National Preparedness Goal: Second Edition Just Released

Today FEMA released the second edition of the National Preparedness Goal.  This document, which only has a few substantive changes from the original, provides a vision for preparedness across the nation.  It is best known for identifying the five mission areas of Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery; along with the Core Capabilities.  Many thanks to my colleague Jon who brought this release to my attention.  The updated National Preparedness Goal and associated documents can be found here.

There are not many changes in this update, and the changes that are included should be of little surprise if you reviewed the draft released for public comment several months back.  Up front, the update provides some editorial clarification on the definitions and relationships between the federal government and tribes as well as US territories.  It also provides more emphasis on the concept of whole community and the special populations within the whole community which may require additional protections and actions.

Perhaps the most significant changes are reflected in the Core Capabilities, of which there are now 32.  In the preamble to the Core Capabilities which discusses the concept of Risk, it is interesting to note that the Core Capability of Cybersecurity was specifically highlighted as having applicability across all Mission Areas – a concept which I fully agree with.  I’m left wondering, then, why it was not re-defined as a common Core Capability.

NPG 32 Core Capabilities

NPG 32 Core Capabilities

Other changes to the Core Capabilities include the renaming of the On-Scene Security and Protection Core Capability to On-Scene Security, Protection, and Law Enforcement; and the Public Health and Medical Services Core Capability to Public Health, Healthcare, and Emergency Medical Services.  Additionally, the Public and Private Services and Resources Core Capability was renamed to Logistics and Supply Chain Management, which seems to provide better recognition of the intent of that Core Capability.  Finally, a new Core Capability was added – Fire Management and Suppression.

Three of these changes seems to revolve around a stronger recognition and inclusion of the traditional first responder services of Law Enforcement, Fire Service, and Emergency Medical Services; all of which seemed to get lost in the bigger picture of the earlier capability discussions.  I’m hopeful these changes will help bring these services to the table in more communities when capabilities are discussed.  I’m a firm believer that the Core Capabilities provide a consistent, scalable, foundation for discussion of preparedness for every community.

© 2015 – Timothy Riecker

Emergency Preparedness Solutions, LLC


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