Emergency Preparedness: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Interagency Assessments and Accountability for Closing Capability Gaps, Report to Congressional Requesters [open pdf - 4MB]
"No-notice catastrophic disasters pose one of the greatest challenges to national emergency preparedness. ESFs [federal emergency support functions] are federal interagency coordinating structures that group capabilities into functional areas most frequently needed in a national response. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review federal preparedness to respond to nonotice catastrophic disasters, such as IND [improvised nuclear device] attacks and major earthquakes. This report assesses the extent to which opportunities exist to enhance (1) assessment of ESF preparedness and (2) management oversight of the closure of federal capability gaps identified in selected exercises, real world incidents, and other assessments. GAO reviewed relevant laws, directives, strategies, and plans; analyzed recommended corrective actions from national-level exercises and other interagency assessments; reviewed documents and interviewed officials from five federal departments key to disaster response (Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Justice); and compared current processes against internal control standards and leading program management practices."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/