ABS Consulting

Integrating port and regional risk management strategies

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In March, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released Port Risk Management (GAO-07-412), which provided a series of findings on the challenges our nation’s port and maritime communities are experiencing with respect to all-hazards planning. The investigators of this report outlined “interagency coordination” as one of several challenges requiring remedy.

Historically, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sequesters funding for states, urban areas, ports and mass transit as well as other types of public and private entities. The funding silos of DHS — meant to manage and mitigate outstanding security challenges — have become roadblocks in the path to multijurisdictional planning for all-hazards events.

These silos do little to provide incentives for state and local stakeholders to collectively work through the DHS National Preparedness Goal (Goal) to leverage each institution’s assets in the event of a catastrophic incident. Without these approaches, the national capacity for withstanding and responding to major events is weakened, causing concern and confusion much like that witnessed during Hurricane Andrew and echoed during the national struggle with Hurricane Katrina.

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