Can you pick a sector represented by the readings or the additional sources and look at the protocols and procedures regarding its protection plans. Do you view these as adequate? Can you suggest any changes that might improve them?
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I will echo #s 4 and 6 -- a long, obscure, indecipherable document is of little use when problems occur. Contingency plans should be simple and easily understood, without lists of exceptions and excuses. If we want to simplify our government and streamline our processes, we need someone to sit down and revise (reduce) documents like this one.
Just to pick up on #2, one of the biggest challenges that is presented in this document is the trouble it is going to be to try and get the different agencies and levels of management to work together effectively to try and get the job done. This is going to be something that will potentially hinder the success of this.
The only indicator of a sector being addressed that I can recognize is Food and Agriculture Safety and Defense, under Prevent Mission Capabilities. Being completely unfamiliar with this sort of comprehensive government document, intended for a trained government readership (not for laypersons), it seems thorough and complete with sections dealing with everything from Volunteer Management to Communications to Mass Care (housing) to Community Recovery (rescue).
It seems the goal was a complete plan, which isn't a bad goal in and of itself, but as other posters have pointed out, this makes things much more complicated and perhaps slows the response. Rather than planning for every possible contingency, it seems it would be better to prepare a plan for categories of responses that were flexible in nature and could be easily adapted to whatever disaster presented itself.
I have to confess that when I opened your link, my first reaction was "Oh no -- another example of the kind of government-sponsored writing that seems impenetrable to regular people." That is still pretty much my reaction. I guess I understand the need for such documents, but I wish they were easier to read and easier to comprehend. This looks like the kind of document that gets written and then put aside; it is hard for me to imagine anyone reading it cover-to-cover. On the other hand, the fact that it is in PDF format makes key-word searching much easier.
My concern is the general nature of the items the study intends to address. Protecting communication, for instance, is a real concern. Since the U.S. is connected by only a few major cell phone carriers which rely on computers, and because computers can be hacked, I would worry how this could be addressed in a country of this size.
Another note comes from the text:
Assessment of Preparedness: The TCL provides a basis for assessing preparedness to help jurisdictions and agencies to plan strategically, design appropriate programs that meet proven needs, and evaluate the effectiveness of investments over time.
Here, again, I wonder just how a country can assess preparedness when we can never be sure how an attack would present itself. We were totally caught off-guard because of the manner in which we were attacked and the severity of the impact of the attacks. How could we have prepared for it not imagining that kind of evil. Certainly, we have been well educated, but enough? Again, how can we have a standard of preparedness nationwide, between large cities and so many small communities spread around and between these cities? How will there ever be enough money or physical resources to ascertain that all jurisdictions and agencies are equally and satisfactorily prepared?
This document is 570 pages. In other words, this is a seriously long document. Hence, once problem I see is that things are too complicated. When there is an event or a disaster, we need to move quickly. Protocol needs to be instantaneous. Minutes can make all the difference. So, if FEMA has a 570 book, then I see this as a problem. They need to streamline things, so that all people would be in the know and act immediately.
It seems to me that the biggest challenges involved in meeting some of the guidelines laid out in this document are in coordination. There are many lists of duties and procedures, but few tangible measures for ensuring that the different levels of bureaucracy cooperate and share information with each other.
The first inadequacy I see is that this publication is so old. Since 2007 much has changed in the world, where the unstable areas are, and so on. There is even a different presidential administration. There is new technology. I'd say we are in need of some updating.
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