National Emergency Preparedness and Response: Improving for Incidents of National Significance [open pdf - 106KB]
"The national emergency management system has need of significant improvement in its contingency planning and early consolidation of effort and coordination between federal, state, and local agencies for Incidents of National Significance. This improvement should be supported with the understanding that 'federalizing' a response is appropriate only under the direst of circumstances and that more appropriately, the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security and the states should better partnership in planning for, exercising for, and responding to Incidents of National Significance. Despite recent calls for the contrary in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it would be antithetical to the U.S. system of governance and its philosophical underpinnings for local responsibilities and response to be 'federalized' too early and for the DoD to assume the lead agency for responding to Incidents of National Significance. Legislating change and establishing specific requirements in law for cooperative DHS, DoD and state training and exercising would establish minimum requirements for regional planning and preparedness and, ultimately, better response. It is time to better shape the efforts and responsibilities of the federal agencies with reality and codify, train to, and exercise them so that the national response capability reflects the professionalism of the state and local."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/