Emergency Management Preparedness Standards: Overview and Options for Congress [August 12, 2004]   [open pdf - 103KB]

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also referred to as the "9/11 Commission") identifies gaps in emergency response capabilities after the attacks of September 11, 2001. General agreement exists on the intent of the commission's recommendations in this policy area- the need to improve the nation's emergency response capabilities. The policy debate will likely include the implications and consequences of adopting the recommendations concerning the establishment and application of standards, particularly at the federal level. Would federally imposed or endorsed standards diminish the authority and ability of the states, and their local governments, to establish operational procedures that best fit the needs of their communities? Would the imposition of standards through legislation raise unfunded mandate concerns? What effect might the adoption of such standards have upon the substance and nature of the intergovernmental partnership in homeland security and emergency management response efforts? How would existing state authorities in areas other than standards be affected by congressional action? This report presents background information on the commission's findings, on emergency response standards, and on options Congress might consider to address the problems identified in the commission's report. This report will be updated as legislative developments warrant.

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32520
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