Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama bin Laden - May 1, 2011

Late last night when I was writing this post, the news of Osama bin Laden came over the TV. I decided to wait until this morning to make this post.

It is a moment for reflection on the importance of vigilance and a long view towards the situation we face as James Carafano has advocated.

We must be grateful as a nation for all the dedicated professionals who have maintained their pursuit of bin Laden and for the bravery of our military and civilians that carried out and supported the operation.

It also demonstrates that we have the will as a nation to pursue our national interest over the long run.

Ironically two weeks ago, I was privileged to attend a seminar called "Terrorism - The Thinking Man's Game" at MIPT in Oklahoma City.

Tim Manning from FEMA opened the seminar on Monday, April 18th. The seminar was attended by many other well recognized figures in the field. Brian Jenkins from Rand and Mike Walker from Naval Postgraduate School gave major presentations on the current status of terrorism in our world.

Frank Cilluffo, Vice President at The George Washington University facilitated the day and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin addressed the group at lunch.

The news of bin Laden's death is a reminder that we are confronting ideologies and not traditional nation states. These ideologies in the context of 21st century globalization create an environment that calls for vigilance, determination, and professionalism in the pursuit of securing our people.

The Oklahoma City Memorial Museum provides an incredibly detailed account of the domestic terrorism bombing, the investigation, and the aftermath of the event in 1995. I try to go there whenever I'm in town to refocus my attention on the task at hand.

The seminar was followed the next day by the Annual Memorial Ceremony remembering those who were killed, survived, or affected by the Murrah Building bombing on April 19th, 1995.

Tim Manning participated in the ceremony and read some of the names of the 168 victims.

It was a fitting venue to refocus on the issue of terrorism and continue to call attention to the vigilance required to prevent terrorism.

The news of bin Laden will evoke many emotions, but we must remain cool headed in the moment.
The death of Osama bin Laden is an important milestone in the world's struggle with terrorism and should be a moment of relief for our nation.

It is also a sobering reminder that we must be quietly on our guard in the coming weeks and months because he was only a symbol of a larger narrative.

Thanks for checking in.

Dennis R. Schrader

Sunday, April 24, 2011

PPD-8:PKEMRA and 6 U.S. Code

Now that PPD-8 is established as Policy it is a good opportunity to go back and look at the law and what has been required for the past 5 years since 2006.

Title 6 U.S. Code Domestic Security, Chapter 2 National Emergency Management, Part A, National Preparedness System, Sections 741-754 [heretofore referred to as PKEMRA] did an excellent job of outlining the requirements for National Preparedness.

It would be worth examining the progress thus far, given that we are coming up on the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 and the 6 year anniversary of Katrina.

Since following the law would be a good place to start, it will be interesting to see where we have come in 5 years.

6 U.S. Code was so comprehensive that I always felt that it would take 7-10 years to fully implement in the spirit and intent of the law.

Section 749 requires the development of a Comprehensive Assessment System and Section 752 outlines Reporting Requirements. The reports for Federal Preparedness and State Preparedness are required annually since October 2007.

The first report required by PPD-8 may be fairly easy if the annual reports have been done as required.

If not this will be a good first step forward.

Thanks for checking in.

Dennis R. Schrader

Saturday, April 16, 2011

PPD-8 and Post Katrina Act of 2006 (PKEMRA)

Now that the new Preparedness Policy Directive (PPD-8) is in place, it would be useful to test what elements of the PPD-8 are codified in PKEMRA.

The PPD directs that it should be implemented consistent with PKEMRA, so it probably makes sense to examine what is already in law.

For example, PKEMRA Sections 643 and 644 defines The National Preparedness Goal and the 8 components of the National Preparedness System.

(1) Target capabilities and preparedness priorities.
(2) Equipment and training standards.
(3) Training and exercises.
(4) Comprehensive assessment system.
(5) Remedial action management program.
(6) Federal response capability inventory.
(7) Reporting requirements.
(8) Federal preparedness.
The time lines in the PPD are very ambitious, but since PKEMRA has been in place, it is a safe assumption that the core requirements are already in place. 
The good news is that the reporting requirements and basic components have been in process for four years and are more than likely well under way.
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.
More to come as we examine the comparison going forward.
Thanks for checking in.
Dennis R. Schrader

Sunday, April 10, 2011

FEMA Strategic Plan 2011-2014 and PPD-8

Last month I wrote about the compelling vision painted by FEMA's Administrator. I was wondering how the vision would be implemented to sustain this bold vision through the ebb and flow of major events and changes in Administration.

I was delighted to see that the vision had been carefully documented in the updated FEMA strategy 60 days ago in February 2011. The strategy outlines 4 major initiatives. The first two cover the keystones of Whole of Community and Maximum of Maximums. The second two outline the ideas of deploying Regional Threat and Hazard Identification Assessments (THIRA) and the Organizational Development activities that will transform the culture and human resources to execute the vision throughout the national enterprise.

The strategy clearly supports the QHSR and the legal requirements laid out in the Post Katrina Act 2006.

Even better news this week is that the updated Presidential Directive on National Preparedness (PPD-8) fundamentally embraces the Post Katrina Act, adds Resilience as a priority, and builds on the work of the past decade to continue to mature the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Enterprise. It also directly addresses the desire to empower the private sector and NGO's as resources in the enterprise.

I recommend watching Brian Kamoie's presentation at the Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) program this past Friday, April 8th.

More to come as we analyze the implications of these developments, but it certainly is cause for optimism.

Thanks for checking in,

Dennis R. Schrader

Sunday, April 3, 2011

National Capital Region (NCR) Flashback - 2003

I was reflecting on how time flies. If you recognize everyone in this picture, you've been around awhile.

It was at an NCR UASI event in 2003 to reaffirm the 8 commitments that the NCR jurisdictions had made to collaboration in 2001.

Thanks for checking in,

Dennis R. Schrader

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Private Sector Leadership - Designing Security into the Built Environment

I met Barabara Nadel a well known Architect at the New Stock Exchange event sponsored by TISP and DRII on March 21st.

Meeting her reinforced my believe; that away from the tumult of a decade of political dialogue in Washington, there is quiet but significant effort underway in the private sector  by design and construction professionals to make our nation safer.

Barbara has written extensively on designing security into the built environment. She edited a comprehensive handbook on Security. I plan to review it, but the Table of Contents and first chapter seem to cover the waterfront of the topic by over 50 contributors.

Building Security: Handbook for Architectural Planning and Design by Barbara A. Nadel 2004

The thesis of her book; Achieving Transparent Security through design reminded me of my own experience at the University of Maryland Medical System. We had a bad security situation in the medical center in the late 80s , but after careful master planning and steady facility improvements over time we were able to improve the security of the operation without creating an armed camp.

I'll keep you posted on my findings.

Thanks for checking in;


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Applied Disaster Resilience: Private-Public Convergence

Last week was a whirlwind of activity from New York City to Washington, DC.

The Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP), the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII), the All Hazards Consortium (AHC), and Domestic Preparedness Journal/DomPrep 40 each held events exploring the issues of Private-Public Sector Disaster Resilience.

I could only attend 2 of the 3, but was delighted by the energy that these initiatives have generated. All three events were interrelated and demonstrate the way forward. If a true "Whole of Community" capability is to emerge, it will require sustained leadership by the private sector.

The New York Stock Exchange hosted the TISP-DRII event on Monday, March 21st that explored the status of the PS-Prep Program. DHS officials attended and many senior Business Continuity leaders from major companies shared their thoughts about the standards based program.

Wells Fargo, Disney, and Pfizer were well known names in the audience.

The design and construction industry was also well represented. Besides Al Romano, there was Bob Prieto from Fluor, Cathy Carr Clinch from URS, John Friedlander from Cushman and Wakefield, three representatives from Parsons Brinckerhoff,  Barbara Nadel; an architect who has written a book on Security Engineering, and Mike Chipley from PMC.

I saw this as the beginning of a long private-public conversation. TISP and DRII will collaborate on a white paper to DHS as the outcome of this discussion.

Al Berman (DRII), Al Romano (Michael Baker, Jr.), and William Anderson (TISP) deserve great credit for this symposium that emerged from the DomPrep 40 event at the National Press Club last November 2010.

The AHC meeting was held at the Newark Airport Renaissance Hotel to discuss Regional projects both in the public and private sector realm. I was very impressed by the quality of the projects and especially the work that New Jersey has done with the food industry.

Joe Picciano from New Jersey; current AHC President, has painted a clear vision of the AHC's focus on integrated planning by the private and public sectors. I had the privilege of moderating the second day's discussions on March 22nd.

The panelists from Morgan Stanley (Gregory Ferris) , Wakefern Foods (Michael Ambrosio), and Sprint/Nextel (Richard Zinno) were outstanding. They committed almost the entire day to the project panels and their involvement made a major contribution to the discussions.

The goal will be to hold several follow on workshops that are industry specific with owner/operators in the Region. The Private Sector panelists were Continuity leaders from their companies. Richard Zinno is a DRII certified Continuity Professional.

Ira Tannenbaum from NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) discussed a very interesting preview to his initiative to weave private interests into the Urban Area Preparedness in New York City. It was fascinating how highly evolved the projects are from NY/NJ and Philadelphia. Scott Di Giralomo (Morris County, NJ) and Noreen Cardinali (NJ DOT OEM), and Joe Liciardello (SE PA Task Force) and Captain Walter Smith (Philadelphia PD) presented excellent projects on their private sector initiatives.

I missed the DomPrep meeting in Washington, DC on March 21st. It was a recap of the survey led by DOMPrep 40 member; Bob Stephan (Dutko Worldwide), on the work being done to plan for and protect Special Events which are generally large scale gatherings. I would have loved to hear this and will look for the survey results.

Al Romano, Joe Picciano, and I are also members of the DomPrep 40 and believe the effort is a solid contribution to the private-public convergence process. I am optimistic that this type of continued dialogue will aid the convergence of language that will lead to true Private-Public convergence.

Thanks for checking in,