From the thesis abstract: "A significant multi-state/regional unity of effort capability gap exists between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the fifty states' independent emergency operations systems. Homeland Security Presidential Directives 5 and 8 directed the creation of the National Response Plan (NRP) and the supporting National Incident Management System (NIMS) which focus response to terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other major emergency. They mandated the creation, coordination, and rehearsal of plans at the national, state, and local levels and associated collective training events. Each level of government is required to maintain base capabilities to provide oversight of the creation, coordination, and review of their plans and to control execution during rehearsals or response to an actual event. The DHS is tasked with collecting and cross-leveling lessons learned and best practices. These steps meet the most basic threat scenarios and requirements, but they fall short by limiting immediate federal response to support of individual states. There is no standing capability to immediately synchronize federal and state support should a catastrophic event simultaneously influence multiple states. This paper studies the requirements for and utility of maintaining a regionally-based HLS/HLD collaboration and coordination capability."