You are a recent college graduate with a degree in emergency management and homeland security. You move to another state for your first professional position in this field, which is with a county emergency management office, serving a population of 50,000 citizens. When you arrive your first day, you ask to see the existing emergency operations plan (EOP). Other personnel tell you that your county employs a County Emergency Management Plan or CEMP, the design of which is determined by the state legislature. This is unexpected because you studied the National Response Framework (NRF) and National Incident Management System (NIMS) and other DHS-provided guidance and you assumed that these would be the basis for plans and strategies wherever you went.
Homeland Security & Crisis Management Planning
You also discover that although the county’s CEMP is dated within the last year, it probably has not been truly revised in many years. There is little indication that any national-level guidance or resources were considered in its development, and it does not appear to have much, if any, stakeholder buy-in. Additionally, there are no county-level strategies to draw upon, though you know from your educational program that this is not uncommon. Lastly, while your colleagues are clearly bright and motivated folks with diverse professional and educational backgrounds, none of them has a degree in EM or HS.
You decide that it is essential to inform your managers and peers of the role of national strategies for local communities and their planning. In a 5 page “white paper,” you will do the following:
- Provide a brief review of the National Response Framework (NRF), National Incident Management System (NIMS), and at least one other national-level strategy (of which there are dozens to choose).
- In your review, do not spend too much time summarizing the strategy. Rather, focus on what elements are most useful for the county as applications.
- An example might be highlighting Emergency Support Function (ESF) #4 on Firefighting from the NRF, because your county has recurring wildland fires each year. (This example is notional, and you may use hypothetical examples as well.)
- In the wildland fires scenario, explain how the ESF #4 might provide useful information or guidance for this county.
- Provide at least three main proposals for exactly how the county might incorporate strategic principles or tenets when revising its plans.
- These principles or tenets can be specific, such as providing ESF #4 points-of-contact and informing the reader where in the county plans these should go; or broader, such as engaging partners during planning, exercises, and operations, and how this inclusion will benefit the county.
- Whether specific or broad, be persuasive in arguing how these elements will aid the county in providing the best possible emergency management capability.
- Do not exceed seven pages for the body of your paper. You want the leadership and personnel to actually read it, so your work must be concise yet comprehensive.
- If you are challenged to stay concise, provide references to the readers embedded within your narrative and direct them to strategy elements that are specifically applicable. Do not just provide the general source reference at the end of the document if you are referencing specific portions of it in your paper.
- Ensure that your paper is well-organized and mechanically sound. Again, you are hoping to impress your colleagues with your insights and ability to express these.
- Do not make your product an opinion piece. While it is based on your perspectives, write affirmatively, using a professional and official tone and language. The words I, our, we, you, (and the like) should not appear anywhere. You may give the county a name if you like.