Monday, September 19, 2011

A Decade Later--State Capability Assessments

On October 25, 2001 the following FACT SHEET was issued by FEMA Public Affairs:


October 25, 2001


State Terrorism Capability Assessment

In coordination with the Office of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is conducting an assessment of State terrorism capabilities in order to determine the capability of States to respond to terrorist attacks. State governments already have effective all-hazards emergency management programs in place. However, in order to ensure that States are ready to adequately respond in the event of future terrorist attacks, we need to know their current levels of readiness and where enhancements are needed.

As announced by FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh at a White House press conference on October 19, 2001, this assessment will be conducted jointly between the Federal Government and the States in order to establish an accurate reading of readiness capability. The assessment is being conducted through FEMA’s ten regional offices and includes representatives from other federal departments and agencies. These interagency teams will visit each State and work face-to-face to conduct the assessment. The State Emergency Management Directors have been asked to include other emergency management and public officials, including the National Guard, in order to get a full assessment of the States’ capabilities. The data that is collected in the assessment will be used by FEMA and the Office of Homeland Security to identify areas in State readiness capabilities that need improvement for planning and budgetary purposes. This information will be transmitted to Governor Tom Ridge, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, on November 19, 2001.

Director Allbaugh will continue to work closely with Governor Ridge on the response posture of the States as well as on other issues regarding Homeland Security. FEMA is a critical link in the President’s establishment of a homeland security program. FEMA is unique in the Federal Government because of its role in saving lives and protecting property, its linkages with State, Tribal and local emergency management functions, and its partnership with first responders. Governor Ridge has been and will continue to rely on FEMA to support the Nation’s homeland security program.

For further information, or if you have any questions, please contact FEMA’s Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Division on 202/646-4500."

Okay that first post 9/11/01 state capability assessment was never released publically. Why not do so now and issue and updated assessments? We do know that one STATE capability assessment conducted about 2005-2006 utilizing SLG-101 but not the excellent Attachment G to that document issued in April 2001 focusing on Terrorism flunked almost 60% of the STATES. The SLG 101 had been issued in 1996. So now a new CPG-101 has been issued replacing SLG-101 but not mentioning Attachment G. Some state capability assessment has been conducted and reported to higher-ups in DHS and the WH and the Congress. Those assessments are not encouraging.

I have posted before on how some states are weak sisters in the efforts to participate in reducing the threat of terrorism. About $31B has gone out since 9/11/01 to the STATES and their local governments [this does NOT include health
preparedness]! No one seems to know what that investment bought.

Perhaps time for Congressional oversight of both STATE CAPABILITY and FEMA grants!