Discussion: mission area goals—capabilities and elements

 In 2005, Hurricane Katrina introduced the United States to the new concept of a higher level or a “catastrophic” natural disaster. The hurricane tested the implementation of NIMS and led to the development of the National Response Framework to replace the earlier National Response Plan. It also inspired a series of legislative and executive actions to reorganize FEMA and the overall national homeland security program. A year after Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration published the report, “The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned.” Although this report focuses on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, it remains a classic case study that also addresses federal interaction with state and local governments as well as the private sector. At the same time, the Target Capabilities List (TCL) developed by the Department of Homeland Security (you were introduced to the TCL in Week 2), was expanded and updated following the experience of Hurricane Katrina. The TCL continues to evolve as the primary metric linked with the National Preparedness Guidelines, and serves as a powerful tool for assessing the response to Hurricane Katrina and any other hazard or disaster. The TCL also informs the federal, state, and local homeland security agencies about the capabilities they need to achieve. Although a natural disaster cannot be prevented, the TCL outlines capabilities of the homeland security agencies to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from all kinds of natural disasters—up to and including a catastrophic event, such as Hurricane Katrina.


To prepare for this Discussion: (Please see attachments)  

  • Review the assigned pages of the article, “Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Report.” Focus on the five goals listed under “Mission 5: Ensuring Resilience to Disasters.”
  • Review Chapters 1, 3, and 4 of the online article, “The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned.” Pay particular attention to the disaster overview and observations regarding the effectiveness of of the preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts by all levels of government.
  • Review the assigned pages (1-11) of the article, “National Preparedness Guidelines,” focusing on the description of target capabilities and their corresponding elements. Keep the TCL in mind as a tool to help you make your assessment below. Note: The mission areas referenced in this article (prevention, protection, response, and recover) differ from the current mission areas. The capabilities and corresponding elements, however, still apply to current mission areas, particularly Mission Area 5.
  • Select two goals listed under “Mission 5: Ensuring Resilience to Disasters” for use in this Discussion.
  • Identify specific capabilities and corresponding elements related to the goals you selected that were carried out during Hurricane Katrina.
  • Reflect on how the capabilities and corresponding elements you identified were carried out.
  • With this in mind, consider whether the efforts related to the goals you selected were effective or ineffective and why.

By Day 4

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the goals you selected. Then explain the degree to which specific capabilities and corresponding elements related to the goals were carried out during Hurricane Katrina. Finally, based on the capabilities and corresponding elements and the degree to which they were carried out, explain whether the efforts related to the goals were effective or ineffective and why or why not. Be specific and use examples to support your explanation.

Note: Identify the goals you discussed in the first line of your post. You will be asked to respond to a colleague who discussed at least one goal that you did not.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with  specific references to the Learning Resources.


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