additional information on FBI and related DOJ efforts in this area can be found online at: http://www.fbi.gov/terrorinfo/counterrorism/waronterrorhome.htm

      Additional information on the ISE can be found online at: http://www.ise.gov

      Strengthen Interoperable and Operable Communications Capabilities

      National Priority: Interoperable and operable communications capabilities are developed to target levels in the States, tribal areas, territories, and designated urban areas that are consistent with measures and metrics established in the TCL.

      Discussion: This national priority focuses on the communications capability from the TCL. Communications interoperability is the ability of public safety agencies (including police, fire, EMS, etc.) and service agencies (including public works, transportation, hospitals, etc.) to talk within and across agencies and jurisdictions via radio and associated communications systems; exchange voice, data, and/or video with one another on demand; and do so in real time, when needed, and when authorized.

      Prior disasters and emergencies, as well as State and Urban Area Homeland Security Strategies and status reports on interoperable communications, have shown persistent shortfalls in achieving communications interoperability. These shortfalls demonstrate a need for a national framework fostering the identification of communications requirements and definition of technical standards. State and local authorities, working in partnership with DHS, need to establish statewide interoperable communications plans and a national interoperability baseline to assess the current state of communications interoperability. Achieving interoperable communications and creating effective mechanisms for sharing information are long-term projects that require Federal leadership and a collaborative approach to planning that involves all levels of government as well as the private sector.

      DHS recently established the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) to integrate and coordinate the Department's interoperable communications programs. OEC now manages the Interoperable Communications Technical Assistance Program (ICTAP), the interoperable communications policy development component of SAFECOM, and the Integrated Wireless Network (IWN) program. ICTAP provides direct technical assistance to State, local, tribal, and territorial emergency responders and public safety officials in coordination with the UASI grant program (see section 4.1 above). ICTAP leverages and works with other Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial interoperability efforts to enhance the overall capacity for agencies and individuals to communicate. SAFECOM promotes, coordinates, and provides assistance to the efforts of Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial public safety agencies to strengthen interoperable communications capabilities. SAFECOM emphasizes a practitioner-driven approach in addressing communications interoperability. IWN is a collaborative effort by the Departments of the Treasury, Justice, and Homeland Security, to provide a consolidated nationwide Federal wireless communications system with integrated services (voice, data, and multimedia) in support of first responder and homeland security missions.

      The Nationwide Interoperable Communications Baseline Survey and Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan initiatives confirm that successful interoperability lies in the development of governance structures, standard operating procedures, training and exercises, and well-defined usage of interoperable communications.

      Additional information on SAFECOM can be found online at: http://www.safecomprogram.gov/SAFECOM

      Additional information on IWN can be found online at: http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/iwn/

      Additional information on TICP can be found online at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/odp/ta_ictap.htm

      Additional information on the Nationwide Interoperable Communications Baseline Survey can be found online at: http://www.safecomprogram.gov/SAFECOM/library/background/1295_2006national.htm

      Strengthen CBRNE Detection, Response, and Decontamination Capabilities

      National Priority: Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) detection, response, and decontamination capabilities are developed to target levels in the States, tribal areas, territories, and designated urban areas that are consistent with measures and metrics established in the TCL.

      Discussion: This national priority focuses on three capabilities from the TCL: CBRNE Detection; Explosive Device Response Operations; and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Hazardous Materials Response and Decontamination. The National Security Strategy issued in March 2006 notes that there are few threats greater than a terrorist attack with WMD. CBRNE materials can be used as WMD to produce thousands of casualties in a single attack. The Nation's capability to detect and respond to such incidents is imperative. Because the potential number of terrorist targets is large, and the threats and means of delivery are varied, the Nation must develop a layered defense against WMD. An effective CBRNE detection infrastructure will ensure CBRNE materials are rapidly detected, identified, and safely managed at borders, critical locations, events, and incidents. By their nature, CBRNE materials differ in detection and characterization methodologies. CBRNE response includes activities to address the immediate and short-term actions to preserve life, property, and the environment, as well as the social, economic, and political structure of the community, State, and Nation. It is critical that all levels of government coordinate the development of interagency response protocols prior to the deployment of detection technology. Additional response activities are required post-release/detonation. The ability to rapidly decontaminate large numbers of affected persons is critical in preventing injury or death.

      This national priority leverages efforts throughout government to develop capabilities to detect, neutralize, contain, dismantle, and dispose of CBRNE materials, and decontaminate exposed personnel and property. State, local, tribal, and territorial agencies and their hazardous materials response teams are key players in early detection, response, and decontamination. At the Federal level, different departments and agencies are key players for aspects of CBRNE detection, response, and decontamination. These include the following: the Departments of Defense, Justice, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Energy, and Homeland Security; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

      Additional information on the NRP as it relates to CBRNE can be found online at: http://www.dhs.gov/nationalresponseplan

      Strengthen Medical Surge and Mass Prophylaxis Capabilities

      National Priority: Medical surge and mass prophylaxis capabilities are developed to target levels in the States, tribal areas, territories, and designated urban areas that are consistent with measures and metrics established in the TCL.

      Discussion: This national priority focuses on the Medical Surge and Mass Prophylaxis capabilities outlined in the TCL. The Medical Surge and Mass Prophylaxis capabilities are the first lines of response to bioterrorism, pandemic influenza, and other public health emergencies. The Medical Surge capability is prioritized because of the urgent need to enable our healthcare system, particularly hospitals, to handle large numbers of patients requiring immediate hospitalization following any type of incident. The ability to triage and provide decontamination when necessary is essential. Emergency-ready hospitals and other healthcare entities must be able to work collectively to handle different types of injuries, including physical and psychological trauma, burns, infections, bone marrow suppression, or other chemical- or radiation-induced injuries. Finally, in anticipation of a mass casualty incident that exceeds the aggregate surge capacity of local hospitals, the community of medical providers must have provisions in place to immediately accommodate an influx of supplemental healthcare assets from mutual-aid partners, States, and the Federal Government. The Mass Prophylaxis capability requires public health departments to organize and direct a mass prophylaxis campaign within an extremely short timeframe, should one be needed to prevent illness and/or death in the face of a potential or actual mass casualty incident. A mass prophylaxis campaign would require more staff than what is normally available at a public health department to fulfill all functional roles. Therefore, it is critical to involve other staffing sources (e.g., first responders, nongovernmental organizations, and volunteers) in the campaign. The Cities Readiness Initiative is a pilot project to assist cities in increasing their capacity to deliver medicines and supplies for mass prophylaxis during a large-scale public health emergency (see Section 4.1). HHS provides many Federal programs that support this priority. Two of the 12 HHS readiness objectives for State and local public health emergency preparedness support this priority. The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 addresses the need to enhance public health and healthcare readiness for bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. The Nation needs emergency-ready public health and healthcare services in every community as a first line of response to such threats.

      Also, as envisioned in the NRP and “Biodefense for the 21st Century,” the Nation needs to strengthen Federal capabilities (such as the National Disaster Medical System and the Strategic National Stockpile) to assist and augment State, local, tribal, and territorial emergency response efforts as necessary, especially in responding to mass casualty incidents. Within HHS, the Office of the Secretary administers the National Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program. This program enhances the ability of the Nation's hospitals and the healthcare system to prepare for and respond to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. The CDC administers the Cooperative Agreement on Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism. CDC funds are intended to upgrade State and local public health jurisdictions' preparedness for and response to the priorities identified in authorizing legislation.

      Additional information on HHS readiness priorities can be found online at: http://www.hhs.gov/ophep/npgs.html

      Additional information on Medical Surge can be found online at: http://www.hrsa.gov/bioterrorism/

      Additional information on Mass Prophylaxis can be found on the CDC Coordinating Office of Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response website at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov

      Community Preparedness: Strengthening Planning and Citizen Capabilities

      National Priority: Planning and citizen preparedness capabilities are developed to target levels in the States, tribal areas, territories, and designated urban areas that are consistent with measures and metrics established in the TCL.

      Discussion: This national priority focuses on the Planning, Citizen Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place, Mass Care (sheltering, feeding, and related services), and Community Preparedness and Participation capabilities from the TCL. Hurricane Katrina demonstrated not only the need for renewed emphasis on planning capabilities, especially emergency operations planning, but also on citizen preparedness. In a speech from Jackson Square in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, President Bush highlighted emergency planning as a “national security priority.” The Nation's homeland security system is highly complex, with multiple objectives, partners, and needs. Plans help make sense of this complex homeland environment. Planning is a methodical way to think through the entire life-cycle of a potential crisis. Good planning repays the investment of time and effort in development and rehearsal by shortening the time required to gain control over an incident and by providing favorable conditions for rapid and effective exchange of information about a situation, its analysis, and alternative responses. Planning helps Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments reorient capabilities and resources to be more agile and ensures organizational structures, processes, and procedures effectively support the intended strategic direction. As stakeholders learn and practice their roles, they can reduce uncertainty, expedite response, and improve effectiveness during the critical initial stages after an event. This effort is a key to success in protecting people and property in crises.

      The DHS Appropriations Act of 2006 directed DHS to complete a comprehensive nationwide review of catastrophic planning, including planning for mass evacuations, sheltering, and related services. DHS completed the Nationwide Plan Review in June 2006. The first phase of the effort included analysis and reporting from States, territories, and urban areas regarding the status of their plans, including when their plans were last updated and their confidence in the plans to manage a catastrophic event. The second phase involved a peer review, validation of the self-assessments, determination of requirements for planning assistance, and identification of initial conclusions for strengthening plans for catastrophic events. The Nationwide Plan Review was an initial step in establishing a shared contingency planning process to develop sound plans that describe in detail how Federal, State, and local governments will jointly accomplish their respective missions and employ the full range of capabilities at their disposal to achieve overall national objectives.

      As uniformed emergency responders constitute less than one percent of the total U.S. population, it is clear that citizens must be better prepared, trained, and practiced on how best to take care of themselves and assist others in those first, crucial hours during and after a catastrophic incident. Citizens can reduce the demand for emergency assistance during catastrophic incidents through preparedness measures and actively contribute to the Nation's response capability by participating in response and recovery activities. A trained and involved public will provide the Nation with a critical surge capacity to augment government efforts in a catastrophic incident. During Hurricane Katrina, many citizens exercised appropriate precautionary and response actions and many citizens volunteered to support the response and recovery efforts. In February 2006, the White House released “The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned,” which emphasizes that “citizen and community preparedness are among the most effective means of preventing terrorist attacks, as well as protecting against, mitigating, responding to, and recovering from all hazards…. [i]f every family developed their own emergency preparedness plan, they almost certainly would reduce the demand for outside emergency resources.” Through the Ready Campaign and the nationwide network of State and local Citizen Corps Councils, DHS will focus on strengthening citizen preparedness capabilities, particularly for special needs and socially vulnerable populations.

      Additional information on FEMA and Planning can be found online at: http://www.fema.gov/plan/

      Additional information on planning standards can be found online at: http://www.nfpa.org/PDF/nfpa1600.pdf?src=nfpa

      Additional information on Community Preparedness and Participation can be found online at: http://www.citizencorps.gov/

      Additional information on the Ready Campaign can be found online at: http://www.ready.gov/

      A National Preparedness System Supports the Guidelines

      “We must now translate [these National Preparedness Guidelines] into a robust preparedness system that includes integrated plans, procedures, policies, training, and capabilities at all levels of government. The System must also incorporate the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, faith-based groups, and communities, including individual citizens.”

      —The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina, Lessons Learned, February 2006

      The National Preparedness System provides a way to organize preparedness activities and programs pursuant to the National Preparedness Guidelines (see Figure 6). The desired end-state of our National Preparedness System is to achieve and sustain coordinated capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from all hazards in a way that balances risk with resources.

      Figure 6: National Preparedness System

      The National Preparedness System provides opportunities for all levels of government, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and individual citizens to work together to achieve priorities and capabilities outlined in the Guidelines. Many actions will be concurrent. They are described below in order of sequence:

      • Policy and Doctrine involves ongoing management and maintenance of national policy and doctrine for operations and preparedness, such as the NIMS, NRP, NIPP, and the Guidelines.
      • Planning and Resource Allocation involves application of common planning processes and tools by government officials, working with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and individual citizens to identify requirements, allocate resources, and build and maintain coordinated capabilities that are prioritized based upon risk.
      • Training, Exercises, and Lessons Learned involves delivery of training and exercises and performance evaluation to identify lessons learned and share effective practices.
      • Assessment and Reporting involves assessments based on established readiness metrics and reporting on progress and effectiveness of efforts to achieve the vision of the Guidelines.
      Management and Maintenance

      Because the Guidelines will be implemented over time through a wide range of preparedness programs and activities, they do not include specific implementation instructions (guidance on institutionalizing the Guidelines is within the Letter of Instruction at Appendix A). Guidance on Guidelines implementation will also be supported by changes in requirements for receiving Federal preparedness assistance, annual Federal program guidance, and Federal regulations, to the extent permitted by law. Many programs and activities are already consistent with the Guidelines and simply need to be implemented in closer coordination. Other partners might need to initiate or reorient programs and initiatives (along with measurable objectives) to implement the Guidelines. Implementation and partner feedback will inform future refinements to the Guidelines. DHS will coordinate the establishment of a national-level structure and process for the ongoing management and maintenance of the Guidelines. This will be closely coordinated with similar structures and processes for the NIMS, NRP, NIPP, and other elements of the National Preparedness System in order to help ensure national policy and planning for operations and preparedness are mutually supportive.

      DHS is committed to working with its homeland security partners in updating and maintaining the Guidelines and related documents as part of a unified National Preparedness System, which will help ensure coordinated strategies, plans, procedures, policies, training, and capabilities at all levels of government. Implementation of the National Preparedness System is well under way. It is building on assessments of risk, development of management policies and strategies, identification of specific missions and supporting tasks in comprehensive plans, and matching of capabilities against requirements to execute these policies, strategies, and plans. Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments will participate in assessments of readiness on a regular basis. The National Preparedness System will emphasize feedback and periodic reassessment to ensure the current state of preparedness is based on readiness metrics and is used as the basis for policy and programmatic decisions. HSPD-8 requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide to the President annual status reports on the Nation's level of preparedness, including State capabilities, the readiness of Federal civil response assets, the utilization of mutual aid, and an assessment of how Federal preparedness programs support the Guidelines. These reports will contribute to updates of the Guidelines.

      Letter of Instruction

      The National Preparedness Guidelines (Guidelines) are formally established upon issuance and supersede the Interim National Preparedness Goal issued on March 31, 2005. The Guidelines provide an overarching vision, tools, and priorities to shape national preparedness. The Guidelines do not include an implementation plan; implementation will occur over time through a wide range of Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial preparedness programs and activities. For example, Federal program offices will develop detailed plans that describe how their programs support Guidelines implementation in consultation with their stakeholders. Those details must be reflected in annual program guidance, in the form of measurable objectives and requirements. DHS will monitor those efforts and advise program offices and DHS leadership on progress and opportunities to improve synchronization. Implementation and feedback will inform future refinement of the Guidelines.


      This section outlines roles and responsibilities of Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, and citizens in implementing the preparedness framework outlined by the Guidelines. Specifically, this section provides examples of potential activities for the purpose of outlining the way forward. Guidelines implementation will also be supported by changes in requirements for receiving Federal preparedness assistance, annual Federal program guidance, and Federal regulations to the extent permitted by law. Many programs and activities are already consistent with the Guidelines and simply need to be implemented in closer coordination. Nothing in HSPD-8 alters or impedes the ability of government officials to perform their responsibilities under law.

      Department of Homeland Security

      As the lead for implementation of the preparedness framework outlined by the Guidelines, DHS shall do the following:

      • Coordinate the establishment of a management and maintenance structure and process for the Guidelines, including the Capabilities-Based Preparedness tools and the assessment system;
      • As outlined in HSPD-8, coordinate consistency with the Guidelines among Federal departments and agencies associated with the following:
        • Federal preparedness assistance;
        • First responder equipment standards;
        • Preparedness research and development activities;
        • Federal training programs;
        • National Exercise Program;
        • Interagency planning processes;
        • Performance measurements for national preparedness;
        • Relevant Federal regulatory requirements; and
        • Federal assets in support of State, local, territorial, and tribal government operations.
      • Address other HSPD-8 requirements, as appropriate.
      State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Governments and Nongovernmental Organizations

      State, local, tribal, and territorial governments and nongovernmental organizations are encouraged to do the following:

      • Participate in the development and implementation of the management and maintenance structure and process for the Guidelines, including the Capabilities-Based Preparedness tools and the assessment system;
      • Participate in Guidelines implementation by ascertaining their capability levels and their respective requirements, and by consulting in the development of program plans and guidance documents;
      • Adopt a step-by-step capability preparedness process similar to that described in Appendix B to ensure that their respective homeland security programs are administered in a manner that is consistent with the Guidelines and enhance the National Priorities;
      • Participate in regional initiatives to identify and synchronize the availability of existing and future capabilities that may be accessible through mutual aid agreements;
      • Define appropriate support roles for employees to perform as emergency staff to fulfill capabilities, and support the development and maintenance of an inventory of capabilities; and
      • Address other HSPD-8 requirements as appropriate.
      Private Sector

      As stated in HSPD-8, appropriate private sector entities are encouraged to do the following:

      • Incorporate the safety and security of people and assets into business plans and corporate strategies;
      • Participate in the development and implementation of the management and maintenance structure and process for the Guidelines, including the Capabilities-Based Preparedness tools and the assessment system;
      • Participate in Guidelines implementation by determining requirements and achieving capabilities, and by consulting in the development of program plans and guidance documents;
      • Participate in State, local, tribal, territorial, and regional planning and assessment processes to comply with the Guidelines and TCL; and
      • Address other HSPD-8 requirements as appropriate.

      As stated in HSPD-7, private sector entities are encouraged to do the following:

      • Work with the relevant Sector-Specific Agencies to identify, prioritize, and coordinate the protection of critical infrastructure and key resources in conformance with the National Infrastructure Protection Plan; and
      • Share information about physical and cyber threats, vulnerabilities, incidents, potential protective measures, and effective practices.
      Federal Departments and Agencies

      To support the Federal role in implementing the preparedness framework outlined in the Guidelines, Federal departments and agencies (including DHS) shall do the following:

      • Support and participate in the management and maintenance structure and process developed for the Guidelines, associated tools, and Capabilities-Based Preparedness process;
      • Initiate or re-orient programs and initiatives (along with measurable objectives) to implement the Guidelines. The following step-by-step process is suggested for use by Federal departments and agencies to ensure that their respective homeland security assistance programs are administered in a manner that is consistent with the Guidelines and enhances the National Priorities. This process description will be refined over time with user feedback and supplemented with specific instructions, if necessary and if requested. This process is not intended to substitute or impede department or agency autonomy for determining how individual programs and initiatives will be modified to help implement the Guidelines:
        • Step 1: Analyze the Guidelines and Identify Applicable Programs — Review the Guidelines to understand the intent, direction, and requirements for national preparedness. Identify preparedness programs - including initiatives to address Hurricane Katrina Lessons Learned - that are applicable to the Guidelines. A program or initiative is applicable to the Guidelines if its objectives support any of the National Priorities or the capabilities identified in the TCL. Applicable programs and initiatives may consist of grants, training, exercises, equipment, technical assistance, and response capabilities to Federal, State, local, tribal, territorial, nongovernmental, or private sector entities. Departments and agencies will periodically update and communicate to DHS (as requested) this inventory of programs and initiatives, along with their status in supporting the Guidelines. This information will be used for the Annual Report to the President on National Preparedness;
        • Step 2: Assess Program and Guidelines Consistency — Assess the services provided by each applicable program or initiative to determine their consistency with the Guidelines. Details on relevant programs and initiatives should be shared and coordinated with DHS and the Homeland Security Council (HSC) to ensure an integrated approach and action plan for Guidelines implementation. The HSC is responsible for coordinating the development of national homeland security policy. DHS, with oversight from the HSC, is responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of homeland security program plans and annual program guidance among Federal departments and agencies. Compliant Federal programs shall define interconnected and complementary objectives, timelines, and requirements designed to synchronize with the Guidelines;
        • Step 3: Align Guidelines Implementation with Budget and Program Schedules — To the greatest extent possible, Federal departments and agencies should modify applicable program plans and policies to be consistent with the Guidelines. Federal departments and agencies should notify DHS of program reforms that cannot be completed in the upcoming budget cycle and should begin the process for implementing reforms in future-year budget cycles in a manner that comports with their overall mission priorities;
        • Step 4: Modify Applicable Programs — Each applicable program should conform its operations to be consistent with the Guidelines. Conformance with the Guidelines may warrant reforms to the administration, goals, objectives, accompanying guidance, published materials, permitted uses, application process, award criteria, and other components of the applicable program. Conformance will also necessitate the integration of quantifiable preparedness and performance measures outlined in the TCL within relevant applicable programs - including applications, award criteria, and project evaluations - to monitor the progress of the program and its beneficiaries to advance the Guidelines. Federal departments and agencies should modify application and award processes to adopt the Capabilities-Based Preparedness process (See Appendix B) and to monitor and report the application of applicable homeland security programs in furtherance of the priorities and capabilities set forth in the Guidelines and TCL;
        • Step 5: Notify Stakeholders — As soon as it is practicable, notify all appropriate partners and beneficiaries of the applicable preparedness and response programs about the reforms and their corresponding relationship to the Guidelines, TCL, and national initiatives. Such notice may also include a solicitation of comments and suggestions for future changes to the Guidelines and TCL;
        • Step 6: Maintenance — Monitor the administration of the applicable programs to ensure that they support the Guidelines. Participate in the DHS management and maintenance process by submitting suggestions and comments to DHS. Comments may include any function of reforming applicable programs to the Guidelines and should specifically identify inconsistencies with other ongoing initiatives, implementation difficulties, and recommended modifications to the TCL to ensure that it represents the most current means of measuring national preparedness. Agencies should identify how relevant data on program priorities, performance measures, and capability assessments will be collected and integrated with national reporting efforts;
      • Support the development and maintenance of an inventory of Federal programs that support capabilities outlined in the Guidelines; and
      • Address other HSPD-8 requirements as appropriate.

      As directed in HSPD-8, DHS will work with all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to encourage active citizen participation and involvement in preparedness. DHS along with Federal, State, local, tribal and territorial governments, and private and nonprofit sectors should focus on efforts to accomplish the following:

      • Integrate and institutionalize citizen participation in all homeland security efforts nationwide;
      • Support a culture of preparedness by fostering collaboration and integration of all community resources (citizens, nongovernmental organizations, private sector, and faith-based organizations) with preparedness efforts at all levels of government through mechanisms, such as Citizen Corps Councils, to conduct awareness and outreach campaigns to deliver the message of personal responsibility to “prepare, train, and volunteer,” and to motivate all Americans to take action to reduce their vulnerability and increase resilience;
      • Encourage citizen training and volunteer opportunities through programs such as Community Emergency Response Teams, Medical Reserve Corps, Fire Corps, Volunteers in Police Service, Neighborhood Watch, Citizens' Academy, Ready Kids, and Ready Business;
      • Focus on special needs populations, such as people with disabilities, language and cultural differences, economic barriers, and age-related issues and concerns;
      • Develop standards, recognition incentives, and assessment and evaluation criteria for citizen preparedness and participation;
      • Share lessons learned and effective practices from communities around the country; and
      • Identify Cabinet Secretaries and other prominent public figures to serve as spokespersons to promote citizen and community preparedness.
      Capabilities-Based Preparedness Overview

      The National Preparedness Guidelines (Guidelines) are supported by a capabilities-based approach to planning for major events. Capabilities-Based Preparedness is a form of all-hazards planning. This Appendix provides an overview of Capabilities-Based Preparedness and outlines a process that Federal, State, regional, and local preparedness programs can utilize as Capabilities-Based Preparedness is adopted and institutionalized nationwide. It is organized into three sections:

      • Definition
      • Planning Tools Referenced in the Guidelines
      • Capabilities-Based Preparedness Process

      Capabilities-Based Preparedness is defined as:

      …preparing, under uncertainty, to provide capabilities suitable for a wide range of challenges while working within an economic framework that necessitates prioritization and choice.

      Capabilities-Based Preparedness is a way to make informed choices about how to manage the risk and reduce the impact posed by potential threats. It focuses decision making on building and maintaining capabilities to prevent and protect against challenges (e.g., intelligence analysis, critical infrastructure protection, etc.) and to respond and recover when events occur (e.g., onsite incident management, medical surge, emergency public information, and economic recovery). The process rests on a foundation of multi-disciplinary, cross-governmental, and regional collaboration to determine measurable capability targets, to assess current levels of capabilities, and to find ways to close the gaps. As entities make choices in preparedness programs and activities, they will be able to improve their own preparedness, focus available assistance on areas of greatest need, and collaborate with others using a common reference framework.

      Capabilities are defined as providing:

      …the means to accomplish a mission or function and achieve desired outcomes by performing critical tasks, under specified conditions, to target levels of performance.

      The 37 capabilities referenced in the Guidelines span the full spectrum of homeland security missions. While the listing does not yet encompass every function that must be accomplished to prevent, protect against, respond to, or recover from a major event, it nonetheless offers a comprehensive starting point for planning. Each capability is described in detail in the Target Capabilities List (TCL), which accompanies the Guidelines. The description includes a definition, outcome, preparedness and performance activities, tasks, and measures.

      Planning Tools Referenced in the Guidelines

      The National Preparedness Guidelines utilize and reference three Capabilities-Based Preparedness tools: the National Planning Scenarios, the TCL, and the Universal Task List (UTL).

      National Planning Scenarios

      While preparedness applies across the all-hazards spectrum, the 2002 National Strategy for Homeland Security attaches special emphasis to preparing for catastrophic threats with “the greatest risk of mass casualties, massive property loss, and immense social disruption.” To illustrate the potential scope, magnitude, and complexity of a range of major events, the Homeland Security Council—in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), other Federal departments and agencies, and State, local, tribal, and territorial governments—developed the National Planning Scenarios. The 15 Scenarios include terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. They are listed in Figure B-1.

      Figure B-1: National Planning Scenarios

      National Planning Scenarios Improvised Nuclear DeviceMajor EarthquakeAerosol AnthraxMajor HurricanePandemic InfluenzaRadiological Dispersal DevicePlagueImprovised Explosive DeviceBlister AgentFood ContaminationToxic Industrial ChemicalsForeign Animal DiseaseNerve AgentCyber AttackChlorine Tank ExplosionAll levels of government can use the National Planning Scenarios as a reference to explore the potential consequences of major events and to evaluate and improve their capabilities to perform their assigned missions and tasks. Planners are not precluded from developing their own scenarios to supplement the National Planning Scenarios. DHS will maintain a National Planning Scenario portfolio and update it periodically based on changes in the homeland security strategic environment. The current version is available on the Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP) Secure Portal (https://odp.esportals.com) and the Lessons Learned Information Sharing system (https://www.llis.dhs.gov). Use of specific National Planning Scenarios in federally funded training and exercises will be addressed in program guidance.

      Target Capabilities List

      The TCL identifies and defines capabilities that the Nation may need to achieve and sustain, depending on relevant risks and threats, in order to be prepared. A capability may be delivered with any combination of properly planned, organized, equipped, trained, and exercised personnel that achieves the desired outcome. Entities are expected to develop and maintain capabilities at levels that reflect the differing risk and needs across the country.

      Each capability includes a description of the major activities performed within the capability and the critical tasks and measures associated with the activity. Critical tasks are those tasks that must be performed during a major event in order to minimize the impact on lives, property, and the economy. Critical tasks may require coordination among Federal, State, local, tribal, territorial, private sector, and/or nongovernmental entities during their execution. They are essential to achieving the desired outcome and to the success of a homeland security mission. The critical tasks are derived from the tasks found in the UTL. Critical tasks, when linked to operating conditions and performance standards, provide the primary source of learning objectives for training and exercises and provide input to planning and performance evaluation. Operating conditions are variables of the environment, such as the terrain, weather, presence of an adversary, and complexity of multi-agency relationships, that may affect performance. The TCL includes measures and metrics that are quantitative or qualitative levels against which achievement of a task or capability outcome can be assessed.

      Planners at all levels of government can use the TCL as a reference to help them design plans, procedures, training, and exercises that develop capacity and proficiency to perform their assigned missions and tasks in major events. The TCL was developed with Federal, State, and local subject-matter experts and drew on existing sources wherever possible. It will be updated periodically in conjunction with the UTL. The current version is available on the ODP secure portal (https://odp.esportals.com) and the Lessons Learned Information Sharing system (https://www.llis.dhs.gov).

      Universal Task List

      The UTL provides a menu of tasks required to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from major events represented by the National Planning Scenarios. Most tasks are common to many, if not all, of the Scenarios, as well as other events not covered by the Scenarios. The UTL serves as a common language and reference system that will support efforts to describe operational tasks, so that personnel from across the Nation can work together effectively when required. No single entity is expected to perform every task.

      The UTL was developed with Federal, State, local, tribal, territorial, private sector, and nongovernmental subject-matter experts and drew on existing sources wherever possible. The UTL will be updated periodically in conjunction with the TCL. The current version is available on the ODP secure portal (https://odp.esportals.com) and the Lessons Learned Information Sharing system (https://www.llis.dhs.gov).

      Capabilities-Based Preparedness Process

      The Capabilities-Based Preparedness process (see Figure B-2) involves homeland security partners in a systematic and prioritized effort to accomplish the following:

      Figure B-2: Capabilities-Based Preparedness Process
      • Convene working groups;
      • Determine capability requirements;
      • Assess current capability levels;
      • Identify, analyze, and choose options;
      • Update plans and strategies;
      • Allocate funds;
      • Update and execute program plans; and
      • Assess and report.

      The process emphasizes collaboration to identify, achieve, and sustain target levels of capability that will contribute to enhancing overall national levels of preparedness. This simple, step-by-step sequence illustrates how processes and tools are combined to identify and prioritize measurable preparedness targets in assessing current capabilities, then allocating available resources and emphasis to the most urgently needed capabilities based on risk. DHS will refine this description over time with user feedback and supplement it with specific instructions in annual program guidance.

      Step 1: Convene Working Group

      The preparedness process should begin with formation of a chartered, representative working group. It is strongly encouraged that, wherever possible, previously established working groups be used for this process. The working group should be multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, and multi-jurisdictional. Where appropriate, working groups should include the private sector and nongovernmental partners. The intent is to bring together regional practitioners from across disciplines so that they can be effective advisors to the senior decision-makers who formulate strategies, set priorities, and allocate funds.

      Step 2: Determine Capability Targets

      The working group will determine risk-based target levels for each capability by reviewing the TCL and conducting risk analysis. Such target levels must balance risk with resources - both resources that are currently available and those that can realistically be acquired through regional collaboration.

      The TCL provides a series of examples of how capabilities may apply to jurisdictions of different sizes. These examples are intended to provide guidance on how the target levels listed in individual capabilities vary based on the region and implementing agency. It is important to keep in mind that any combination of elements (or resources) that delivers the desired outcome is acceptable. The TCL is not intended to direct specific resource requirements for every agency or jurisdiction for each year, nor is it descriptive of all of the resources necessary for every type of scenario.

      Step 3: Assess Current Capability Levels

      The core of the Capabilities-Based Preparedness approach is the comparison of current capabilities with risk-based target capability levels. The working group will coordinate an assessment of the current levels of capability. Capability assessments measure the current level of capability against the target levels of capability from the TCL applicable to the respective level of government. Comparisons will reveal “gaps” (implying outcomes cannot be accomplished with current capabilities), “excesses” (unnecessary redundancies or no longer needed capabilities), and “deficiencies” (an existing capability that is insufficient to provide a reasonable assurance of success against a specified scenario). Some of the required capabilities and expertise will not be present in the State or jurisdiction. Many will be secured through regional multi-agency coordination (i.e., mutual aid, acquisition through contracting, and resources from nongovernmental and private sector partners).

      Step 4: Identify, Analyze, and Choose Options

      Capabilities-Based Preparedness also involves selecting methods to address capability gaps and deficiencies. This step involves translating a capability gap or deficiency into specific needs and determining a combination of resources to fulfill the need. Analytical processes using comparative, trade-off, and risk analyses are applied in this step. Recognizing that there is usually more than one resource combination that can address a capability gap or deficiency, the analysis includes identifying, analyzing, and choosing options, using the recommended resources identified in the TCL as a guide. This analysis provides senior decision-makers with alternative combinations of resources or solution sets for each capability gap or deficiency. Analysis components are described below.

      Identify Options. The range of options identified should be kept to a manageable number, but solutions should be framed in terms of the elements required to implement a capability. A capability may be delivered with any combination of properly planned, organized, equipped, trained, and exercised personnel that achieves the desired outcome. In reviewing options, the effectiveness of applying mutual aid among geographic regions and levels of government should be considered.

      Analyze Options. Once a range of options has been identified, each option should be analyzed and prioritized against a standard set of criteria. The analysis will determine the combination of resources that could provide the desired capability or capabilities and will appropriately address risk. Examples of criteria include the following:

      • Ability of the identified approaches to provide the desired capability. Due to prior investments, it may not be necessary to invest in all six elements (see Figure 3 on page 5 of the Guidelines) at one time in order to achieve a capability;
      • Ability of the approaches to deliver the total capability. If an approach cannot deliver the total capability, evaluate how much of the capability can be met;
      • Delivery time frame;
      • Relative improvement in capability level provided by the approaches as compared to the existing capability; and
      • Cost to develop, procure, and sustain the approaches versus the cost to sustain the existing capability.

      Choose Options. The results of the analysis are presented to senior decision-makers for consideration. Risk determinations are embedded in the decision-making process. Risk determinations will consider the range of capability gaps, excesses, and deficiencies; issues identified during analysis (as identified in the analyze options component criteria); and strategic concerns and implications. Risk determinations will also consider the following:

      • Can the capability outcome be accomplished and provide a reasonable assurance of success?
      • What are the potential costs compared to other options? Are the costs and time required appropriate for the benefit gained?
      • What is the impact on planning? Is the solution compatible with other solutions available through assistance programs, and can mutual aid be applied to meet the requirement?

      By applying known constraints and examining all capabilities, a preferred solution set can be selected. The results can then be consolidated into a prioritized, balanced portfolio across all relevant capabilities.

      Step 5: Update Plans and Strategies

      Once options are chosen, working groups can update their emergency operations plans and preparedness strategies. The strategies should be aligned with the National Preparedness Guidelines and support and facilitate regional cooperation and mutual aid. Strategies are multi-year planning vehicles supported by specific annual work plans that describe each year's approach to meeting the longer term strategy. Regional mutual aid agreements should be updated or revised, funding requests should identify prioritized resource needs, and existing resources should be reallocated, as appropriate, to close capability gaps.

      Step 6: Allocate Resources

      Decision-makers will lead a review of budgets, existing resources, and funding requests and map these to current or potential sources of funding. Using Capabilities-Based Preparedness, their aim is to produce an effective and regionally coordinated preparedness portfolio within each jurisdiction and, as a consequence, across the Nation. Ultimately, balancing the preparedness portfolio will contribute to a more prepared Nation by accomplishing the following:

      • Maximizing the return on preparedness investments and resources in compliance with homeland security strategies and in coordination with the National Preparedness Guidelines;
      • Providing clarity in resource allocation decisions based on consistently applied criteria and decision-making frameworks; and
      • Encouraging a regional and/or mutual aid partner approach to national preparedness.
      Step 7: Update and Execute Program Plans

      The strategies and plans previously developed and/or updated are implemented through the execution step. All relevant stakeholders carry out annual work plans. Execution focuses on the following:

      • Administering programs;
      • Conducting planning and coordination;
      • Purchasing equipment in accordance with documented needs and specified standards, as well as preparing and maintaining such equipment to be readily available as needed;
      • Developing and conducting training to fill capability gaps; and
      • Developing and conducting exercises to demonstrate performance.

      The following example describes how Step 7 applies to Training and Exercises.

      Step 8: Assess and Report

      An assessment process provides a continuously validated baseline for preparedness. Capability, compliance, and performance assessments provide the basis to determine preparedness of individual partners and levels of government, the synthesis of which produces a national assessment of preparedness. Capability assessments are discussed in Step 3. Other types of assessments include performance and compliance assessments. Performance and compliance assessments serve to validate levels of capability. Compliance assessments will provide insight into conformance with requirements (e.g., NIMS and other national programs). Performance assessments are conducted through exercise programs.

      Assessments are performed on a regular basis. Information from these assessments provides comprehensive indicators for how effectively capabilities are achieved and maintained within the assessed region. The results of these assessments will be presented to relevant decision-makers for use as a mechanism to develop subsequent guidance. Analysis from assessments will enable relevant decision-makers to ensure the appropriate balance of resources allocated to strengthen specific capabilities.

      The synthesis of analyses will help to develop a comprehensive “snapshot” of preparedness. In addition to State and local efforts, overall progress towards increasing the national level of preparedness will be documented and communicated through a national reporting cycle and Annual Status Report.

      The desired end-state is to implement the vision of preparedness defined in the National Preparedness Guidelines and to coordinate homeland security capabilities across jurisdictions and disciplines. Information from Capabilities-Based Preparedness will be used by preparedness programs at all levels of government to refine program structures and strategies. This requires understanding capability needs at the national level through analysis of data collected nationwide. Results will be used to update the national priorities in the Guidelines and to provide enhanced strategic direction for the Nation.

      Achieving national preparedness hinges on using a flexible, all-hazards process that provides common objectives, priorities, and standards. Capabilities-Based Preparedness provides the means to address a wide range of challenges by leveraging appropriate homeland security programs to reach our destination - A Nation Prepared.

      Terms and Definitions

      All-Hazards Preparedness. Refers to preparedness for terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies within the United States. (Source: HSPD-8, December 17, 2003)

      Capability. A capability provides the means to accomplish a mission or function resulting from the performance of one or more critical tasks, under specified conditions, to target levels of performance. A capability may be delivered with any combination of properly planned, organized, equipped, trained, and exercised personnel that achieves the desired outcome.

      Critical Infrastructure. Critical infrastructure is defined as systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on any combination of national security, national economic security, or national public health or safety. (Source: USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and Homeland Security Act of 2002, 6 U.S.C. ? 101 et seq.)

      Critical Tasks. Critical tasks are those tasks essential to achieving success in a homeland security mission for a major event to prevent an occurrence, to minimize loss of life and serious injuries, or to mitigate significant property damage.

      Emergency. As defined by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. ? 5121 et seq.), an emergency means any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States. (Source: NRP, December 2004)

      Federal Departments and Agencies. Those executive departments enumerated in 5 U.S.C. 101; independent establishments as defined by 5 U.S.C. ? 104(1); government corporations as defined by 5 U.S.C. ? 103(1); and the United States Postal Service. (Source: HSPD-8, December 17, 2003)

      First Responder. Local and nongovernmental police, fire, and other emergency personnel who, in the early stages of an incident, are responsible for the protection and preservation of life, property, evidence, and the environment. This includes emergency response providers as defined in section 2 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as well as emergency management, public health, clinical care, public works, and other skilled support personnel (such as equipment operators) who provide immediate support services during prevention, response, and recovery operations. First responders may include personnel from Federal, State, local, tribal, territorial, or nongovernmental organizations. (Source: NRP, December 2004)

      Jurisdiction. A range or sphere of authority. Public agencies have jurisdiction at an incident related to their legal responsibilities and authority. Jurisdictional authority at an incident can be political or geographic (e.g., city, county, territorial, tribal, State, or Federal boundary lines) or functional (e.g., law enforcement, public health). (Source: NIMS, March 2004)

      Key Resources. Key resources are defined as “publicly or privately controlled resources essential to the minimal operations of the economy and government.” (Source: Homeland Security Act of 2002)

      Local Government. Local is defined as “(A) a county, municipality, city, town, township, local public authority, school district, special district, intrastate district, council of governments (regardless of whether the council of governments is incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under State law), regional or interstate government entity, or agency or instrumentality of a local government; (B) an Indian tribe or authorized tribal organization, or in Alaska a Native village or Alaska Regional Native Corporation; and (C) a rural community, unincorporated town or village, or other public entity.” (Source: Homeland Security Act of 2002)

      Major Disaster. As defined under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122), a major disaster is any natural catastrophe (including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought) or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion, in any part of the United States, which in the determination of the President causes damage of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance under this act to supplement the efforts and available resources of States, local governments, and disaster relief organizations to alleviate the damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused thereby. (Source: NIMS, March 2004)

      Major Event. Refers to terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies within the United States. (Source: HSPD-8, December 17, 2003)

      Mass Prophylaxis. The process by which an entire community is to receive prophylactic drugs and vaccines over a defined period of time in response to possible exposure to a biological agent. (Source: Community-Based Mass Prophylaxis - A Planning Guide for Public Health Preparedness, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, August 2004)

      Measures and Metrics. Performance measures of quantitative or qualitative levels against which achievement of a task or capability outcome can be assessed. They describe how much, how well, and/or how quickly an action should be performed and are typically expressed in way that can be observed during an exercise or real event. The measures and metrics are not standards. They serve as guides for planning, training, and exercise activities. However, nationally accepted standards of performance, benchmarks, and guidelines are reflected, if applicable. (Source: Target Capabilities List, March 2007)

      Mitigation. The activities designed to reduce or eliminate risks to persons or property or to lessen the actual or potential effects or consequences of an incident. Mitigation measures may be implemented prior to, during, or after an incident. Mitigation measures are often informed by lessons learned from prior incidents. Mitigation involves ongoing actions that reduce exposure to, probability of, or potential loss from hazards. Measures may include zoning and building codes, floodplain buyouts, and analysis of hazard-related data to determine where it is safe to build or locate temporary facilities. Mitigation can include efforts to educate governments, businesses, and the public on measures they can take to reduce loss and injury. (Source: NIMS, March 2004)

      National. Of a nationwide character, including the Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial aspects of governance and policy. (Source: NIMS, March 2004)

      Preparedness. The range of deliberate, critical tasks and activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the operational capability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents. Preparedness is a continuous process. Preparedness involves efforts at all levels of government and coordination among government, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations to identify threats, determine vulnerabilities, and identify required resources. Within the NIMS, preparedness is operationally focused on establishing guidelines, protocols, and standards for planning, training and exercises, personnel qualification and certification, equipment certification, and publication management. (Source: NIMS, March 2004)

      Prevention. Actions to avoid an incident or to intervene to stop an incident from occurring. Prevention involves actions taken to protect lives and property. It involves applying intelligence and other information to a range of activities that may include such countermeasures as deterrence operations; heightened inspections; improved surveillance and security operations; investigations to determine the full nature and source of the threat; public health and agricultural surveillance and testing processes; immunizations, isolation, or quarantine; and, as appropriate, specific law enforcement operations aimed at deterring, preempting, interdicting, or disrupting illegal activity and apprehending potential perpetrators and bringing them to justice. Under HSPD-8, the National Preparedness Guidelines do not address more general and broader prevention efforts to deter, disrupt, or thwart terrorism by Federal law enforcement, defense, and intelligence agencies. (Source: NIMS, March 2004; HSPD-8, December 17, 2003)

      Protection. Actions to reduce the vulnerability of critical infrastructure or key resources in order to deter, mitigate, or neutralize terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. It requires coordinated action on the part of Federal, State, and local governments, the private sector, and concerned citizens across the country. Protection also includes continuity of government and operations planning; awareness elevation and understanding of threats and vulnerabilities to their critical facilities, systems, and functions; identification and promotion of effective sector-specific protection practices and methodologies; and expansion of voluntary security-related information sharing among private entities within the sector as well as between government and private entities. (Source: HSPD-7, December 17, 2003).

      Recovery. The development, coordination, and execution of service and site restoration plans; the reconstitution of government operations and services; individual, private-sector, nongovernmental, and public assistance programs to provide housing and promote restoration; long-term care and treatment of affected persons; additional measures for social, political, environmental, and economic restoration; evaluation of the incident to identify lessons learned; post-incident reporting; and development of initiatives to mitigate the effects of future incidents. (Source: NIMS, March 2004)

      Region. Generally refers to a geographic area consisting of contiguous Federal, State, local, territorial, and tribal entities.

      Response. Activities that address the short-term, direct effects of an incident. Response includes immediate actions to save lives, protect property, and meet basic human needs. Response also includes the execution of emergency operations plans and of mitigation activities designed to limit the loss of life, personal injury, property damage, and other unfavorable outcomes. As indicated by the situation, response activities include applying intelligence and other information to lessen the effects or consequences of an incident; increased security operations; continuing investigations into the nature and source of the threat; ongoing public health and agricultural surveillance and testing processes; immunizations, isolation, or quarantine; and specific law enforcement operations aimed at preempting, interdicting, or disrupting illegal activity, apprehending actual perpetrators, and bringing them to justice. (Source: NIMS, March 2004)

      Risk. Risk is a function of three variables: threat, vulnerability, and consequence. (Source: “Discussion of the FY 2006 Risk Methodology and the Urban Areas Security Initiative,” November 2005, https://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/odp/docs/FY_2006_UASI_Program_Explanation_Paper_011805.doc)

      State Government. The governing body of any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any possession of the United States. (Source: Homeland Security Act of 2002)

      Volunteer. Any individual accepted to perform services by an agency that has the authority to accept volunteer services, if that individual performs services without promise, expectation, or receipt of compensation for services performed. (Source: NIMS, March 2004)

      Acronyms and Abbreviations
      CBRNEChemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive
      CDCCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
      CI/KRCritical Infrastructure/Key Resources
      CRICities Readiness Initiative
      DHSDepartment of Homeland Security
      DOJDepartment of Justice
      EEGExercise Evaluation Guide
      EMACEmergency Management Assistance Compact
      EMSEmergency Medical Services
      FBIFederal Bureau of Investigation
      HHSDepartment of Health and Human Services
      HSPDHomeland Security Presidential Directive
      ICSIncident Command System
      IWNIntegrated Wireless Network
      ISEInformation Sharing Environment
      JTTFJoint Terrorism Task Force
      NEMANational Emergency Management Association
      NIMSNational Incident Management System
      NIPPNational Infrastructure Protection Plan
      NRPNational Response Plan
      ODPOffice for Domestic Preparedness
      SSPSector-Specific Plan
      TCLTarget Capabilities List
      UASIUrban Areas Security Initiative
      UTLUniversal Task List
      WMDWeapons of Mass Destruction

      Photo Credits

      Volume 1: Getty Images: Letter-Opening image. Agricultural Research Service: 223. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 120. David Alexander: 147 left and center. Federal Emergency Management Agency: 32, 98, 230, 423, 450. iStock: 28 left, 44, 134, 159, 178, 342, 367. Jerry Carlson: 107, 384. Library of Congress: 14, 39, 70, 152, 251 left and right, 280, 287. NASA: 244. National Archives: 173 left and right. National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine: 397. National Library of Medicine: 407. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: 28 right, 140,294, 331, 336, 371, 375, 390,441. Sandia National Laboratories: 166. U.S.Air Force: 50,62,321,348. U.S. Army: 314. U.S. Chemical Safety Board: 57. U.S. Department of Defense: 436,447,93,102, 129, 184, 255, 259, 400. U.S. Department of the Interior: 207. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: 254. U.S. Geological Survey: 21, 147 right, 301, 378,412,418 left and right, 430. U.S. House of Representatives: 113. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: 189. U.S. Navy: 84. United Nations: 261. United States Mission to the United Nations: 357. USAID: 2,7,200,214,235,266,273. Virginia Department of Emergency Management: 77.

      Volume 2: Getty Images: Letter-Opening image. Agricultural Research Service: 455,472 left and right. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 541. Environmental Protection Agency courtesy Michigan Travel Bureau: 781. Federal Emergency Management Agency: 494, 508, 560, 587, 746. http://Flickr.com/Huitzil: 806 left and right. iStock: 465, 533. Library of Congress: 629 right, 693 top and bottom, 794 top and bottom, 799. NASA: 606, 669, 704 left. National Library of Medicine: 462 right. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: 479,594,681,729,739,749,756 left and right. National Park Service: 484, 513,763. National Science Foundation: 615. Office of the Public Health Service Historian: 462 left. Office of the U.S. Surgeon General/Medical Reserve Corp.: 688. PhotoBucket/Thakyarin: 573 left. U.S. Air Force: 634, 734 top and bottom. U.S. Department of Agriculture: 529. U.S. Department of Defense: 520, 555,637,651,656,662,674, 722,771,776. U.S. Forest Service: 716. U.S. Geological Survey: 620,629 left, 642, 789. United States Mission to the United Nations: 567, 711. USAID: 490 left and right, 501, 548, 580, 598, 603, 623, 696, 704 right, 766. World Vision: 573 right.

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