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How does the SHSSP consider risk? Is the SHSSP risk-based?

The purpose of this assignment is to explore the implications of the National Strategy for Homeland Security (NSHS) on state and local homeland security strategies. You work as a program analyst for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the Office of Strategic Planning within the Office of the Secretary. The White House Homeland Security Council has asked the Secretary of Homeland Security to assess the impact of the NSHS on state homeland security strategic planning efforts. The secretary plans to engage with the states in preparing this report but wants an initial assessment of the impacts of the NSHS on state homeland security strategic planning efforts. You are charged with conducting this assessment. Using the resources provided below, as well as information from resources you identify through your own research efforts, your assignment is to craft an executive briefing memo of 900–1,200 words that focuses on the instructions posed below.

Assignment Guidelines

    • Assumption: The Secretary of Homeland Security, as a former governor, is reasonably aware of the basic connection between the NSHS and state planning efforts. What she is most interested in learning about is where there are challenges, incongruities, or friction between federal homeland security planning efforts as outlined in the NSHS and state efforts to develop comprehensive and effective state-level homeland security strategic plans.
    • Address the following in 900–1,200 words:
      • Assignment: Your assignment is to develop an executive-level briefing that provides succinct information to the Secretary of Homeland Security so that she is prepared to engage the states in assessing the impact of the NSHS on state homeland security strategic planning efforts. Your briefing memo should include the following:
        • What have the states had to say about the 2002 and 2007 versions of the NSHS? Explain.
          • Conduct an Internet and library search for writings that shed light on the states’ position.
        • Review the current NSHS, and assess the states’ role.
          • In your opinion, does the NSHS place an unfair burden on states with respect to planning? Explain.
        •  Does the 2007 NSHS provide a sufficient road map for states to develop their plans in a way that is complementary? Explain.
          • Where do you see that there are deficiencies or disconnects?
        • Have states embraced the Homeland Security Management System advocated in the 2007 NSHS?
  • Conclude your briefing with the 5 most significant concerns you think the Secretary of Homeland Security should keep in mind when she engages with the states.

420 IP 4

Each state has its own homeland security strategic plan. These plans were developed based on post-9/11 guidance and are a condition of receiving most, if not all, DHS grants. The most recent guidance issued by DHS to the states is the 2005 document State and Urban Area Homeland Security Strategy: Guidance on Aligning Strategies with the National Preparedness Goal and the 2007 National Preparedness Guidelines. One of the many benefits of following these guidance documents is that each state plan is organized in a similar manner.

The Project

You work in the State A Office of Homeland Security, and a new governor was recently elected in your state. The new governor has recently read the National Governors Association document entitled “A Governor’s Guide to Homeland Security,” and the governor has requested a briefing on how well the State Homeland Security Strategic Plan (SHSSP) aligns with current federal guidelines and available best practices.

Your are assigned to assess whether your state’s current homeland security strategic plan aligns well with the State and Urban Area Homeland Security Strategy: Guidance on Aligning Strategies with the National Preparedness Goal, the National Preparedness Guidelines, and other federal guidelines, as well as any widely accepted best practices. Then, you are to present your findings in a brief report to the governor.

To guide your assessment process, you are directed to use assessment tools such as the Homeland Security Institute’s document Homeland Security Strategic Planning: Mission Area Analysis.

Assignment Guidelines

Step 1

If you are not already familiar with the documents, review and become familiar with the following:

  • A Governor’s Guide to Homeland Security
  • Homeland Security Directive 8: National Preparedness.
  • State and Urban Area Homeland Security Strategy: Guidance on Aligning Strategies With the National Preparedness Goal
  • National Preparedness Guidelines
  • Target Capabilities List: A Companion to the National Preparedness Guidelines
  • Fiscal Year 2008 Homeland Security Grant Program: Investment Planning Worksheet (see Attachment A to this assignment for a summary)
  • Homeland Security Strategic Planning: Mission Area Analysis

All of these documents are available on government Web sites and can be found through simple Internet searches.

Step 2

Search the Internet, and select a current state homeland security strategic plan to assess. Most states have posted their plans on the Web. Make sure you select the state’s most recent plan. You may pick the one from the state where you reside or from another state. A possible source of plans can be the National Governors Association’s Overview of States Homeland Security Governance.

Step 3

Using the library, conduct a literature search for articles and other information relevant to this assignment. In preparing this assignment, you must incorporate a minimum of 3 scholarly (peer-reviewed) sources.

Step 4

Using the above steps, the results of your literature search, and course textbooks, at a minimum, answer the following questions in your report to the governor, which should be 1,250–1,500 words in length:

    • Is the format of the SHSSP consistent with the guidance in the State and Urban Area Homeland Security Strategy: Guidance on Aligning Strategies With the National Preparedness Goal?
      • If not, where is it inconsistent?
    • Does the current SHSSP meet the “update” requirements found on page 7 of the State and Urban Area Homeland Security Strategy: Guidance on Aligning Strategies with the National Preparedness Goal?
      • If not, where do you believe the SHSSP needs to be updated?
    • Does the SHSSP effectively incorporate the national priorities?
      • More specifically, does the SHSSP’s goals and objectives align with the national priorities?
        • Make sure to use the most up-to-date guidance in the 2007 National Preparedness Guidelines and Homeland Security Strategic Planning: Mission Area Analysis in answering this question.
    • Does the SHSSP effectively incorporate the mission areas of prevention, protection, response,and recovery?
    • How does the SHSSP consider risk? Is the SHSSP risk-based? Make sure to support your arguments.
    • After completing your assessment of the SHSSP, what are your findings?
      • Is the SHSSP consistent with current federal guidance? Is the SHSSP state-of-the-art? Is it an all-hazards plan? Were best practices (risk-based, etc.) utilized in developing the plan? Explain in detail.
  • Be sure to reference all sources using APA style

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