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Homeland Security

Homeland Security Planning Scenarios

The White House Homeland Security Council (HSC) - in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the federal interagency, and state and local homeland security agencies - developed fifteen all-hazards planning scenarios for use in national, federal, state, and local homeland security preparedness activities. These scenarios are designed to be the foundational structure for the development of national preparedness standards from which homeland security capabilities can be measured. While these scenarios reflect a rigorous analytical effort by federal, state, and local homeland security experts, it is recognized that refinement and revision over time may be necessary to ensure the scenarios remain accurate, represent the evolving all-hazards threat picture, and embody the capabilities necessary to respond to domestic incidents.

Common Response Threads:

Media Access and Support - The support and cooperation of media in informing and protecting citizens is a critical aspect of emergency response. In many cases, media sources represent the best or only source of information available during the early stages of an incident. Cultivating good working relationships with the media provides opportunities to advise the public of important safety and health guidance and information and corrected misinformation, as well as to obtain critical information from news sources at the scene. Likewise, consistent public service guidance and information from emergency management officials to media sources are vital to reducing the probability of injury or illness and for alleviating citizen anxiety during the emergency.

The Importance of Planning for Continuity of Operations - The scenarios reinforce the need for governments and the private sector to make preparations to continue their essential operations in an environment in which primary staff and facilities are unavailable. This includes the need to backup key records and systems.

The Need for Capability-Based Planning - The scenarios emphasize the need for domestic incident preparedness to proceed through a capabilities-based approach. Although it is impossible to determine which major incident will occur next, examination of the scenarios leads to certain common functions that must be accomplished: the need for response organizations to move quickly and in a coordinated manner, the requirement to quickly treat mass casualties, and the need to temporarily house large numbers of people. Other considerations, such as treating infected animals or reconfiguring computer systems, are more incident-dependent.

Mission Areas:

The following Mission Areas were used to assist in scoping the response requirements generated by the scenarios.

Prevention/Deterrence/Protection - The ability to prevent, deter, or protect against terrorist actions

Emergency Assessment/Diagnosis - The ability to detect an incident, determine its impact, classify the incident, conduct environmental monitoring, and make government-to-government notifications

Emergency Management/Response - The ability to direct, control, and coordinate a response; provide emergency public information to the population at risk and the population at large; and manage resources - this outcome includes direction and control through the Incident Command System (ICS), Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and Joint Information Center (JIC)

Incident/Hazard Mitigation - The ability to control, collect, and contain an incident at its source and to mitigate the magnitude of its impact; this outcome also includes all response tasks conducted at the incident scene except those specifically associated with victim care

Public Protection - The ability to provide initial warnings to the population at large and the population at risk, notifying people to shelter-inplace or evacuate; provide evacuee support (e.g., transportation for evacuees, reception center, sand shelters); protect schools and special populations; and manage traffic flow and access to the affected area

Victim Care - The ability to treat victims at the scene, transport patients, treat patients at a medical treatment facility, track patients, handle and track human remains, and provide tracking and security of patients' possessions and evidence

Investigation/Apprehension - The ability to investigate the cause and source of the attack; prevent secondary attacks; and identify, apprehend, and prosecute those responsible

Recovery/Remediation - The ability to restore essential services, restore businesses and commerce, cleanup the environment and render the affected area safe, compensate victims, provide long-term mental health and other services to victims and the public, and restore a sense of well-being in the community



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