FEMA National Preparedness Report Finds Shortcomings in Cybersecurity, Disaster Recovery

In addition, the report reflects how the nation has made significant progress addressing opportunities for improvement identified after events such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its partners have released the 2012 National Preparedness Report (NPR) identifying significant progress the nation has made in areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. Overall, the report found that the nation has increased its collective preparedness, not only from external threats, but also for natural and technological hazards.

“This report illustrates areas of national strength to include planning, operational coordination, intelligence and information sharing, and other response-related capabilities,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “As we continually assess and aim to meet the full vision of the National Preparedness Goal, we must continue to build on the significant progress to date and address identified opportunities for improvement.”

The NPR highlights room for improvement in cybersecurity and recovery-focused capabilities. For example, almost two-thirds of U.S. firms report that they have been the victim of cybersecurity incidents or information breaches. To counter these and related threats, federal and private sector partners have accelerated initiatives to enhance data collection, detect events, raise awareness, and response to cyber incidents. The report also identifies long-term recovery capabilities—including economic recovery, housing, and natural and cultural resources—as areas for improvement.

The report reflects how the nation has made significant progress addressing opportunities for improvement identified after events such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. For example, the 9/11 attacks revealed limited information sharing across the government and the private sector, but since that time, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has developed a national network of fusion centers and has standardized policies. Additionally, DHS has been closely coordinating with the Joint Terrorism Task Forces for sharing information across the whole community.

Decision makers in the public and private sectors use risk analysis to shape and prioritize preparedness activities across mission areas. States are required to conduct threat and hazard identification and risk assessments as a condition for receiving most preparedness grants and set threat and hazard-based targets for capability assessments when developing State Preparedness Reports.

The NPR looked at 31 core capabilities needed to achieve the National Preparedness Goal across the five mission areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery. This Report was written in close coordination with leaders of federal departments and agencies, and reflects input from state, local, tribal and territorial governments, private and nonprofit sector partners and the general public.

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