You will need to familiarize yourself with your selected county’s infrastructure, threats and hazards, vulnerabilities, budgetary challenges, and other assorted relevant details. You will use this same county for future assignments, so no research you do here will be wasted.
In your capacity as an EM Planner, you have impressed the Director of County Emergency Management with your knowledge of existing federal policy and doctrine. You recognize that at the county level, operators often focus on operations, tactics and skills sets. But you’ve also learned through your education that strategic plans and frameworks can be essential for laying the foundation and provide a baseline from which plans et al. can be drawn. The strategic framework that is provided in the quadrennial homeland security review (QHSR) presents a common focus as well for every community, to help align the goals and objectives of entities at all governmental levels, in all sectors, and including individuals or collectives of citizens and groups.
The QHSR also serves to present users with a better understanding of concepts that were never previously well-defined, including that of homeland security. Essential principles, priorities, and vision are incorporated, reflected the basic components of a solid strategy. Remembering that strategy is broad, conceptual, and in this case the means for providing a framework, it should not be confused, nor used for specific procedures, prioritization, nor any thorough understanding of a given organization’s (other than DHS) roles and responsibilities.
For this unit’s individual project, you will read the entire QHSR. After reading the QHSR, choose two of the five missions that are discussed within it to examine and apply to your community. Pay close attention to the goals that are subordinate to each mission as well. (You would normally apply all five missions, but in this case, time and space are limitations.)
After reading the QHSR, you will draft a policy statement for it. Note that a policy statement is intended to reflect the evaluation of a policy’s relevance or applicability for specific usage. In this case, you will craft a policy statement revealing your evaluation of the QHSR and its value for guiding the county in preparing emergency response plans. Your policy statement will serve to educate members of your county’s EM team and also provide a means for you to offer specific recommendations relating to those portions of the QHSR that you consider most meritorious for the county’s consideration.
In a 5–7 page policy statement, you will do the following:
- Provide a brief review of the purpose of the QHSR and your assessment as to its potential value for the county as it rewrites old plans and develops new ones.
- As you have a page limitation, this assessment should not exceed one full page.
- Consider and capture, in your own words, a definition and the usefulness of various terms in the QHSR, including homeland security, preparedness, and homeland security enterprise. Add other terms as you deem necessary.
- Tie these terms to other strategies, frameworks, policies with which you are familiar, or which you studied in this course.
- The National Response Framework (NRF) and National Incident Management System (NIMS) are two strategic documents that you might use.
- Select two of the five missions—and each one’s listed goals—that are outlined in the QHSR that you will advise your county to begin with, aiding the team members to become educated about the strategic framework and its many elements and making connections from strategy to local community operational use. In choosing which missions you select, you might contemplate some of the following components:
- Mission 1: Preventing Terrorism and Enhancing Security
- This mission is very expansive, as is each subordinate goal
- Think about whether terrorism is a truly likely threat—of course terrorism can occur everywhere, but limited resources compel communities to allocate these judiciously with maximum benefit for least cost
- Think about the likelihood of weapons of mass destruction, or chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) capabilities being used in your county
- Mission 2: Securing and Managing Our Borders
- Consider whether your county is reasonably concerned with border issues
- Does your county include ports (air, sea, rail, or land)?
- What prevalence is there of transnational criminal activity?
- Mission 3: Enforcing and Administering Our Immigration Laws
- Is immigration a concern for your county or state? Could it be in the future?
- Which population seems the greatest concern, if any?
- Mission 4: Safeguarding and Securing Cyberspace
- Cyber threats exist for all critical infrastructure and operations that support communities.
- This may be especially critical if information technology is an industry in your region.
- Mission 5: Ensuring Resilience to Disasters
- If your county has any likely natural (or manmade or accidental) threats or vulnerabilities, this mission can readily be tied to the county’s needs and objectives
- Choose your two missions and summarize each one and its goals briefly in your policy statement.
- For each mission, make clear and direct connections to the missions and goals and the county’s needs, objectives or capabilities.
- Needs could include threats, hazards, or vulnerabilities as you assess them.
- You will not need to have first-person or source information to provide details related to the County—you may use your own critical analysis skills and determine what these might be (For example, flooding is unlikely if the county is primarily composed of drought-prone plains.)
- Do not exceed seven pages for the body of your paper. Use your own words to make these summaries to the greatest extent possible—but if you lift any material directly from the QHSR, make certain to properly reference it. Do not make your product an opinion piece. While it is based on your perspectives, write affirmatively, using a professional and official tone and language. The words I, our, we, you, (and the like) should not appear anywhere.