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National Preparedness Report

The National Preparedness Report provides all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the public with practical insights into preparedness to support decisions about program priorities, resource allocations, and community actions. The 2017 National Preparedness Report identifies cross-cutting findings that evaluate core capability performance, key findings in the Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery mission areas, and notable examples of preparedness progress over the past five years.

What is the National Preparedness Report?

The National Preparedness Report evaluates and measures gains that individuals and communities, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and all levels of government have made in preparedness and identifies where challenges and opportunities for improvement remain. The 2017 National Preparedness Report focuses primarily on preparedness activities undertaken or reported during calendar year 2016 and summarizes progress in building, sustaining, and delivering the 32 core capabilities outlined in the National Preparedness Goal.

The 2017 National Preparedness Report reflects the input of more than 600 data sources and 53 stakeholders, including 29 non-Federal organizations.

Sources for the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Table that describes sources of the national preparedness report, including Top box labeled “By the Numbers” shows 167 Inputs Received from Formal Data Call, 124 Federal Offices Engaged, 600+ Data sources references, 113 thread and hazard identification and risk assessment and state preparedness report submissions, and 29 non-federal stakeholders engaged. Bottom box labeled “Non-federal community engagement included” lists American Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, Blue Forest Conversation, Center for Internet Security, Iowa legal aid, National Academy of sciences, Washington state military department, and other private-sector partners.

Introduction

National preparedness actions help to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards posing the greatest risk to the Nation’s security. Each year, the National Preparedness Report presents a Federal assessment of the Nation’s progress toward achieving the National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient Nation. Because preparedness is a shared responsibility across the entire Nation, the report aims to guide decisions of all preparedness stakeholders—including individuals, families, and communities; private and nonprofit sectors; faith-based organizations; and all levels of government—regarding program priorities, resource allocations, and community actions. The 2017 edition of the National Preparedness Report primarily focuses on events that occurred or were reported on in 2016, but also covers a small number of events that occurred in early 2017.

National Preparedness Goal: An Overview

The National Preparedness Goal (“the Goal”) describes what it means for the United States to be prepared for all types of disasters and emergencies. The Goal defines a vision for preparedness nationwide, namely:

A secure and resilient Nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.

To achieve this vision, preparedness stakeholders collectively need to effectively build, sustain, and deliver 32 “core capabilities” identified in the Goal. The core capabilities are distinct, critical elements needed to achieve the goal of a secure and resilient Nation. They are not exclusive to any single level of government or organization. The core capabilities provide consistent, standard, national-level definitions applicable for use by the whole community. Preparedness stakeholders—including private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and all levels of government—can and do use the core capabilities to align their planning, training, exercise, and resourcing efforts.

Mission Areas and Core Capabilities

Core CapabilityPreventionProtectionMitigationResponseRecovery
Planning
Public Information and Warning
Operational Coordination
Intelligence and Information Sharing   
Interdiction and Disruption   
Screening, Search, and Detection   
Forensics and Attribution    
Access Control and Identity Verification    
Cybersecurity    
Physical Protective Measures    
Risk Management for Protection Programs and Activities    
Supply Chain Integrity and Security    
Community Resilience    
Long-term Vulnerability Reduction    
Risk and Disaster Resilience Assessment    
Threat and Hazard Identification   
Critical Transportation    
Environmental Response/Health and Safety    
Fatality Management Services    
Fire Management and Suppression    
Logistics and Supply Chain Management    
Mass Care Services    
Mass Search and Rescue Operations    
On-scene Security, Protection, and Law Enforcement    
Operational Communications    
Public Health, Healthcare, and Emergency Medical Services    
Situational Assessment    
Infrastructure Systems   
Economic Recovery    
Health and Social Services    
Housing    
Natural and Cultural Resources    

 

2016 Year in Review

Each year, jurisdictions face major disasters and emergencies that stress the Nation’s collective abilities and resources. These incidents test capabilities, play an important role in assessing progress toward achieving the Goal, and reveal where strengths in delivering these capabilities exist and gaps remain. A broad range of threats and hazards–including the ongoing public health crisis in Flint, MI; the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL; and five named storms in rapid succession–informed several of the report’s key findings.

Supporting Disaster Survivors

In 2016, Federal agencies assisted in 46 major disaster declarations across 30 states, territories, and tribes; Federal agencies assisted with 50 instances of fire management across 19 states; and Federal agencies assisted with USDA-designated drought disasters for 1,025 counties across 42 states and territories.

Graphic on Supporting disaster survivors and capability development from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Visual labeled “Supporting Disaster Survivors and Capability Development”. 3 different maps of the United States. The three maps are of Major disaster declarations (with a scale from 0 to 4), fire management assistance declarations (with a scale from 0 to 13), and drought designations (with a yes or no option). For major disaster declarations map, the conclusion is that in 2016, Federal agencies assisted in 46 major disaster declarations across 30 states, territories, and tribes. For Fire management assistance declarations map, the conclusion is that in 2016, Federal agencies assisted with 50 instances of fire management across 19 states. For the drought designations map, the conclusion is that In 2016, Federal agencies assisted with USDA-designated drought disasters for 1,025 countries across 42 states and territories.

Capability Development

In fiscal year 2016, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided more than $2.3 billion and $900 million, respectively, in preparedness grants. In fiscal year 2016, FEMA training programs achieved approximately 2.7 million course completions across all core capabilities.

 Planning, Operational Coordination, Public Information and Warning, Forensics and Attribution, intelligence and Information Sharing, interdiction and disruption, screening, search, and detection, access control and identify verification, cybersecurity, physical protective measures, rick management for protection programs and activities, supply chain integrity and security, threats and hazards identification, risk and disaster resilience assessment, community resilience, long-term vulnerability reduction, critical transportation, environmental response/health and safety, fatality management services, mass care services, mass search and rescue operations, on-scene security and protection, operational communications, public and private services and resources, public health and medical services, situational assessment, infrastructure systems, economic recovery, health and social services, housing, natural and cultural resources. Graph shows that most funding is given to planning and operational coordination capabilities, while recovery capabilities like housing and natural and cultural resources receive less than 1 million dollars in grant funding.

Cross-cutting Findings

The 2017 National Preparedness Report identifies four cross-cutting findings—stretching across the five mission areas—through the evaluation of preparedness indicators (e.g., training participation, exercise frequency) that apply to all 32 core capabilities; assessments submitted by states and territories; and analysis provided by Federal agencies.

  • Environmental Response/Health and Safety, Intelligence and Information Sharing, Operational Communications, Operational Coordination, and Planning are five core capabilities in which the Nation has developed proficiency, but in which it likely faces a future capability gap.
  • Cybersecurity, Economic Recovery, Housing, Infrastructure Systems, Natural and Cultural Resources, and Supply Chain Integrity and Security remain national areas for improvement. One additional core capability—Risk Management for Protection Programs and Activities—emerged as a new area for improvement in 2016.
  • States and territories reported similar levels of capability compared to 2015, highlighting that larger-scale preparedness investments are necessary to drive major improvements on an annual basis; since 2012, states and territories reported proficiency increases in the Mitigation mission area, but proficiency decreases in the Prevention, Protection, and Recovery mission areas.
  • Exercises conducted under NEP tested all 32 core capabilities, and especially highlighted improvements and lessons learned for Intelligence and Information Sharing, Public Information and Warning, and Operational Coordination, as well as core capabilities in the Recovery mission area.

The 2012-2017 National Preparedness Reports identified select core capabilities as national areas for improvement.

Core Capabilities201220132014201520162017
Access Control and Identity Verification     
Cybersecurity
Economic Recovery 
Health and Social Services   
Housing
Infrastructure Systems
Long-term Vulnerability Reduction    
Natural and Cultural Resources  
Risk Management for Protection Programs and Activities     
Supply Chain Integrity and Security    

Prevention

Prevention Key Findings Banner from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Image of a U.S. Custom and Border Patrol Officer with his back towards the camera.

The Prevention mission area focuses on ensuring the Nation is prepared to avoid, prevent, or stop an imminent terrorist attack within the United States. Prevention key findings from the 2017 Report are:

  • Federal departments improved their ability to detect insider threats by employing new records-management systems and requiring cleared contractors to maintain formal programs to detect insider threats.
  • In 2016, DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), in collaboration with Federal, state, and local partners, implemented an enhanced process for assessing fusion center performance.
  • The Federal Government has taken steps to improve the security of radioactive materials and enhance its detection capabilities for radiological and nuclear materials.

Summary of Progress

The Nation continues to demonstrate varying levels of capability in and attention to the core capabilities in the Prevention mission area.

  • There has been incremental progress in the Forensics and Attribution, Interdiction and Disruption, and Screening, Search, and Detection core capabilities.
  • 2016 State Preparedness Report results showed that states and territories rated themselves as less proficient in every Prevention core capability except Screening, Search, and Detection compared to 2015.
  • Only 32 percent of state and territorial responses to the 2016 State Preparedness Report identified their performance in Forensics and Attribution as proficient, placing this core capability in the bottom 10 among all core capabilities.
  • Fifty-two percent of state and territorial responses reported proficient performance in Intelligence and Information Sharing capabilities.
  • Approximately 80 percent of states and territories also identified it as a high priority (fourth highest).

prevention summary of progress banner from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Horizontal bar graph of percentage of state/territory responses indicating high priority on left and percentage of state/territory responses indicating proficiency on right. For Priority level: Intelligence and Information Sharing (80%), Interdiction and disruption (48%), Screening/search/detection (48%), and forensics and attribution (34%). For Proficiency level: Intelligence and Information Sharing (52%), Interdiction and disruption (41%), Screening/search/detection (37%), and forensics and attribution (32%).

By the Numbers

  • New York State carried out over 600 counterterrorism exercises: New York State’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services—along with New York State Police, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and local law enforcement—conducted over 600 counterterrorism exercises in 2016 at business and organizations across the state to test their suspicious activity reporting programs and counterterrorism plans.  In total, nearly 100 law enforcement agencies and 300 personnel supported these unannounced exercises.
  • The Secret Service trained 1,640 individuals: The U.S. Secret Service provided 54 presentations on terrorism trends and tactics to 1,640 total participants—including law enforcement, military, civilian security personnel, first responders, legal officials, and U.S. Secret Service personnel across the country—to better prepare them to prevent and respond to evolving terrorist threats.
  • The DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office conducted 110 deployments:  To support state and local security and terrorism prevention capabilities during National Security Special Events (e.g. the Democratic and Republican National Conventions), the DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) deployed its six Mobile Detection Deployment Units 110 times in 2016 (compared to 81 times in 2015). These units, which contain radiation detection equipment and staff trained to use it, supplement the radiological and nuclear detection capabilities of local first responders and enhance preparedness against radiological and nuclear threats.

Prevention Snapshots

  • Bomb-Making Materials Awareness Program:  In 2016, the Office for Bombing Prevention (OBP) began transitioning implementation of its Bomb-Making Materials Awareness Program to a state-led model.  This program helps interdict plots involving bombs at the point-of-sale of explosive precursors.  OBP’s move to decentralize the program increases training capacity and gives states greater ownership of the training content, enabling them to tailor it to meet their specific needs.  OBP has already transitioned control of the program in Texas and Arizona, and a number of states—including Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, and Minnesota—will complete their training for transitioning by July 2017.  As each state completes the training, OBP identifies lessons learned to share with other states.
  • Louisville, Kentucky:  The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department established a one-hour training session that seeks to improve officer awareness about Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and outlines actions for officers to take following the discovery of such a device.  The department requires all police officers to attend the session as a part of recurring mandatory training.  Moreover, the city is extending the requirement to all of its emergency services.
  • Columbia, South Carolina:  On August 1, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety hosted a free anti-terrorism training seminar entitled “Recognizing and Mitigating Suicide Bomber Threats” for Federal, state, and local law enforcement.  The seminar included a session on tools for early identification of a suicide bomber suspect and offered best practices based on field experience to enable effective incident response.

Preparedness Indicators

Number of terrorism disruptions by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), primarily by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Preventing and disrupting imminent terrorist attacks is the primary focus of the Prevention mission area. FBI defines a “disruption” as inhibiting or interrupting a threat actor from engaging in criminal or national security-related activity. In fiscal year 2015, DOJ achieved 440 terrorism “disruptions,” an increase from 214 disruptions in fiscal year 2014. The fiscal year target values (shown in the figure) represent projections that DOJ determines based on estimated future threats.

Preparedness Indicatory Graph 1 from the National Preparedness Report (Number of terrorism disruptions by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), primarily by FBI). Y-axis shows number of terrorism disruptions, while x-axis shows 2014 actual (214) and target values (50) for that distribution, as well as 2015 actual (440) and target values (125).

Percentage of intelligence reports rated “satisfactory” or higher in customer feedback that enable customers to understand the threat: Timely intelligence and information is necessary to keep the homeland safe in a constantly changing threat environment. This measure gauges the extent to which Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intelligence programs have satisfied their Federal, state, and local customers by producing reports that improve awareness and understanding of potential threats. Specifically, the measure aggregates customer ratings of the relevance, timeliness, and usefulness of these reports. Since fiscal year 2012, DHS has consistently exceeded its targets for this measure.

Preparedness Indicatory Graph 2 from the National Preparedness Report (Percentage of intelligence reports rated “satisfactory” or higher in customer feedback that enable customers to understand the threat). Y-axis shows percentage of intelligent reports rating “satisfactory” or higher, while x-axis shows percent change of those values in target (80% increasing to 86%) and actual values (85 increasing to 87%) from fiscal year 2012 – 2015

Protection

Protection Banner from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Picture of a bridge over canyon valley.

The Protection mission area aims to secure the homeland against acts of terrorism and human-induced or natural disasters. Protection key findings from the 2017 Report are:

  • A rise in ransomware (a form of malware) attacks threatens the delivery and continuity of critical services, such as healthcare services.
  • Malicious cyber activities targeting voter registration systems prompted local, state, and Federal government agencies to increase collaboration in order to secure election infrastructure.
  • Lessons learned from the 2015 OPM data breaches continue to prompt actions to better safeguard sensitive data on government employees and contractors, and to update procedures for background investigations and security clearances.
  • The Intelligence Community (IC) and Federal oversight groups have enhanced privacy protections for intelligence-related information collection.
  • Government, academic, and private-sector partners continue to take steps to counter violent extremism through domestic education and other initiatives, including countering terrorist use of social media.
  • Among the different measures adopted to address the Zika epidemic, state, territorial, and local governments, as well as Federal agencies, effectively distributed preventative supplies and communicated protection measures.

Summary of Progress

Despite evidence of progress in this year’s key findings, the Nation remains less proficient in delivering some capabilities in the Protection mission area.

  • Key findings and 2016 State Preparedness Report results identify progress in Access Control and Identity Verification and Screening, Search, and Detection. Of the 10 capabilities that states and territories rated themselves as lowest proficiecy in, four of those capabilities were in Protection. 
  • The 2017 National Preparedness Report identifies Supply Chain Integrity and Security, Risk Management for Protection Programs and Activities, and Cybersecurity as national areas for improvement and one Protection capability—Intelligence and Information Sharing—as a capability to sustain in this year’s report.
  • Even as Access Control and Identity Verification continues to improve following the 2015 Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breaches, the Nation continues to face numerous Cybersecurity challenges, such as increased malicious cyber activity directed at public and private services, voter registration systems, and cyber infrastructure. Despite a high degree of interest in Cybersecurity, the capability remained both the lowest rated core capability in proficiency and the capability in greatest danger of decline.
  • Between 2015 and 2016, states and territories reported proficiency gains of approximately three percent in Supply Chain Integrity and Security and Access Control and Identity Verification.
  • Risk Management for Protection Programs and Activities declined in proficiency by four percent and Intelligence and Information Sharing declined by five percent. Nevertheless, Intelligence and Information Sharing remained the only Protection capability for which more than half of states and territories rated themselves as proficient.
  • Cybersecurity and Intelligence and Information Sharing ranked in the top five in terms of priority, whereas Risk Management for Protection Programs and Activities ranked in the bottom five.

2016 Protection Core Capabilities (high priority vs. proficient) from the 2017 national preparedness report. Horizontal bar graph of percentage of state/territory responses indicating high priority on left and percentage of state/territory responses indicating proficiency on right. For Priority level: Intelligence and Information Sharing (80%), Interdiction and disruption (48%), Screening/search/detection (48%), physical protective measures (50%), supply chain integrity and security (36%), access control and identity verification (43%), risk management for protection programs and activities (34%), and cybersecurity (82%). For Proficiency level: Intelligence and Information Sharing (52%), Interdiction and disruption (41%), Screening/search/detection (37%), physical protective measures (35%), supply chain integrity and security (34%), access control and identity verification (33%), risk management for protection programs and activities (30%), and cyber security (13%).

By the Numbers

Department of Energy (DOE) has provided Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model (C2M2) toolkits to 921 recipients: In 2016, DOE worked with energy sector partners to expand participation in its C2M2 program, as well as update and enhance C2M2 tools to better account for evolving cyber threats. The program offers several tools to help electricity, oil, and natural gas utilities evaluate the maturity of their cybersecurity programs, and identify and prioritize ways to enhance their cybersecurity posture. Since the program’s launch in June 2012, 921 organizations have requested and received the C2M2 toolkit (as of the end of 2016).

DHS identified eight coordinating activities for the Protection core capabilities: In August 2016, DHS published the first edition of the Protection Federal Interagency Operational Plan (Protection FIOP). The Protection FIOP describes eight coordinating activities (e.g., Border Security, Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience) that are the primary, but not exclusive, Federal coordinating mechanisms for building, sustaining, and delivering the Protection core capabilities.

The DHS Office of Cybersecurity and Communications issued 12,187 Cyber Hygiene Reports: In fiscal year 2016, the DHS Office of Cybersecurity and Communications National Cybersecurity Assessments and Technical Services team conducted vulnerability scans of public, Internet-connected information systems for hundreds of Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government stakeholders, producing 12,187 Cyber Hygiene Reports. These reports include recommendations for addressing identified vulnerabilities, enhancing the ability of stakeholders to protect against potential exploitation by malicious actors.

Protection Snapshots

PhotoDNA: In May 2016, Microsoft announced it would provide support to computer scientists at Dartmouth College to use its PhotoDNA program to track terrorist content on social media. The software develops a digital fingerprint for images that can be tracked across the Internet, enabling social media platforms to quickly detect and remove previously flagged content. In December 2016, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube announced a collaborative effort to better share the fingerprints of terrorist media, such as those generated by PhotoDNA, in order to counter the proliferation of violent extremist content on their sites.

City of Los Angeles Supply Chain: In 2016, the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department, in partnership with FEMA’s National Integration Center, conducted an assessment of the resilience of the city’s supply chains to a major earthquake scenario. The assessment found areas for improvement in logistics planning for six critical supply lines: water, food, pharmaceuticals, medical goods, fuel, and transportation. One notable finding is the lack of redundancies among pharmaceutical distributors. Only three companies circulate up to 90 percent of pharmaceuticals in the city.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Airport Operations Center (AOC): In spring 2016, TSA established the AOC, a public-private partnership with the airline industry to address the increase in passengers for the 2016 summer travel season. The AOC tracks daily screening operations and reassigns officers, canines, and other resources to meet demand in advance of predicted passenger volume. These efforts improved TSA’s ability to deploy resources to screen the record number of passengers during the summer months.

Preparedness Indicators

Percentage of international air passengers vetted against the terrorist watchlist through Secure Flight: Screening travelers reduces the likelihood of terrorists entering the country. Secure Flight is a risk-based passenger prescreening program that TSA uses to identify low- and high-risk passengers before they arrive at the airport by matching their names against trusted traveler lists and a watchlist. Specifically, this measure tracks the percentage of air passengers traveling in and out of the United States who are screened against the Terrorist Screening Database, the U.S. Government’s consolidated database of individuals who are known or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activities. Over the past six years, TSA has met its target goal of screening 100 percent of these international travelers.

Protection Graph (Percentage of international air passengers vetted against the terrorist watchlist through Secure Flight) from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Y-axis shows percentage of air passengers vetted against the terrorist watch list, while the x-axis shows the distribution of that across Fiscal Years 2011 – 2016, along with the Fiscal 2016 Target. All are 100%.

Percentage of facilities that are likely to integrate vulnerability assessment or survey information into security and resilience enhancements: Vulnerability assessments enable critical infrastructure owners and operators to tailor protective measures to their needs. The first measure tracks the extent to which organizations have changed their cybersecurity policies and procedures after DHS cyber assessments. The second measure tracks the percentage of facilities that are likely to inform their security and resilience enhancements using information from DHS vulnerability assessments focusing on physical security. Results suggest that these assessments are prompting critical infrastructure owners and operators to take additional protective actions. In fiscal year 2015, the percentage of organizations incorporating an enhancement based on cyber assessments was 100 percent. The percentage of facilities likely to incorporate an enhancement based on a physical security-oriented assessment was 90 percent.

Protection Graph (Percentage of organizations that have implemented at least one cybersecurity enhancement after receiving a cybersecurity vulnerability assessment or survey) from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. On the y-axis, you have the percentage of organizations that made, or are likely to make, security enhancements. On the x-axis, it displays this distribution of cybersecurity and physical security from fiscal year 2013 (cybersecurity is 100%, physical security does not display data), 2014 (cybersecurity is 63%, physical security is 89%), and 2015 (cybersecurity is 100%, physical security is 90%).

Mitigation

Mitigation Banner from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Picture of forest with limited visibility because of smoke, presumably from a fire.

The Mitigation mission area is focused on reducing loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Mitigation key findings from the 2017 Report are:

  • Recent innovations in early warning system have the potential to improve the public and private sectors’ ability to forecast and communicate threats and hazards.
  • Federal departments, the private sector, and industry groups have launched new efforts to improve understanding of the value of stronger building codes and to increase their adoption.
  • FEMA is improving the oversight, accountability, and sustainability of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to better help insurance policyholders reduce future risk.
  • Federal and state actors are taking steps to address human-induced earthquakes, which are contributing to an overall increase in seismic hazards in the central United States and present threads to infrastructure and people.
  • Coastal communities, including tribal communities, are exploring relocation options to address the growing risks posed by extreme weather events, including sea level rise and coastal erosion.
  • As studies predict that drought conditions will persist and intensify, new efforts to fully understand and reduce the long-term consequences of drought have emerged.
  • As the costs of wildfire suppression rise, public and private initiatives to fund wildfire risk reduction projects are emerging. 

Summary of Progress

  • In 2016, states and territories reported the second-highest overall proficiency ratings for capabilities in the Mitigation mission area, and since 2012, they have reported a greater increase in proficiency for Mitigation core capabilities than those in any other mission area.
  • The persistence of drought conditions in the West, the rise of human-induced earthquakes in the central United States, and the nationwide threat of flooding have tested the Threats and Hazards Identification and Risk and Disaster Resilience Assessment core capabilities.
  • The number of states and territories that consider themselves proficient in Threats and Hazards Identification has decreased more than any other core capability since 2015.
  • Community Resilience has shown the most improvement since 2012, with the number of states and territories rating themselves proficient increasing by eight percent.
  • The Federal Government’s efforts to encourage the adoption of more resilient building codes and to improve the efficacy of the NFIP, in addition to the formation of public-private partnerships to supplement funding for wildfire mitigation projects, have all contributed to Long-term Vulnerability Reduction.

2016 Mitigation Core Capabilities High Priority vs Proficient from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Horizontal bar graph of percentage of state/territory responses indicating high priority on left and percentage of state/territory responses indicating proficiency on right. For Priority level: threats and hazards identification (55%), community resilience (59%), risk and disaster resilience assessment (38%), and long-term vulnerability (41%). For proficiency level: threats and hazards (48%), community resilience (44%), risk and disaster resilience assessment (42%), long-term vulnerability reduction (40%).

By the Numbers

A new study found that $4.80 in losses was avoided for every $1 spent on certain mitigation activities: A 2016 study by the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School found that every $1 spent on new construction under the Florida Building Code over 10 years saved the state $4.80 in potential losses.

An Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) working group issued 16 new preparedness objectives: In May 2016, a working group conducted by ASPR and CDC introduced 16 new preparedness objectives for Healthy People 2020. This initiative provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of Americans by establishing benchmarks and monitoring progress. The new objectives use data from various sources, including CDC, FEMA, and Save the Children.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery assistance—totaling $2.3 billion—for 2016 disasters includes mitigation requirements: In January  2017, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a Federal Register Notice including additional language requiring long-term recovery and hazard mitigation planning to promote sound and sustainable long-term recovery.

Mitigation Snapshots

San Francisco Sea Level Rise Action Plan: Sea level rise is one of San Francisco’s most pressing environmental threats. To address it, a task force comprised of local agencies developed a plan for San Francisco to mitigate the impacts. Published in March 2016, the plan outlines goals and objectives, such as conducting a vulnerability and risk assessment. San Francisco intends to build upon the plan and fully develop an adaptation plan for sea level rise by 2018.

United States Geological Survey (USGS) Interactive Map: In August 2016, USGS produced an interactive map that allows residents living in and around New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains to see where they are located in relation to post-wildfire areas that may present debris-flow hazards (e.g., fast-moving landslides). The map also provides land managers and decision-makers with the ability to pinpoint locations where mitigation activities would minimize both the threat of wildfires and the potential for debris flows.

RainReady Midlothian: Midlothian, Illinois, has faced chronic flooding in recent years. In response, Midlothian and its partners developed a flood plan, RainReady Midlothian, that establishes a common understanding of the village’s flood risk, describes methods of reducing flood impacts, and explains how to implement them. In addition, the plan emphasizes using green infrastructure not only to mitigate the negative impacts of floods, but also to preserve natural habitats, create jobs, and beautify neighborhoods.

Preparedness Indicators

Percentage of U.S. population (excluding territories) covered by formal mitigation strategies: Hazard mitigation strategies guide jurisdictional risk reduction efforts. DHS measures the percentage of the Nation’s population covered by formal mitigation strategies. Between fiscal years 2011 and 2015, this percentage has risen from 68.7 percent to 80.8 percent—an increase of more than 12 percentage points.

Mitigation Preparedness Indicator (Percentage of U.S. population (excluding territories) covered by formal mitigation strategies) from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Y-axis shows percentage of Percentage of U.S. population (excluding territories) covered by formal mitigation strategies, while x-axis shows percent change of those values in target from Fiscal Year 2011 – Fiscal Year 2015 (68.7%, 71.0%, 76.7%, 79.6%, 80.8%).

Percentage of communities adopting disaster-resistant building codes: FEMA encourages the adoption and enforcement of disaster-resistant building codes to help communities increase their structural resilience. Adoption rates have shown an upward trend over the past five years. From fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2015, the percentage of communities adopting building codes with provisions that adequately address earthquake, flood, and wind hazards rose from 48 percent to 63 percent.

Preparedness Indicator Mitigation Graph (Percentage of communities adopting disaster-resistant building codes) from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Y-axis shows Percentage of communities adopting disaster-resistant building codes, while x-axis shows percent change of those values in target from Fiscal Year 2011 – Fiscal Year 2015 (48%, 56%, 57%, 61%, 63%).

Response

Response Banner from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Picture of emergency responders helping a survivor with a walker out of his house.

The Response mission is to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs after an incident. Response key findings from the 2017 Report are:

  • Public- and private-sector partners are collaborating to advance diagnostics, case monitoring, and case management in response to the Zika virus outbreak.
  • Complex incidents that do not fall within the Stafford Act continue to challenge Federal response.
  • Some state and local jurisdictions are taking advantage of private-sector and nonprofit delivery mechanisms to address persistent challenges in dispensing medical countermeasures.
  • Federal agencies demonstrated their agility by anticipating and reacting to evolving response needs during Hurricane Matthew.
  • The whole community supported the response to the August flooding in Louisiana through both traditional and innovative practices, although mass care challenges remain.
  • Though Federal, state, and local agencies have worked to address challenges in interoperability for first responder emergency communications, progress has been incremental.
  • New Federal guidance establishes a mechanism to coordinate Federal response to large scale malicious cyber activity, while cyber threats such as attacks on industrial control systems continue to rise.
  • First responders have adopted new approaches to combat active shooters; however, recent events illustrated the need for the expanded responder medical training.

Summary of Progress

The Response mission area continues to be an area of relative strength and priority nationwide with five of the 10 capabilities most frequently selected as a high priority in the Response mission area.

  • Response efforts during the August Louisiana flooding, the Zika virus outbreak, and Hurricane Matthew highlighted specific strengths in Mass Search and Rescue; Operational Coordination; and Public Health, Healthcare, and Emergency Medical Services, while revealing challenges in delivering Mass Care Services.
  • Five of the 10 capabilities most frequently selected as a high priority were in the Response mission area. Even so, Fatality Management Services, Infrastructure Systems, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Mass Care Services exhibited below-average levels of proficiency in 2016 State Preparedness Report responses.
  • Though states and territories reported a five percent increase in Fatality Management Services from 2015 (the largest increase of all core capabilities), Infrastructure Systems, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Mass Care Services all declined in proficiency from last year.

2016 Response Core Capabilities (High Priority vs. Proficient) from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Horizontal bar graph of percentage of state/territory responses indicating high priority on left and percentage of state/territory responses indicating proficiency on right. For Priority level: on-scene security, prot., law enforcement (52%), environmental response/health and safety (52%), public health/healthcare/EMS (71%), operational communications (88%), situational assessment (68%), fire management and suppression (59%), critical transportation (64%), mass search and rescue operations (63%), mass care services (63%), logistics and supply chain management (52%), infrastructure systems (64%), fatality management services (39%). For Proficiency level: on-scene security, prot., law enforcement (61%), environmental response/health and safety (58%), public health/healthcare/EMS (57%), operational communications (55%), situational assessment (52%), fire management and suppression (50%), critical transportation (48%), mass search and rescue operations (45%), mass care services (35%), logistics and supply chain management (34%), infrastructure systems (34%), fatality management services (33%).

By The Numbers

The FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination trained 650 individuals: In 2016, FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination delivered its two-day course, “Integrating Access and Functional Needs into Emergency Planning,” 25 times to a total of approximately 650 individuals, which included emergency planners and managers, as well as disability support, service, and advocacy personnel. The course informs participants on how to use disability-inclusive practices throughout emergency response and recovery.

The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) identified four capabilities and 17 associated objectives for the healthcare delivery system: In November 2016, ASPR released 2017-2022 Health Care Preparedness and Response Capabilities, which identifies four capabilities and 17 associated high-level objectives that the Nation’s healthcare delivery system should undertake to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. Recipients of Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) funding will implement these capabilities starting with the July 2017 HPP project period.

The U.S. Fire Administration delivered 3,466 courses: In fiscal year 2016, the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy delivered 3,466 courses and trained 99,636 students in preparedness subjects, including Incident Management, Hazardous Materials Response, and Mass Casualty Incident Management.

Response Snapshots

Emergency Preparedness in Chicago Child Care Centers: In 2016, the City of Chicago, FEMA, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago held a four-part workshop series on emergency preparedness for child care center directors and employees. More than 40 child care directors from Chicago attended the workshops to review ways of better preparing their facilities for emergencies, plan escape routes, and draft action plans to use community resources during an emergency.

Columbia River Gorge Inland Spill Exercise Series: This exercise series consisted of national, regional, and principal-level, discussion-based exercises that addressed a fictional crude oil spill in the Columbia River. An incident similar to the exercise scenario later occurred on June 3 in Mosier, Oregon, in which 16 railcars carrying crude oil derailed along the Columbia River. Participation in the exercise series resulted in enhanced response coordination among state, local, and tribal organizations, as well as the railroad industry, during the actual spill.

Wireless Network Resiliency Cooperative Framework: In April 2016, five wireless service providers and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association announced the Wireless Network Resiliency Cooperative Framework, a voluntary initiative that enhances industry collaboration through various actions (e.g., encouraging mutual aid between service providers, coordinating service restoration). After working with wireless service providers to test the framework during the August Louisiana floods and Hurricane Matthew, where it contributed to rapid restoration of wireless communications, FCC adopted the framework in December 2016.

Preparedness Indicators

Cumulative number of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) ready to receive text-to-911 messages: With an estimated 70 percent of 911 calls made from cell phones, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) encourages 911 emergency call centers to accept text messages from mobile phones or devices in addition to voice calls. Before 2014, none of the Nation’s PSAPs (i.e., emergency call centers) were capable of receiving text-to-911 requests. This measure analyzes the cumulative number of new public safety answering points ready to receive text-to-911 requests. As of December 28, 2016, 754 of the Nation’s 6,419 public safety answering points are ready to receive text-to-911 messages.

Response Preparedness Indicator (Cumulative number of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) ready to receive text-to-911 messages) from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Y-axis shows number of public safety answering points (with a total number of public safety answering points as 6,419). The x-axis shows these values across Fiscal Year 2014 (177), 2015 (433), and 2016 (754).

Percentage of people in imminent danger saved in the maritime environment: Each year, FEMA, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) collectively assign or carry out tens of thousands of rescue missions in urban, inland, and maritime/coastal environments. In particular, USCG serves as the Federal search and rescue coordinator for the maritime environment. This measure assesses the percentage of people in imminent danger saved each year by USCG. Though factors beyond USCG’s control can lead to tragic outcomes, the percentage of people saved in fiscal year 2016 was 79.3 percent.

Response Preparedness Indicator (Percentage of people in imminent danger saved in the maritime environment) from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Y-axis shows Percentage of people in imminent danger saved in the maritime environment. The x-axis shows these values across Fiscal Year 2010 (74.4%), 2011 (77.3%), 2012 (77.3%), 2013 (79.0%), 2014 (79.4%), 2015 (79.8%), 2016 (79.3%).

Recovery

Recovery banner from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Picture of a large pile of debris from houses from a disaster

The Recovery mission area is focused on maintaining and restoring important community assets after an incident, such as housing, infrastructure, businesses, and health and social services, as well as ensures consideration for natural and cultural resources. Recovery key findings from the 2017 Report are:

  • Recovery activities following the Flint, Michigan, water crisis demonstrate the adaptability of the private and public sectors in coordinating resources during a non-traditional disaster, despite challenges in addressing the crisis’s ongoing effects.
  • Nongovernmental and private organizations provide critical support during disaster recovery, but their ability to sustain recovery efforts faces challenges.
  • Re-establishing child care services is an important element in helping families to recover, but most childcare centers face severe challenges after a disaster.
  • Recent flooding events highlight ongoing gaps in delivering housing solutions efficiently and effectively after disasters.
  • Federal departments and agencies are implementing corrective actions to address persistent challenges to core capabilities in the Recovery mission area.

Summary of Progress

  • For the fifth consecutive year, states and territories reported some of their lowest levels of proficiency in Recovery core capabilities. Recovery-specific core capabilities also remain a lower priority for states and territories relative to most other core capabilities.
  • Recovery efforts for the Louisiana floods, Hurricane Matthew, and the Flint water crisis have called attention to specific challenges in Housing, Health and Social Services, and Economic Recovery, while highlighting improvements in Operational Coordination.
  • Based on FEMA preparedness grants in fiscal year 2015, a smaller portion of disaster assistance funding goes to the Recovery mission area than to any other mission area. Excluding the core capabilities common to all mission areas, grant expenditures on Recovery core capabilities represented less than 1.3 percent of all FEMA preparedness grants in fiscal year 2015.
  • States and territories reported that Recovery core capabilities remain among those in the greatest danger of decline. Twenty-nine percent selected Economic Recovery as among those in most danger of decline and 20 percent selected Natural and Cultural Resources, Infrastructure Systems, and Housing.

2016 Recovery Core Capabilities Graph high priority vs. proficient from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Horizontal bar graph of percentage of state/territory responses indicating high priority on left and percentage of state/territory responses indicating proficiency on right. For Priority level: infrastructure systems (64%), health and social services (32%), natural and cultural resources (5%), housing (36%), economic recovery (45%). For Proficiency level: infrastructure systems (34%), health and social services (31%), natural and cultural resources (29%), housing (21%), economic recovery (17%).

By the Numbers

Small Busisness Administration (SBA) approved 25,235 Disaster Assistance Loans: In fiscal year 2016, SBA approved 25,235 Disaster Assistance Loans totaling more than $1.4 billion. Approximately 50 percent of this total stemmed from the August floods in Louisiana. Disaster assistance loans help businesses, nonprofits, homeowners, and renters repair and replace physical losses, and assist nonprofits and small businesses with post-disaster operating expenses.

30 states provided training on disaster recovery: In 2016, approximately 30 states used the “Recovery from Disaster: The Local Community Role” course to provide instruction to local communities, allowing greater access to the course (beyond solely Federal offerings). The course focuses on the roles and responsibilities of local disaster recovery teams, and provides guidance on developing and implementing pre- and post-disaster recovery plans.

FEMA consolidated 15 recovery policies: In September 2016, FEMA published Individuals and Households Program Unified Guidance, which provides recovery stakeholders with increased transparency about how the Individuals and Households Program works. The unified guidance consolidates 15 previously disjointed policies (many not publicly available) into a single reference.

Recovery Snapshots

Iowa Legal Aid App: In August, Iowa Legal Aid, a nonprofit organization that provides legal services and support to the state’s vulnerable and low-income populations, launched a disaster relief mobile app that helps users prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. Among its many features, the app allows users to securely store insurance information, learn about post-incident assistance and legal rights, and communicate with Iowa Legal Aid staff following disasters. As of January 2017, more than 200 downloads of the app have occurred.

“Homes For White Sulphur Springs” Program: This program—a collaboration between Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) and private sector partners—assists in the recovery of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, which experienced flooding in June 2016. The program buys out properties located in the floodplain and allows their owners to use proceeds from the sale toward purchasing homes in a new housing development (outside the floodplain). As of December 2016, the program had raised over $1.7 million, providing MDS with funds to purchase materials for 20 homes—many of which are already complete and occupied by disaster survivors.

Spatial Analysis of Behavioral Health. In 2016, CDC published a study using geographic information system (GIS) and spatial analysis to locate at-risk areas and populations following Hurricane Katrina. The analysis indicated that hospitalizations increased from 2004 to 2008 and geographically shifted from flood-exposed areas to more insulated areas over time, with poverty as a central factor. The study demonstrates the potential for GIS tools to locate at-risk populations, which emergency managers can use to improve pre-disaster recovery plans and better allocate resources post-disaster.

Preparedness Indicators

Quality of FEMA Individual Assistance Program services delivered to disaster survivors: FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program helps individuals and households affected by disasters to recover as quickly and efficiently as possible. This performance measure demonstrates how well the program delivered services to affected individuals by combining metrics such as how long it took to award assistance funds, how quickly assistance call centers answered survivor calls, and how satisfied survivors were with the program. At 95 percent, fiscal year 2016 results surpassed the target set for the fiscal year (94 percent).

Recovery Preparedness Indicators (Quality of FEMA Individual Assistance Program services delivered to disaster survivors) from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Y-axis shows quality of FEMA Individual Assistance Program services delivered to disaster survivors. The x-axis shows these values across Fiscal Year 2013 (94.5%), 2014 (91.5%), 2015 (96.9%), 2016 (95.0%) measured against 2016 Target (94.0%).

Quality of Public Assistance Program services delivered to communities: FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides grants—averaging $4.7 billion annually over the last 10 years—for infrastructure recovery and debris removal to state, local, and tribal governments so that communities can quickly recover from disasters. This performance measure combines inputs such as how quickly FEMA began addressing requests for assistance and how well tools and processes worked in delivering program services. At 92 percent, results from fiscal year 2016 were unchanged from the previous year. FEMA is implementing a new delivery model for Public Assistance that aims to improve the program’s effectiveness and better meet the needs of applicants.

Recovery Preparedness Indicators (Quality of Public Assistance Program services delivered to communities) from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Y-axis shows Quality of Public Assistance Program services delivered to communities. The x-axis shows these values across Fiscal Year 2013 (86.2%), 2014 (90.9%), 2015 (92.0%), 2016 (92.0%) measured against 2016 Target (92.0%).

Ongoing Challenges

Banner describing ongoing challenges conclusion for the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Picture of a row of mobile housing units.

While National Preparedness Reports (of which this is the sixth) describe numerous actions taken to increase national preparedness, they also identify persistent or emerging issues that hinder progress. This section highlights ongoing challenges in each of the five mission areas.

Prevention

  • Collecting information in an environment of increasingly encrypted communications
  • Detecting and preventing attacks by homegrown violent extremists

Protection

  • Securing increasingly interconnected systems from cyber attack
  • Balancing competing demands between increasing security and minimizing disruptions to travel and commerce

Mitigation

  • Inspiring individuals to prepare for emergencies
  • Advancing and communicating cost-benefit analyses to support mitigation decisions

Response

  • Ensuring that disaster survivors with disabilities and others with access and functional needs receive equal access to response services
  • Improving responder capacity and coordination in catastrophic events

Recovery

  • Comprehensively addressing the housing needs of disaster survivors
  • Developing comprehensive pre-disaster plans to support post-disaster recovery efforts

Research Approach

Research Approach Banner from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Picture of two hands pointing towards different locations on a map.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates the development of the National Preparedness Report. To ensure a comprehensive report that reflects progress and challenges occurring nationwide, FEMA takes several actions to collect, analyze, and present information from numerous sources, including:

  • Applying a criteria-based approach in analyzing preparedness assessments, exercises, funding, and long-term trends influencing preparedness to identify national areas for improvement and capabilities to sustain among the 32 core capabilities;
  • Analyzing 2016 Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments from 113 states, territories, tribes, and urban areas, as well as 2016 State Preparedness Report submissions from all 56 states and territories, in order to identify national shifts in the threats and hazards that jurisdictions are using to drive their capability requirements, to compare relative performance among all capabilities, and to identify performance trends over time;
  • Conducting a data call with Federal departments and agencies to solicit their input and identify national preparedness accomplishments and related challenges;
  • Completing a literature review of open-source material from all levels of government, academia, professional organizations, and the private sector for information on notable progress and challenges related to the 32 core capabilities identified in the Goal;
  • Coordinating outreach with professional organizations and other non-Federal partners to obtain information, solicit perspectives on preparedness, and identify example case studies;
  • Examining exercises and real-world events occurring or reported in 2016 to identify preparedness outcomes and lessons learned; and
  • Engaging Federal departments, agencies, and senior interagency coordination groups to review and supplement report content.

The majority of the 2017 National Preparedness Report consists of key findings that assess specific areas of national preparedness. Key findings draw on both quantitative and qualitative sources to document relevant advancements and challenges. Five criteria helped identify key findings from the data sources and inputs:

  • Advancements in or challenges to preparedness programs: Whether major initiatives saw progress or difficulties that affected preparedness or resilience nationwide
  • Consequential increases or decreases in resources: The extent to which increases or decreases in resources—such as funding and personnel—meaningfully affected building, sustaining, or delivering a core capability
  • Broad impact across the public and private sector: Whether preparedness activities or assessments addressed multiple levels of government and non-Federal partners, including performance in real-world incidents
  • Significant increases or decreases in capability: The extent to which quantitative data demonstrated increases or decreases in a preparedness capability over time, as well as the underlying drivers for these changes
  • Relevance to national priorities: Whether an activity demonstrated progress in establishing or implementing national-level strategies and policies that set priorities for improving capability performance

For inclusion in the 2017 National Preparedness Report, key findings had to satisfy at least two of these five criteria.

9/11 Retrospective

Capabilities to Sustain banner from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Picture of New York City Skyline with both twin towers showing, as well as the statue of liberty.

In the wake of 9/11, Congress and the President established a bipartisan commission to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the attacks. In The 9/11 Commission Report, published in 2004, commission members identified 41 recommendations to guard against future attacks. This case study highlights some of the Commission’s recommendations, noting where the Nation has made substantial progress, as well as where some recommendations remain unfulfilled.

Achieving Greater Unity of Effort

Several of the Commission’s recommendations called out the fragmented nature of homeland security efforts at the time of the attacks and recommended encouraging information sharing to address the observed imbalance between security and shared knowledge.

Since 9/11, various nationwide efforts have enhanced information sharing among Federal, state, and local law enforcement, and the private sector:

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) increased the number of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs), which conduct counterterrorism investigations, from 35 in 2001 to more than 100 today.
  • The Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), created in 2003, consolidated and manages the Terrorist Screening Database (commonly known as the “watchlist”) to enable screening for immigration and travel, law enforcement, counterterrorism investigations, and intelligence purposes.
  • Seventy-eight state and major urban area fusion centers play a complementary role in gathering, analyzing, and sharing information, connecting law enforcement and state and local leadership with the rest of the homeland security enterprise.
  • Information-sharing platforms (e.g., the Homeland Security Information Network, the Technical Resource for Incident Prevention) facilitate the sharing of sensitive information.

Additional efforts to address the Commission’s recommendations include:

  • The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative helps train state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators related to terrorism, and standardizes how these observations are documented and shared.
  • The “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign has raised public awareness of indicators of terrorism and crime and emphasizes the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper authorities.
  • In 2003, President Bush directed the establishment of a single, comprehensive National Incident Management System (NIMS)—which incorporates the incident command system and unified command as best practices—to enable responders at all jurisdictional levels and across disciplines to work together. 
  • Since its inception in 2003, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded billions of dollars in grants to state and local agencies to enhance their communications capabilities.
  • Under the direction of Congress, DHS worked with stakeholders from all levels of government to develop the first National Emergency Communications Plan, which provided a more strategic approach to strengthening emergency communications capabilities nationwide.

Challenges in Implementing National Initiatives

The 9/11 Commission Report outlines two other commission recommendations that have encountered significant implementation challenges:

  • Establishing a biometric entry-exit screening system: While U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has collected biometric entry data on foreign nationals since 2004, it still lacks a comprehensive, nationwide system for collecting biometric exit data.
  • Secure Identification: In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act, which sought to enhance national security by preventing the fraudulent issuing and use of state driver’s licenses and identification cards.

In addition to these challenges, progress to address the 9/11 commission’s recommendation to free up and assign additional communication frequencies (i.e., frequency spectrum) for public safety use and to support interoperable communications has been slow.

Capabilities to Sustain

Capabilities to Sustain banner from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Picture of FEMA rescue teams in boats determining the next course of action.

FEMA used a two-part analysis to identify capability to sustain candidates. The first part of the analysis assesses proficiency, and the second part assesses a potential gap between demand and performance. Higher scores indicate that a core capability is a better candidate for being a capability to sustain.

In the first part of the analysis, FEMA scored each core capability against nine preparedness indicators to identify core capabilities that the Nation is proficient in executing. A maximum of 5.5 points was possible.

Part one of the capabilities to sustain analysis includes nine preparedness indicators that help identify core capabilities the Nation is proficient in executing.

CriteriaNumber of IndicatorsMaximum Point Contribution
Do the key findings in the 2017 National Preparedness Report indicate that this capability is an area of strength?11 point
Do the 2016 State Preparedness Report results indicate proficiency in this core capability nationwide?11 point
Is this core capability exercised frequently?31 point
Do data indicate strong participation in relevant training courses for this core capability?10.5 point
Do various assessments indicate that the core capability is relatively mature?32.0 point

 

In the second part of the analysis, FEMA scored each core capability against six additional indicators to identify core capabilities in which a growing gap may be likely between demand for the core capability and its performance. A maximum of 3.5 points was possible.

Part two of the capabilities to sustain analysis includes six preparedness indicators that help identify core capabilities in which a growing gap in capability may be likely in the future.

CriteriaNumber of IndicatorsMaximum Point Contribution
Do trends in State Preparedness Report results indicate a decreasing ability to meet performance targets for this core capability nationwide?31.5 point
Has this core capability experienced a significant drop in grant funding that may result in a future decline in capability levels?10.5 point
Do Federal strategic plans indicate that increasing demand for this core capability may exist in the future?11 point
Do various drivers influencing change in emergency management indicate that increasing gaps in this core capability may exist in the future?10.5 point

 

FEMA reviewed all scores as part of its final selection process. This review set the minimum scores required in both the first and second parts of the analysis to 2.0 and 1.0, respectively. If a core capability’s score was at or above the required thresholds and no discrepancies were identified, FEMA selected that core capability as a capability to sustain.

 

Areas for Improvement

Areas for Improvement Banner from the 2017 National Preparedness Report. Picture of a river between two mountains with a great amount of vegetation on both mountains.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) scored each core capability against nine preparedness indicators to identify area for improvement candidates. Higher scores indicated a likely area for improvement. FEMA scored each core capability against nine preparedness indicators. A maximum of 5.0 points was possible.

The areas for improvement analysis consists of nine preparedness indicators that help identify core capabilities in which the Nation is less proficient.

CriteriaNumber of IndicatorsMaximum Point Contribution
Do the key findings in the 2017 National Preparedness Report indicate that this capability exhibits major deficiencies in its performance nationally?11 point
Do the 2016 State Preparedness Report results indicate low proficiency in this core capability nationwide?11 point
Is this core capability infrequently exercised?31 point
Do data indicate low numbers of relevant training courses for this core capability?10.5 point
Is there evidence of progress in assessing and validating core capability performance?10.5 point
Has this core capability experienced a significant drop in grant funding that may result in a future decline in capability levels?10.5 point
Do various drivers influencing change in emergency management indicate that increasing gaps in this core capability may exist in the future?10.5 point

 

FEMA reviewed all scores as part of its final selection process. This review set the threshold for consideration as an area for improvement. If a core capability’s score was above the required threshold of 1.5 points with no discrepancies identified, FEMA selected that core capability as an area for improvement.

Read the Full Report

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Contact Us

If you have questions about the report, please contact us at NPR@fema.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 
09/26/2018 - 15:21