Port Risk Management: Additional Federal Guidance Would Aid Ports in Disaster Planning and Recovery [open pdf - 2MB]
"U.S ports are significant to the U.S. economy, handling more than 2 billion tons of domestic and import/export cargo annually. Since Sept. 11, 2001, much of the national focus on ports' preparedness has been on preventing potential acts of terror, the 2005 hurricane season renewed focus on how to protect ports from a diversity of threats, including natural disasters. This report was prepared under the authority of the Comptroller General to examine (1) challenges port authorities have experienced as a result of recent natural disasters, (2) efforts under way to address these challenges, and (3) the manner in which port authorities plan for natural disasters. GAO reviewed documents and interviewed various port stakeholders from 17 major U.S. ports. To ensure that ports achieve adequate planning for natural disasters, GAO recommends that the Secretary of Homeland Security encourage port stakeholders to use existing forums for discussing all hazards planning. DHS, DOT and DOD generally agreed with the facts presented in the report. However, DHS expressed concern about using existing forums for planning. Our work showed that these forums are already being used for planning in several cases which should be further encouraged."
Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/