September 1, 2002
Taubman Center for State and Local Government, Kennedy School of Government
The importance of state and local domestic preparedness planning has been neglected as a result of the recent attention devoted to debates over the proposal to create a new federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS). An effective national domestic preparedness strategy must look beyond DHS to the needs and roles of responders in our hometowns. A bottom-up perspective is therefore critical. The report suggests nine simple, but extremely important, security measures that state and local governments can take to better prepare their own communities, and therefore the nation. It recommends avoiding the problem of two-hats, involving local mental health personnel, looking beyond the Centers for Disease Control, relying on neighborhood cops, engaging hometown CEO's, working together as a region, embracing the National Guard, educating local media, and sustaining preparedness.
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