Department of Homeland Security and the Law

Department of Homeland Security and the Law

Read and reply to the below discussion. Do you agree or not with the discussion? Why?

1. As a country have we taken appropriate action for prevention and preparedness? Have we done what we need to do to ensure that we don’t have another 9/11? How about another Hurricane Katrina?

What have we done right? What do we still need to do?

In order to understand our current state in the National Security and Emergency Management arena we must first understand our past. There have been several events that have shaped our path throughout history that have led the government to their current procedures and beliefs when it comes to National Security and Emergency Management.

The two biggest events in recent history that have changed our lives forever are the horrific events of 9/11 and devastation of Hurricane Katrina. When it comes to 9/11 and things that could have been done to prevent it, we must start and end with our national security procedures. “Intelligence and investigation have kept us safe from terrorism in the past, and will continue to do so in the future (Schneier, 2006)”. It’s been stated in the past that inter-agency coordination between our leading protection agencies such as the FBI and CIA could have prevented the 9/11 attacks or made it very difficult to achieve what they achieved on that day.

That could have been due to a lot of reasons such as poor funding in the intelligence community, and just bureaucratic walls in the procedural differences between the two agencies. Since 9/11 they federal government has streamlined our national security with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security there has been better funding in the technological arena in the screening of international passengers, and the biggest impact was the restructuring of the intelligence community. There’s never a 100% way to prevent another 9/11 attack, but there are new procedures in places to make it a lot more challenging for terrorist to achieve 9/11 again.

Hurricane Katrina was another event that changed our lives and how we prepare and react to a natural disaster. It’s almost impossible to predict and control the actions of Mother Nature, but there are lessons to be learned from Katrina in the hopes of being better prepared for the next big storm. Some of the lessons that’s we’ve learn from Katrina is that we need bigger window in the notification of impact, and we need to have emergency resources readily available for immediate use.

The city of New Orleans could have been better prepared if they’re infrastructure were up to date, especially the levees which were there to protect the city. A nation grows by using “lessons learned” in their past, and I compare Hurricane Katrina to the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. Engineers were brought in to construct a Seawall to protect the city from storm surge and over the years they’ve been constant improvements into that project.

The city of New Orleans which thrives from the tourism industry could have taken a similar approach as did Galveston, and secured the city by hiring engineers to strengthen the levees. In the military we practice semiannual emergency action procedures for fire, bomb threat, and natural disasters; we rehearse safe pack out and evacuation procedures. Practice makes perfect, and cities there are in constant threat of hurricane impact need to exercise their emergency management procedures, and not wait until impact has occurred to formulate a plan.

Bruce Schneier, 2006. “Schneier on Security”. (accessed on 6 July 13)

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