Discussion Questions: Explain the concept of the â€œwhole communityâ€ and its relevance to homeland security. Concerning this community, offer an example of a specific resource found within it and the manner in which it can make a defined impact upon collective homeland security capabilities.
Instructions: Fully utilize the materials that have been provided to you in order to support your response. Your initial post should be at least 350 words. Please respond to at least two other students. Responses should be a minimum of 150 words and include direct questions. You may challenge, support or supplement another studentâ€™s answer using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. Also, do not be afraid to respectfully disagree where you feel appropriate; as this should be part of your analysis process at this academic level.
Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas. While proper APA is not required, attribution to sources that informed your posting should be included. Refer to the grading rubric for additional details concerning grading criteria.
Student Response 1 Gary
The whole community concept is aimed to reduce the Nationâ€™s risks through a collective understanding at all levels ranging from the individual resident to government officials by assessing needs, strengths, assets, capacities, and interests. This is supported by the National preparedness System through opening access to training and education is support of preparedness to build more resilient communities. This concept is tied to homeland security by the five mission areas: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery (US. Department of Homeland Security, 2015, p. 3). These core capabilities assist the whole community to identify and understand the risks to the Nationâ€™s security, thus enabling the prioritization of preparedness efforts. The whole community greatly assists in the homeland security apparatus through its level of preparedness by identifying risks, hazards, and threats, then being able to go through the core capabilities cycle requesting federal help when necessary. Basically the whole community approach is compartmentalizing risks, hazards, and threats to the local level, making them a greater stakeholder in their communityâ€™s welfare and safety. Through this, a combined effort with the help and oversight from the federal government creates an umbrella for National proactive and reactive preparedness.
One of the greatest resources associated with the whole community is the ability to pool efforts and existing resources from within the community itself. This is invaluable for three reasons; it makes everyone a stakeholder in the support of their local and National preparedness, builds resiliency, and a collective understanding. Unifying a community to collectively plan for and recover from any incident greatly reduces the economic and personnel requirements from the state and federal levels, especially during times when mass incidents have occurred. Alleviating additional strain on any system can greatly increase the ability to put much needed state and federal resources to the most needed areas. This is why the people are the greatest resource within the whole community, once unity and mutual understanding have been achieved to reach an end goal of preparedness through recovery. This greatly enhances the homeland security capabilities because a National preparedness has been reached and ready to face anything on a all hazards approach.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2015). National Preparedness Goal. Retrieved from http://apus.intelluslearning.com/v3/course-widget/…
Student Response 2
After the 9/11 attacks that left America forever scarred, it was apparent that we as a Nation were not prepared for a catastrophe of that proportions. The devastation drove massive changes in the way that the United States operates as a whole, from the federal government all the way down to city level governments. And the changes not only included all levels of government, but also had the private sector, down to individual citizens getting involved as well.
â€œA secure and resilient nation with 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 (National Preparedness Goal, 2015, p. 1.).â€
President Bush in 2002, shortly after 9/11, said that the terrorist threat to America was a â€œpermanent national conditionâ€ (Caudle, 2012). He directed policy changes and created the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that a terrorist attack like 9/11 would never happen on American soil again. In order for us to be a strong and resilient nation, it is important for the â€œwhole communityâ€ to work together. It doesnâ€™t matter what type of disastrous event that we face, whether it is a national disaster like Hurricane Harvey in 2017, a technological disaster like when the levees broke in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, or a man-made disaster like that of 9/11, we have to come together in order to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond, and recover (DHS, 2011).
The majority of our Nationâ€™s 16 critical infrastructure sectors are owned and operated by the private sector, not the federal government. Because of this, it is imperative that both entities work together to ensure the safety of the American people and our interests. The federal government provides guidelines, plans, and directives that the private sector can utilize to efficiently plan for and mitigate against disasters. The federal government can also ensure (to a certain extent) that companies are aware of the threats that out there so that they can constantly update their risk assessments and response plans.
The community can help the federal government by utilizing these plans and following directives. Private citizens can help by taking action if they see something suspicious. The â€œIf you see something, say somethingâ€ campaign came about around 2010 when the DHS adopted the idea from New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The campaign is still active today and individuals in the community are asked to submit SARs (suspicious activity reports) if they see something that is out of the norm to local law enforcement (DHS, 2019). Submitting these SARs or even just communicating with LEOs might stop any nefarious activity before it becomes an issue of public safety.
All the SARs are collected and sent to fusion centers throughout the United States. These Fusion Centers are used as a hub of information that flows back and forth through all levels of law enforcement to include all federal and state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) partners (DHS, 2019). This is a great example of how the â€œwhole communityâ€ concept can work to protect our nation from terrorist attacks.
Even with all that this Nation has done, and continues to do to prevent disasters from occurring, it is important to remember that threats will continue to evolve and change with time and technology. We must adapt to these changes so ensure that we can prevent and mitigate these threats.
Department of Homeland Security (2011). National preparedness system. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.
Department of Homeland Security. (2015). National preparedness goal. Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office.
Department of Homeland Security. (2019). If you see something, say something. Washington D.C. Government Printing Office.
National Preparedness System, the National Preparedness Goal (2015)