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The homeland security system in the United States is a “national” system in the sense that it includes all levels of government—federal, state, local, and tribal—as well as the private sector and volunteer organizations. It does not refer to the federal government exclusively, nor just to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It is a comprehensive, integrated, multidisciplinary, and multijurisdictional system including a wide variety of organizations and agencies at all levels. Organizations and agencies must work together and effectively coordinate their efforts to prevent and respond to natural and man-made disasters and hazards. Documents such as the “National Incident Management System” (NIMS), the “National Response Framework” (NRF), and the “National Preparedness Guidelines” were created to help organizations and agencies coordinate their efforts. In this Discussion, you examine how specific organizations and agencies interact and coordinate their efforts when responding to a threat to homeland security.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the assigned pages of the article “National Preparedness Guidelines,” focusing on the description of target capabilities and their corresponding elements. (http://www.hsaj.org/?article=2.3.4 2.3.4.pdf) read pages 1-11

Review the assigned pages of the article “National Incident Management System.” Focus on the purpose, key concepts, and components of NIMS, such as the standardized Incident Command System (ICS). (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nims/NIMS_core.pdf) read pages 1-8

  • Review the assigned pages of the article “National Response Framework.” Focus on the overview of the framework and its guiding doctrine, as well as on the description of the various agencies and officials at all levels of government and the private sector that have roles and responsibilities in disaster response. (http://fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nrf/nrf-core.pdf)
  • Think about the likely threats that might affect your state or locale, such as terrorist attacks; natural disasters, such as tornadoes and hurricanes; and hazardous chemical spills. Select one threat for this assignment.
  • Based on the threat you selected, anticipate the federal, state, and local organizations and/or agencies that would respond.
  • Think in terms of, and in reference to, the roles and capabilities of each respective organization and/or agency you identified and how they might interact and coordinate their efforts.

By Day 4

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the threat you selected. Then describe at least two organizations and/or agencies in the national homeland security system that would respond to this threat. Include how and why they might respond. Finally, explain how the organizations and/or agencies might interact and coordinate their efforts when responding to the threat. Be specific, and use examples to illustrate your explanation.