Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness, requires an annual National Preparedness Report (NPR) that summarizes national progress in building, sustaining and delivering the 31 core capabilities outlined in the National Preparedness Goal. The 2012 NPR highlighted preparedness accomplishments in the decade since the September 11, 2001 attacks and the 2013 NPR focuses on accomplishments either achieved or reported on during 2012. The 2013 NPR presents an opportunity to reflect on the progress that whole community partners—including all levels of government, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, communities and individuals—have made in strengthening national preparedness and to identify where preparedness gaps remain.
In 2012 the nation faced a diverse set of threats and hazards that challenged collective security and resilience and confirmed the need to enhance preparedness. Key events including disruptions of potential terrorist attacks; responses to wildfires, hurricanes and mass shootings; and ongoing management of several long-term recovery efforts required activating capabilities across the five mission areas outlined in the Goal—Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response and Recovery. Of particular note was Hurricane Sandy which highlighted strengths in the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from disasters and illustrated challenges with the federal government’s ability to meet survivor needs when surging resources into the field during disaster response.
Findings from the 2013 Report
The Nation Continues to Make Progress
The 2013 National Preparedness Report identified areas of national strength in the following core capabilities:
- Planning: The nation continues to expand upon the foundation for an integrated, all-hazards planning architecture that considers routine emergencies and catastrophic events and increasingly integrates whole community perspectives. At the federal level, interagency partners made significant progress in finalizing National Planning Frameworks and Federal Interagency Operational Plans across preparedness mission areas.
- Operational Coordination: The National Incident Management System (NIMS) provides a common doctrine for incident management, allowing the whole community to use shared language and principles. Nationwide adoption of NIMS increased in 2012, with an additional 900,000 completions of introductory NIMS and Incident Command System courses. Furthermore, federal agencies continue to implement NIMS to manage incidents and report having the operational capability to meet the Goal.
- Intelligence and Information Sharing: The national network of fusion centers and Joint Terrorism Task Forces continued to mature. In addition, new national strategies and federal interagency governance structures emerged to provide a consistent and unified approach to guide the implementation of fusion center policies and standards.
- Operational Communications: States and territories continue to develop State Emergency Communications Plans. In addition, the nation began facilitating a transition to a nationwide public safety broadband system for emergency communications and continued development of Next Generation 9-1-1 systems.
Opportunities for Improvement
The nation has made important progress in the national areas for improvement identified in the 2012 NPR—Cybersecurity, Recovery-focused core capabilities and integration of individuals with disabilities and access and functional needs—but challenges remain. Enhancing the resilience of infrastructure systems and maturing the role of public-private partnerships are newly identified national areas for improvement.
Key Factors for Future Progress
The 2013 NPR represents the second opportunity for the nation to reflect on progress in strengthening national preparedness and to identify where preparedness gaps remain. Looking across all 31 core capabilities outlined in the Goal, the NPR provides a national perspective on critical preparedness trends for whole community partners to use to inform program priorities, allocate resources and communicate with stakeholders about issues of shared concern.