Guidance on Aligning Strategies with the National Preparedness Goal

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 Goaland 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.

You 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 2-3 pages 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?

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