2015 National Preparedness Report

In 2011, President Obama issued the  Presidential Policy Directive 8/PPD-8: National Preparedness with the goals of “strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to the security of the nation.” The President’s directive, summed up in the National Preparedness Goal, sought a whole community approach to prepare for any type of national emergency the country may face in the future.  In order to achieve this directive, the Department of Homeland Security established the National Preparedness Report (NPR). The NPR is an annual status report that summarizes the nation’s progress in building, sustaining, and delivering the 31 core capabilities described in the National Preparedness Goal. 

The 2015 National Preparedness Report (NPR) is the fourth installment and focuses on the achievements and activities of 2014. Along with reflection on the previous year, the 2015 NPR focuses on the implementation of “National Planning Frameworks across the Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery mission areas.” The NPR identifies 43 key findings across the mission areas, in addition to six key overarching findings listed below:

  • Environmental Response/Health and Safety, Intelligence and Information Sharing, and Operational Coordination are additional core capabilities to sustain, which are capabilities in which the Nation has developed acceptable levels of performance for critical tasks, but which face potential performance declines if not maintained and updated to address new challenges.
  • Cybersecurity, Housing, Infrastructure Systems, and Long-term Vulnerability Reduction remained national areas for improvement, and Economic Recovery re-emerged as an area for improvement from 2012 and 2013. Access Control and Identity Verification is a newly identified national area for improvement.
  • Recent events, including the epidemic of Ebola virus disease, have highlighted challenges with coordinating the response to and recovery from complex incidents that do not receive Stafford Act declarations.
  • Businesses and public-private partnerships are increasingly incorporating emergency preparedness into technology platforms, such as Internet and social media tools and services.
  • While Federal departments and agencies individually assess progress for corrective actions identified during national-level exercises and real-world incidents, challenges remain to comprehensively assess corrective actions with broad implications across the Federal Government.
  • Perspectives from states and territories on their current levels of preparedness were similar to previous years. All 10 core capabilities with the highest self-assessment results in 2012 and 2013 remained in the top-10 for 2014; Cybersecurity continues to be the lowest-rated core capability in state and territory self-assessments.

The 2015 National Preparedness Report highlights many successes, but, more importantly, serves as a reminder that preparedness gains are gradual. In an increasingly complex and changing world, solutions will not develop without continued support and awareness from citizens. If you are looking to be an active participant in Homeland Security, familiarizing yourself with the 2015 NPR is a great start. The Homeland Security Digital Library can provide the next step by comparing the 2015 NPR with previous installments, studying Government Accountability Office reports to observe progress, and examining the daily updates at HSDL on over 30 topics covering all areas of Homeland Security. (some resources may require HSDL login).

Article formerly posted at https://www.hsdl.org/blog/newpost/view/2015-national-preparedness-report