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HSPI's Preparedness, Response & Resilience Task Force Releases Interim Report on Resilience

May 16, 2011

The Interim Report represents the first in a series of contributions examining resilience policy that the Task Force will offer this year, culminating in a Final Report that will offer recommendations for Federal policymakers on how to enhance national resilience.
In response to the recent disasters in the U.S. and Japan and the release of Presidential Policy Directive-8: National Preparedness, the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) today released the Interim Report of its Preparedness, Response, and Resilience Task Force. The report urges policymakers to develop a shared-and actionable-vision of resilience.

"The most effective way for our country to recover from catastrophic events, whether natural or manmade, is to develop resilience in our federal, state, and local governments, our businesses, and our families," said Task Force co-chair and former Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) R. David Paulison.

The report's release coincides with FEMA's National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE 2011), which simulates an earthquake along the New Madrid fault line in the nation's midsection. As the report states, "By raising the possibility of a catastrophic earthquake-something that is likely not on the minds of many Midwesterners-the NLE can have the dual positive effect of pushing responders beyond their traditional mindsets and alerting the public at large of the risk." The report adds, "But ideally the exercise would go even further, by highlighting the reality that certain catastrophic events will exceed government capabilities. Therefore individuals will need to take responsibility to fill the gap between their needs and the capabilities of government."

"Preparing for the unexpected is necessary to enhance the nation's resilience for potentially catastrophic scenarios," said Task Force co-chair and former New York State Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Michael Balboni.

The Interim Report represents the first in a series of contributions examining resilience policy that the Task Force will offer this year, culminating in a Final Report that will offer recommendations for Federal policymakers on how to enhance national resilience. "With the recent devastation caused by tornadoes and floods in the South and Midwest, the experience of the Japanese earthquake, and the release of PPD-8, we felt it was important to share our initial findings now" said Daniel Kaniewski, Task Force co-chair and Deputy Director of HSPI. "We look forward continuing our efforts over the course of the year."