Civil Support: Actions Are Needed to Improve DOD's Planning for a Complex Catastrophe, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 2MB]

"The United States continues to face an uncertain and complicated security environment, as major disasters and emergencies, such as the Boston Marathon bombings and Hurricane Sandy illustrate. DOD supports civil authorities' response to domestic incidents through an array of activities collectively termed civil support. In July 2012, DOD began to plan for federal military support during a complex catastrophe--such as a large earthquake that causes extraordinary levels of casualties or damage, and cascading failures of critical infrastructure. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to assess DOD's planning and capabilities for a complex catastrophe. This report assesses the extent to which DOD has (1) planned for and identified capabilities to respond to complex catastrophes, and (2) established a command and control construct for complex catastrophes and other multistate incidents. To do so, GAO analyzed civil support plans, guidance, and other documents, and interviewed DOD and FEMA officials. GAO recommends that combatant commands (1) work through the defense coordinating officers to develop an interim set of specific DOD capabilities that could be provided to prepare for and respond to complex catastrophes, as FEMA completes its five-year regional planning cycle; and (2) develop, clearly define, communicate, and implement a construct for the command and control of federal military forces during multistate civil support incidents such as complex catastrophes. DOD concurred with both recommendations."

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Public Domain
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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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