[House Hearing, 113 Congress] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] ASSESSING THE NATION'S STATE OF PREPAREDNESS: A FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL PERSPECTIVE ======================================================================= HEARING before the SUBCOMMITTEE ON EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, RESPONSE, AND COMMUNICATIONS of the COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ONE HUNDRED THIRTEENTH CONGRESS FIRST SESSION __________ SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 __________ Serial No. 113-35 __________ Printed for the use of the Committee on Homeland Security [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/ __________ COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY Michael T. McCaul, Texas, Chairman Lamar Smith, Texas Bennie G. Thompson, Mississippi Peter T. King, New York Loretta Sanchez, California Mike Rogers, Alabama Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas Paul C. Broun, Georgia Yvette D. Clarke, New York Candice S. Miller, Michigan, Vice Brian Higgins, New York Chair Cedric L. Richmond, Louisiana Patrick Meehan, Pennsylvania William R. Keating, Massachusetts Jeff Duncan, South Carolina Ron Barber, Arizona Tom Marino, Pennsylvania Dondald M. Payne, Jr., New Jersey Jason Chaffetz, Utah Beto O'Rourke, Texas Steven M. Palazzo, Mississippi Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii Lou Barletta, Pennsylvania Filemon Vela, Texas Chris Stewart, Utah Steven A. Horsford, Nevada Richard Hudson, North Carolina Eric Swalwell, California Steve Daines, Montana Susan W. Brooks, Indiana Scott Perry, Pennsylvania Mark Sanford, South Carolina Greg Hill, Chief of Staff Michael Geffroy, Deputy Chief of Staff/Chief Counsel Michael S. Twinchek, Chief Clerk I. Lanier Avant, Minority Staff Director ------ SUBCOMMITTEE ON EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, RESPONSE, AND COMMUNICATIONS Susan W. Brooks, Indiana, Chairwoman Peter T. King, New York Donald M. Payne, Jr., New Jersey Steven M. Palazzo, Mississippi, Yvette D. Clarke, New York Vice Chair Brian Higgins, New York Scott Perry, Pennsylvania Bennie G. Thompson, Mississippi Mark Sanford, South Carolina (ex officio) Michael T. McCaul, Texas (ex officio) Eric B. Heighberger, Subcommittee Staff Director Deborah Jordan, Subcommittee Clerk C O N T E N T S ---------- Page Statements The Honorable Susan W. Brooks, a Representative in Congress From the State of Indiana, and Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications..................... 1 The Honorable Donald M. Payne, Jr., a Representative in Congress From the State of New Jersey, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications: Oral Statement................................................. 6 Prepared Statement............................................. 7 The Honorable Bennie G. Thompson, a Representative in Congress From the State of Mississippi, and Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland Security: Prepared Statement............................................. 8 Witnesses Mr. Timothy Manning, Deputy Administrator, Protection and National Preparedness, Federal Emergency Management Agency: Oral Statement................................................. 10 Prepared Statement............................................. 12 Mr. Mark Ghilarducci, Director, California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, Testifying on Behalf of the National Governors Association and the Governors Homeland Security Advisors: Oral Statement................................................. 17 Prepared Statement............................................. 18 Mr. Jeffrey W. Walker, Senior Emergency Manager, Licking County, Ohio, Testifying on Behalf of the International Association of Emergency Managers: Oral Statement................................................. 24 Prepared Statement............................................. 25 Mr. James Schwartz, Fire Chief, Arlington County Fire Department, Testifying on Behalf of the International Association of Fire Chiefs: Oral Statement................................................. 29 Prepared Statement............................................. 31 Ms. Kathy Spangler, Vice President, U.S. Programs, Save The Children: Oral Statement................................................. 35 Prepared Statement............................................. 37 For the Record The Honorable Susan W. Brooks, a Representative in Congress From the State of Indiana, and Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications: Statement of Troy Riggs, Director, Indianapolis Department of Public Safety................................................ 1 The Honorable Donald M. Payne, Jr., a Representative in Congress From the State of New Jersey, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications: Letter From Kathy Spangler..................................... 41 Appendix Questions From Hon. Susan W. Brooks for Timothy Manning........ 59 Questions From Hon. Susan W. Brooks for Mark Ghilarducci....... 61 Questions From Hon. Susan W. Brooks for Jeffrey W. Walker...... 64 Questions From Hon. Susan W. Brooks for James Schwartz......... 66 ASSESSING THE NATION'S STATE OF PREPAREDNESS: A FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL PERSPECTIVE ---------- Thursday, September 19, 2013 U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, Committee on Homeland Security, Washington, DC. The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:05 a.m., in Room 311, Cannon House Office Building, Hon. Susan W. Brooks [Chairwoman of the subcommittee] presiding. Present: Representatives Brooks, Palazzo, Payne, and Clarke. Mrs. Brooks. Good morning, the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications will come to order. I would like to welcome our witnesses, everyone in the audience and those who are watching this webcast today, to our hearing today on our Nation's state of preparedness. Before I recognize myself for an opening statement, I ask unanimous consent that the testimony of Director Troy Riggs, the director of public safety in Indianapolis be submitted for the record. Director Riggs is unable to testify today in person due to a scheduling conflict. Without objection, so ordered. [The information follows:] Statement of Troy Riggs, Director, Indianapolis Department of Public Safety September 19, 2013 Chairman Brooks, Ranking Member Payne, and Members of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications: On behalf of the city of Indianapolis, thank you for inviting me to testify today on the state of our Nation's preparedness. My name is Troy Riggs and I serve as director of the City of Indianapolis Department of Public Safety. Indianapolis is ranked as the 13th largest city in the United States and the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety is comprised of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD), Indianapolis EMS (IEMS), the Division of Homeland Security (DHS), Animal Care and Control (ACC), Public Safety Communications (PSC), the Citizen's Police Complaint Office (CPCO), and the City of Indianapolis, Mayor's Office of Re-Entry. On January 22, 2013, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and I introduced a series of initiatives designed to make the operation of the Department of Public Safety and its divisions more effective, more efficient, and more transparent to the public. Internal reviews were conducted where each Division was asked to provide information such as mission statements, structure, funding, staffing, goals and measures, and special projects. These internal reviews were important for continual assessment of strengths, in order to address concerns and to search for improvements. What was very collaborative and creative was that concerns began to be addressed through a process or an efficiency team. These efficiency teams have addressed some of the biggest concerns in Indianapolis but also concerns that are trending throughout our Nation. The efficiency teams take a whole-community approach and they are made up of not only first responders, but also of volunteers, city county agencies, private partners, churches, and general members of the community. Some of the issues that have been addressed by efficiency teams relate to preparedness. One of the largest disaster responses that occurred in Indianapolis recently was reviewed by an efficiency team. On Saturday, November 10, 2012 the Richmond Hill subdivision experienced an explosion that impacted 125 homes and resulted in two fatalities and multiple injuries. The focus of the efficiency team was to look at what we did well and what we need to improve. In the first minutes of the explosion hundreds of calls were received. Pinpointing the hue ``ground zero'' took collaboration with first responders and dispatch. This was mitigated within 4 minutes of the first call. The deployment of the first responders met current standard operating procedures and response time goals. Established priorities of life safety and fire suppression were achieved following the National Incident Management System (NIMS) protocols. Collaboration with outside agencies was a big success. Some of the improvements needed were identified such as ensuring the command post location was easier to identify by outside agencies, an improved patient tracking system, improvement on identifying searched homes, and securing a funding source for immediate resource needs. With such a large number of agencies coordinating and sharing information these efficiency teams serve as a true reflection of our community and are a conduit for improvement in all areas. To prepare for such a disaster our Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security (DHS) takes the lead. The Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security is responsible for protecting the citizens of Marion County through a comprehensive program of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. DHS members work hard in the office and in the field to ensure that as a city, Indianapolis is ready for anything. Our emergency plans are continuously reviewed and tested to be sure that they are operationally sound and up-to-date so that when disasters do arise these plans are effectively executed. DHS collaborates with other agencies of the Department of Public Safety to conduct well-rounded investigations into the criminal activities that happen in our community. Another notable event that also turned out to be a huge success was Super Bowl XLVI. During the first week of February 2012, hundreds of thousands of visitors came to Indianapolis and shared in the excitement of Super Bowl XLVI. Years of planning and preparation by our dedicated personnel finally paid off as we successfully kept spectators, visitors, and residents safe before, during, and after the event. Super Bowl XLVI turned out to be a huge success and put the city of Indianapolis on the map as a community with a distinguished Department of Public Safety and Division of Homeland Security. Planning and preparation were in the form of training such as the Indianapolis Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop that brought together local, State, and Federal officials together. As the lead planning agency for this special event, our Division set a new standard for the Nation in protecting residents and Super Bowl spectators by promoting an environment of collaboration and cooperation between local, State, and Federal public safety officials. Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness (PPD-8) requires all FEMA Regions and all States and UASI's (Urban Area Security Initiatives) receiving homeland security grants to prepare a Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA). The City of Indianapolis participated in the THIRA process to look at threats and hazards closely and help prepare for disasters. During the Indianapolis THIRA process the Richmond Hill Incident occurred. The THIRA discussion on HAZMAT/Explosion was therefore quite prescient as over 81 homes were damaged by the explosion, 32 to the point of needing to be torn down. Further, all the accompanying issues such as sheltering, debris removal, forensics, etc. were immediately needed to be successfully maneuvered heading directly into the cold weather and Thanksgiving holiday seasons. Responders, stakeholders, and appropriate resources came from across the UASI to assist in the massive undertaking--a process made easier due to the planning started through this THIRA and accompanying steps. Among Indianapolis DHS' biggest tasks is educating citizens about preparing for emergencies. This large undertaking is conducted through the Marion County Community Emergency Response Team program. The CERT is made up of approximately 1,900 volunteers who dedicate their time and talents to preparing the community for a disaster by providing emergency response for the community following a major disaster. The goal of the Marion County CERT team is to provide the skills that are needed to sustain residents until emergency professionals arrive. First responders may not be able to meet the service demand, so civilians should be prepared to fill this need until help arrives. CERT trains citizens in basic disaster response skills including fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Serving the community has become a very important part of the Marion County CERT team. The CERT team participates in many community events from cleaning up neighborhoods to distributing weather radios to mobile home parks to public speaking and conducting preparedness presentations. In the future the CERT team will be looking for ways to continue to service the community by incorporating additional training such as search and rescue of lost children, providing CPR/AED training, and reaching out to our most vulnerable populations, including the elderly, persons with disabilities, and the non-English speaking populations. The CERT program is making a difference in Indianapolis. In the area of prevention and protection the Division of Homeland Security has recently established a Cyber Defense Force whose mission is to improve the overall cybersecurity preparedness of the Indianapolis metropolitan area. The Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security Cyber Defense Force was created in 2013 and currently consists of 4 members, all reservists. It may be expanded in the future as warranted. The reservists have many years of experience in the internet/cybersecurity field. Being a newly-formed group, the section has just started to provide services to the community at large. During normal operations, one of the force's main tasks is to inform, train, and disseminate cybersecurity information to utilities, industry, businesses, schools, and the community at large via lectures, newsletters, press releases, web pages, and social media. They will recruit and train speakers on cybersecurity for the Indianapolis DHS Speaker's Bureau to act as a force multiplier for disseminating information. In addition, they will work with representatives from industry, utilities, Government, and the EOC to develop a methodology to communicate with each other as appropriate about potential and immediate cyber threats. They will conduct table-top exercises and other drills with these groups to test the procedures developed. During a cyber attack, the force will be tasked with gathering reliable and timely information on the on-going attack. If appropriate they would inform other organizations to be alert for similar attacks in the event there is a coordinated attack against our city. Then, using state-of-the-art forensic techniques, the force will help to gather information on who the attackers were and how the attack was performed. They will also provide the conduit for reporting this information to the appropriate government agencies. Lastly, they will work with the utility/agency/business/organization to suggest the ``best practices'' approach to prevent the attack from occurring the same way again. The Cyber Defense Force has started joining up with other groups to help stay informed about existing regional and National cybersecurity initiatives and to take advantage of available resources. Some of these groups include:
The Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center; Stop. Think. Connect. (www.stopthinkconnect.org and www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect); The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) (www.staysafeonline.org); State of Michigan Fusion Center; Infragard. Finally, the Cyber Defense Force is participating in multiple training opportunities at the State, regional, and National levels to ensure they have the latest information to accomplish the objectives outlined above. Schools are a major component in the fabric of every community. They are more than the epicenter of education, but are also a space where sporting events, after-school activities, and community events are held. For this reason the Division of Homeland Security created the Safe Schools program. This school-based program develops a solid relationship between the safety and security initiatives of DHS, the city government, and the local school system. One way that we are working with the schools is through the use of technology. The technology currently being utilized is known as Digital Sandbox. Digital Sandbox software enables school districts and States to catalog their facilities and school security plans, create and update safety assessments, report incidents and monitor threats in and around their schools. This secure web-based platform and mobile reporting apps are accessible to all stakeholders from school administrators to public safety agencies, providing a common, continuously-updated picture of the school security environment, as well as seamless information coordination during a crisis. An integral part of this safety approach is this technology solution designed specifically for schools that allows school and district officials and the public safety community to better prepare for, monitor, and respond to safety- and security-related events. There are already many school districts in Indianapolis that have been working with the school safety solution, provided by Digital Sandbox, capturing critical data elements associated with their schools that will assist first responders in an emergency. This solution also provides a primary communication vehicle between the public safety community and schools for ``missing person'' and high-value informational alerts. We have highlighted several different ways that the City of Indianapolis addresses prepares for disasters and one of our major concerns is the sustainability of these programs. Collaboration and strong partnerships have been a great part of our success but funding for these initiatives is crucial and funding is an alarming issue we now face. As the 13th largest city in the United States Indianapolis was receiving funds under the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) that sustained these programs. The Department of Public Safety and the Division of Homeland Security have expressed and continue to express our disagreement with the fiscal year 2013 Department of Homeland Security appropriations, which limits the funds provided under section 2003 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 604) to 31 cities or urban areas. We strongly urge that this provision be reconsidered to support the PPD-8 effort to build and sustain preparedness on-going and supports to build on a range of existing activities. Even though Indianapolis is the 13th largest metropolitan city and host to several National and international companies, National sports venues, professional sports teams, auto racing, NCAA Hall of Fame/ Headquarters, host to several National and/or international large-scale events, and a large convention business; our funding was cut in 2011 and then we received a significantly reduced amount in 2012; in 2013 our funding was cut yet again. In prior years the funding was around $4.5 million with the State withholding 20% for their use. In 2012 it was significantly reduced to $1.2 million with the State keeping 20% and City of Indianapolis and Hamilton County splitting $900,000.00. Prominent companies in our major metropolitan area include: Eli Lilly, Roche Diagnostics, Military Finance Center, Allison Transmission, Rolls Royce, Federal Express Hub, CSX Central Rail Hub, Raytheon, MISO (located in Carmel: MISO is an essential link in the safe, cost-effective delivery of electric power across much of North America), and many others. Large-scale events hosted in our city include: The Indianapolis 500 (largest one-day sporting event, which also includes a month long of events), largest half-marathon in the country, 3rd-largest parade in the country, Men's and Women's NCAA Final Four (every 5 years), multiple National and collegiate events, Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration, Circle City Classic, professional teams (Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, Indianapolis Indians, Indy Eleven, and Indiana Ice), NASCAR Racing, MotoGP Racing, and many other multicultural events. Setting an arbitrary cut-off on the number of jurisdictions is contrary to the intent of UASI as authorized in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, especially in light of the evolution of the threat to our Nation which now may include home-grown violent extremism. Homeland Security is a Federal, State, and local responsibility. The material recently referenced from Osama bin Laden's journals apparently shows that terrorists were focusing their interests on mid-sized cities, many of which are now not receiving Federal funding. The UASI program addresses the unique planning, operational, equipment, training, and exercise needs of high-threat urban areas and assists us in building capacity to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from threats and acts of terrorism. A great deal of work goes into managing the UASI program at the local level and consistency of funding is a key component to enable us to continue to protect our citizens. Inconsistent funding, with no clear direction, makes it very hard to plan and utilize funds. Eligibility for funding is determined by the Congressionally-mandated terrorism risk-based formula which looks at threats, the vulnerabilities of a jurisdiction and the consequences of an attack. To arbitrarily drop cities like Indianapolis from the list is to make us ripe for terrorist interest along with the loss of sustainment of multi-year and multi-million- dollar projects that provide some of the highest levels of situational awareness and proactive protective measures. Thank you for the opportunity to testify. I am happy to answer any questions the committee may have. Mrs. Brooks. This month is the 12th anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11. Earlier this week, we were once again reminded that tragedy can strike at anytime, and so our hearts do go out to all of those who were affected by the shootings at the Navy Yard. Our thoughts also go out to the people of Colorado as they are weathering historic flooding. So we would like to thank the law enforcement, the first responders, members of the military, and medical personnel who have, once again, responded to these tragic events. Since 9/11 and to this day, preparing for and protecting against terrorist attacks as well as other emergencies, has been a focus of our country, and I know that many of us here today have dedicated our professional lives to making this Nation more secure. Make no mistake, over the past 12 years, we have made significant progress in improving the Nation's ability to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from disasters. One needs only to look at what happened very recently at the Boston Marathon bombings where we saw an extremely coordinated and effective response from first responders, law enforcement, and medical personnel. Since 9/11, the city of Boston has used Federal grant dollars to improve their prevention and their response efforts. They have held training and exercises to test their plans. They have promoted the use of interoperable communications across multiple jurisdictions and sectors, and we know that the actions of those Boston first responders that day, no doubt, saved many lives and mitigated damage. However, we also know, as always, there is more work to be done. So this country still needs to develop a process that continues to define and effectively measure our effectiveness capabilities. FEMA has been assigned with this difficult task, and we know has been working toward this goal. In order to help measure our Nation's preparedness, the administration in April 2011 publicly released the Presidential Policy Directive 8-- National Preparedness. PPD-8 required that the Secretary of Homeland Security submit to the President a National preparedness goal and a new National preparedness system that will help achieve the goal. It has been over 2 years since PPD-8 was released, and we are still waiting to see the implementation of some of these critical components of the National preparedness system. Additionally, as required by the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act and PPD-8, FEMA released the second annual National preparedness report or the NPR in March of this year. This report does outline the progress being made in building and sustaining our Nation's 31 core capabilities as defined in the National preparedness goal. It highlights several areas of National strength including planning, operational coordination, and intelligence and information sharing. But it also draws, as it should, attention to areas in need of improvement including specifically cybersecurity, recovery-focused core capabilities, and public-private partnerships. FEMA has released four of the five National planning frameworks including prevention, response, recovery, and mitigation. These frameworks provide processes and strategies to assist in achieving the National preparedness goal. In this hearing today, I am interested in learning about the level of the involvement of the State and local organizations, what you have had in the development of these frameworks, and how you are planning, if at all, to incorporate all of these frameworks into your daily operations. Additionally, I am interested in learning when the final framework, the protection framework and the Federal inter- agency operations plan might be released. Preparedness is not just a responsibility, as we know, of Federal, State, and local entities, but individuals, also, must take a role in preparing for disasters. September is National Preparedness Month, of which I am a Congressional co-chair, and it is important we promote preparedness to our constituents, our communities, and our stakeholders. This month, I have encouraged Members of Congress to promote preparedness activities in their districts, but we know more must be done. According to a 2012 survey by FEMA, 46 percent of respondents reported being familiar with their local hazards, but only 39 percent said they have an emergency plan in their own household. This is actually quite discouraging if you think about it, if only 39 percent surveyed say they actually have a plan, and I am hoping that with the preparedness goal and system, we can continue to educate individuals about the need to be prepared. After all, we know, and FEMA Administrator Fugate certainly said, ``Winging it is not an emergency plan.'' We must be prepared. With the unpredictable nature of disasters and emergencies, it is vital that we as a Nation continue to hone our preparedness capabilities. As the Boston Police Commissioner, Ed Davis, stated at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing recently, ``The truth of the matter is nobody bats a thousand.'' We can't be fully prepared for every single scenario, but we have to strive to bat a thousand because lives count on it. Through this hearing, I hope to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of our Nation's state of preparedness, and also gain a greater understanding of how our Nation is working together to build resilience. I look forward to hearing the perspectives of our witnesses on this important issue. I now recognize the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Payne, for any opening statement he may have. Mr. Payne. Good morning. I would like to thank Chairwoman Brooks for holding this hearing and giving the subcommittee the opportunity to learn more about the National state of preparedness. Before we begin this hearing, I want to express my condolences to those who lost loved ones, the friends and co-workers as a result of the tragic events at the Navy Yard earlier this week. I also want to thank the first responders for their heroic efforts in that time of need. Last week, we commemorated the anniversary of September 11. In 12 years, we have made significant improvements in our preparedness capabilities from planning to communications to operational coordination. However, every day, we are reminded of the work that still needs to be done. In the last year alone, we have witnessed incredible tragedies. Last year, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc along the East Coast and in my home State of New Jersey. It displaced families, destroyed schools and businesses, and disrupted the school year. In December, a shooter killed 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In April, terrorists detonated explosives at the Boston Marathon killing 3 people and injuring many more. In May, tornadoes devastated Oklahoma. Two elementary schools were in the path of the tornado and, tragically 7 children died at one elementary school. After each of these incidents, the National collective asked, ``What could we have done differently?'' We wonder how we could have prevented them. If prevention is not possible, we wonder how we could have mitigated the devastation. If you are a parent, these tragedies cause you wonder about how best to protect your children. Earlier this month, Save the Children released its annual report card on protecting children in disasters. It found that 28 States including the District of Columbia, do not require schools and child care facilities to include the four standards that the National Commission on Children and Disasters deemed essential. I am proud to say that New Jersey is one of the few States that includes these four criteria. I encourage each member of the panel to review this report, to determine whether your States meet each of the four criteria. If your State does not meet the standard, I would urge the members to call their State officials and ask why. Along with this individual advocacy, I believe that as a legislative body, this Congress can do and should do more. I am introducing the Safe Schools Act legislation that will require States applying for a State homeland security grant funds, to certify that their schools have an emergency plan that meets the standard recommended by the 2010 commission on childrens disasters report. I want to thank Save the Children, and I apologize for not wearing one of my four Save the Children ties today for their support of my legislation and for all their hard work in making sure that our children remain a priority, the No. 1 priority, in our disaster planning and preparedness efforts. I want to thank the witnesses for being here, and I look forward to their testimony, and I yield back my time. [The statement of Ranking Member Payne follows:] Statement of Ranking Member Donald M. Payne, Jr. September 19, 2013 Good morning. I would like to thank Chairwoman Brooks for holding this hearing, and giving the subcommittee the opportunity to learn more about the National state of preparedness. Before we begin this hearing, I want to express my condolences to those who lost loved ones, friends, and coworkers as a result of the tragic events at the Navy Yard earlier this week. I also want to thank the first responders for their heroic efforts. Last week, we commemorated the anniversary of the September, 11, 2001 attacks. In 12 years, we have made significant improvements in our preparedness capabilities--from planning to communications to operational coordination. However, every day we are reminded of the work still that needs to be done. In the last year alone, we have witnessed incredible tragedies. Last year, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc along the East Coast and in my home State of New Jersey. It displaced families, destroyed schools and business, and disrupted the school year. In December, a shooter killed 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook elementary school. In April, terrorists detonated explosives at the Boston Marathon, killing 3 people and injuring many more. In May, tornados devastated Oklahoma. Two elementary schools were in the path of the tornado, and tragically, 7 children died at one elementary school. After each of these incidents, the Nation collectively asks what could we have done differently? We wonder how we could have prevented them. If prevention is not possible, we wonder how we could have mitigated the devastation. And if you are a parent, these tragedies cause you to wonder about how best to protect your children. Earlier this month, Save the Children released its annual Report Card on Protecting Children in Disasters. It found that 28 States, including the District of Columbia, do not require schools and child care facilities to include the four standards that the National Commission on Children and Disasters deemed essential. I am proud to say that New Jersey is one of the few States that includes these four criteria. I encourage each member of the panel to review this report to determine whether your State meets each of the four criteria. And if your State does not meet the standard, I would urge the members to call their State officials and ask why. And along with this individual advocacy, I believe that as a National legislative body, this Congress can and should do more. I am introducing the S.A.F.E. Schools Act, legislation that will require States applying for State Homeland Security Grant funds to certify that their schools have emergency plans that meet the standards recommended by the 2010 Commission on Children and Disasters Report. I want to thank Save the Children for their support of my legislation, and for all of their hard work in making sure that our children remain a priority in our disaster planning and preparedness efforts. I thank the witnesses for being here, and I look forward to their testimony. I yield back the balance of my time. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you. Other Members are reminded that opening statements may be submitted for the record. [The statement of Ranking Member Thompson follows:] Statement of Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson September 19, 2013 Good morning. I would like to thank the witnesses for being here today to discuss National preparedness. I would particularly like to thank Ranking Member Payne, Jr., for inviting Save the Children to testify. For almost a decade, I have worked to improve disaster preparedness and planning for children and those with special needs and language barriers. I am pleased to work with Ranking Member Payne, Jr., to advance these efforts. The 2013 National Preparedness Report indicates that we have made progress in building cybersecurity capabilities. I am encouraged that we are moving forward but I am not convinced that anyone believes we have done all we can to ensure that this Nation's cyber networks are protected and resilient. I look forward to continuing the progress on the cyber front. I also urge the leadership of this House to become actively engaged in putting legislation on the House floor that will help us protect the known vulnerabilities in the cyber network that runs every aspect of this Nation's critical infrastructure. As we look at the many things that need to be done, we need to mention the continuing need to provide interim and long-term housing solutions following catastrophic disasters. We learned after Hurricane Katrina that we were ill-prepared and ill-equipped to provide interim and long-term housing to large numbers of disaster survivors. I was troubled to learn that 500 people remained in shelters a month after Hurricane Sandy. Eight years after Hurricane Katrina, we should have at least learned how to address housing needs. Finally, this Congress needs to consider the effect of uncertain funding has on the development of preparedness and response capabilities on the local level. During our full committee hearing on the Boston Marathon Bombing, the Boston Chief of Police made it clear that the effectiveness of their response effort was made possible by the Federal homeland security grants they had received. As this Congress continues attempts to reduce funding for preparedness programs, we need to understand that these reductions have a direct effect on the ability of first responders to save lives during times of disaster and tragedy. To call this approach short-sighted is to give it too much credit. It is not sighted at all. And as it says in Proverbs--where there is no vision, the people perish. Madame Chairwoman, I raise these three issues--grant funding, housing, and cybersecurity--because I know that we can solve each of them with great benefit to this Nation. I urge you to join us in our efforts to resolve these problems. I thank the witnesses for being here today, and I look forward to their testimony. I yield back. Mrs. Brooks. We are very pleased to have this very distinguished panel before us today on this important topic. I would like to begin by introducing our first witness, Mr. Tim Manning. He is the deputy administrator for protection and National preparedness of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This is not your first time testifying before this committee, so welcome back. In this capacity, he oversees the National preparedness directorate, the grants program directorate, the normal continuity programs directorate, and the Office of National Capital Region Coordination. Mr. Manning brings to FEMA nearly 2 decades of emergency management experience including service as a fire fighter, an emergency medical technician, and a rescue mountaineer. Next, we have Mr. Ghilarducci. Mr. Mark Ghilarducci is the director of the California Governor's office of emergency services. As a member of the cabinet, Director Ghilarducci serves as the Governor's homeland security advisor and oversees State-wide public safety emergency management, emergency communications, counterterrorism efforts, and a State threat assessment system, STAS. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Ghilarducci has been involved in disaster emergency response and recovery activities resulting from hundreds of major incidents within California-- he served both Nationally and internationally. He is testifying today on behalf of the National Governors Association and the Governor's homeland security advisor's council. Next we have Mr. Jeff Walker, who is the senior emergency manager for Licking County, Ohio. Prior to this position, Mr. Walker was the director of the Licking County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for 13\1/2\ years. He has served on countless committees including Ohio's Emergency Management Training Council, Ohio's severe weather awareness committee, and was appointed to FEMA's National advisory committee. Mr. Walker currently serves as the president of the International Association of Emergency Managers and is testifying on behalf of that organization. As I understand you will be heading to Vienna soon to also appear at a conference. Thank you, Mr. Walker. Next we have Chief James Schwartz, who has been the fire chief for the Arlington County Fire Department since 2004. Prior to this appointment, he served in a variety of fire department positions including assistant chief for operations, responsible for all response-related activities including fire, EMS, hazardous materials and technical rescue, response incident management, and operational training. He led the unified command effort for the Pentagon incident after September 11. He currently serves as the chair for the International Association of Fire Chiefs committee on terrorism, homeland security, and he is testifying on behalf of IAFC. I must say, Chief, that we made the reacquaintance because we visited as a U.S. attorney appointed 1 month after 9/11. You were part of a presentation to a number of new U.S. attorneys at the Pentagon in November 2001, and I remember to this day, we went to the Pentagon and listened to you and the chief at that time, present to us what that scene was like, how you secured that scene, and that horrible tragedy at the Pentagon. It was a very powerful presentation to all of us in law enforcement to learn about what the fire service's role is in a terrorist incident, and so good to see you again. I would now like to defer to Ranking Member Congressman Payne to introduce our next witness. Mr. Payne. Thank you, Madame Chairwoman. It is my honor and privilege to introduce Ms. Kathy Spangler, and she is the vice president of the U.S. programs for Save the Children, where she focuses on improving educational outcomes for children living in poverty, through early childhood development, literacy, physical activity, and nutrition. Additional, Ms. Spangler oversees Save the Children programs that are dedicated to protecting children during emergencies and disasters and focuses on preparedness and response efforts. Prior to joining Save the Children, Ms. Spangler served as the founding director of the National Partnerships for the National Recreation and Park Association. It is really an honor to have her here to testify on these issues, so welcome. I yield back. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you. The witnesses' full written statements will appear in the record and just to let you know, you have 5 minutes for opening remarks, and we will start with you, Mr. Manning. STATEMENT OF TIMOTHY MANNING, DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, PROTECTION AND NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS, FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY Mr. Manning. Thank you. Good morning, Chairman Brooks, Ranking Member Payne, Members of the subcommittee. Good morning and thank you for having me here today. The administration remains committed to strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through a systematic preparation for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation. Much progress has been made fueled by FEMA's grant programs but with leadership at the State and local levels. Monday's tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard underscores the role State and local emergency responders maintain in keeping this Nation safe. In March 2011, President Obama signed Presidential Policy Directive 8 on National preparedness. The body of work established pursuant PPD-8 creates a system that allows us to both build preparedness and to understand how well-prepared we are by setting a goal, establishing a baseline, sending common and comparable terminology, measuring the capability gaps, and assessing our progress towards filling them. The National Preparedness Goal released in September 2011 is the cornerstone of PPD-8 and defined a set of 31 distinct core capabilities across the mission areas needed to achieve the National preparedness. The National preparedness system is the instrument that the Nation uses to build, sustain, and deliver the core capabilities to achieve the goal. Implementation of the NPS is a whole-community approach to homeland security and emergency management that supports building, sustaining, and delivering the core capabilities through identifying and assessing risks, estimating capability requirements to meet those risks, planning to deliver those capabilities and validating those capabilities through exercises and real-world incidents and reviewing and updating each. The foundation of the National Preparedness System is identifying and assessing risks. To be truly prepared and to understand our progress towards the goal, we need to know what we are preparing for. Communities should understand the risks with which they are faced. The Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment or THIRA process, helps communities identify those threats and hazards and determine capability targets and resource requirements necessary to address anticipated and unanticipated risks. The THIRA process gives communities their end-state, capability targets based on their threats and hazards and resources required to meet those targets. The State preparedness report measures the rate or change between current baselines and the end-state identified in the THIRA. This SPR is an annual self-assessment and review of State preparedness based on the targets set in the THIRA. The National planning frameworks describe how the whole community works together to deliver the core capabilities needed to achieve the preparedness goal, as part of a unified and coordinated effort. There is one framework for each of the five mission areas: Prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. The protection framework is very close to nearing completion. We are working closely with our partners across the Department of Homeland Security and across the homeland security and emergency management community to ensure that the draft protection framework aligns with and expands, clarifies, and advances the National strategic approach protecting critical infrastructure and the strategic guidance of the administration and Secretary of Homeland Security. At the Federal level, each framework has been supported by a mission-area-specific Federal Interagency Operation Plans, or FIOPs for short. These FIOPs describe how the Federal Government will deliver the core capabilities in each mission area in support of a response and State and local governments. The protection, prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery FIOPs are under the final development and review, and we are confident in their completion and publicaton in the very near future. The National Preparedness Report then examines the preparedness across the Nation. The first NPR released in 2012 included specific accomplishments in the context of the core capabilities identified in the goal. The 2013 NPR identified 65 key findings. Several of these findings focusing on overarching National trends and highlighting areas of National strength. The 2013 NPR found the Nation continues to make progress building preparedness in key areas including planning, operational coordination, intelligence and information sharing, and operational communication. Each of these was identified as also an area of strength in the 2012 NPR. The Nation also made progress in suggesting areas identified for improvement in 2012, including cybersecurity, recovery focus, core capabilities like economic recovery, and the protection of natural and cultural resources. The 2013 NPR also found the Nation has made some progress in planning to address long-term challenges posed by climate change and extreme weather, but this remains an area of focus for preparedness initiatives Nationally. This past year has given FEMA more opportunities than we would like to assess the preparedness through real-world incidents. Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon bombings, the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, and many others demonstrated how the Nation's preparedness activities have had a positive effect on our response capabilities. Our efforts to train, equip, and exercise public safety personnel, as well as the planning assistance we provided to our partners, all helped save lives. In conclusion, the National Preparedness System as envisioned by PPD-8, has contributed to our ability to focus on those areas where gaps exist in order to strengthen the public safety and the Nation's security and resilience. Our ability to measure progress has also improved, and we look forward to working with Congress and all of the stakeholders to continue to reduce vulnerabilities the Nation faces. Thank you for the opportunity to testify. I am happy to answer any questions the subcommittee may have. [The prepared statement of Mr. Manning follows:] Prepared Statement of Timothy Manning September 19, 2013 introduction Chairman Brooks, Ranking Member Payne, and Members of the subcommittee: Good morning. I am Timothy Manning, deputy administrator for protection and National preparedness at the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). On behalf of Administrator Fugate, it is my pleasure to appear before you today to discuss the Nation's state of preparedness. The administration remains committed to strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation, and we are more secure and better prepared to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the full range of threats and hazards the Nation faces than we have been at any time in our history. We plan better, organize better, equip better, train better, and exercise better, resulting in an improved National preparedness and resilience. Much of this progress has come from leadership at the State and local levels, fueled by FEMA's grant programs. Over the past 10 years, Congress, through the Department of Homeland Security, has provided State, territorial, local, and Tribal governments with more than $36 billion. We have built and enhanced capabilities by acquiring needed equipment, funding training opportunities, developing preparedness and response plans, exercising and building relationships across city, county, and State lines. Although Federal funds represent just a fraction of what has been spent on homeland security across the Nation overall, these funds have made us more prepared. In March 2011, President Obama signed Presidential Policy Directive 8 on National Preparedness (PPD-8), which describes the Nation's approach to National preparedness. PPD-8 aims to strengthen the security and resilience of the United States through the systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber incidents, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters. PPD-8 defines five mission areas-- prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery--and requires the development of a series of policy and planning documents to explain and guide the Nation's efforts in helping to ensure and enhance National preparedness. The body of work established pursuant to PPD-8 creates a system that allows us to understand how well-prepared we are by setting a goal, establishing a baseline, setting common and comparable terminology, measuring capability gaps, and assessing our progress toward filling them. PPD-8 creates the National Preparedness System (NPS), a cohesive approach that allows us to use the tools at our disposal in the most effective manner and in a way that allows us to monitor and report on our progress. National preparedness is the responsibility of the whole community to include all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and individual citizens. Each year, the Nation makes additional advances toward achieving the National Preparedness Goal (NPG) and implementing the NPS. the national preparedness goal The NPG, released in September 2011, is the cornerstone of PPD-8 and defines a set of 31 distinct core capabilities across the mission areas needed to achieve National preparedness. The NPG, developed through a collaborative process including all levels of government, the private sector, and the general public, envisions a secure and resilient Nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk. the national preparedness system The NPS is the instrument the Nation uses to build, sustain, and deliver the core capabilities to achieve the NPG. Implementation of the NPS uses a whole-community approach to homeland security and emergency management that supports building, sustaining, and delivering the core capabilities through identifying and assessing of the risks we face; estimating capability requirements to meet those risks; building and sustaining capabilities; planning to deliver capabilities; validating those capabilities through exercises and real-world incidents; and then reviewing and updating our capabilities and plans. Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment The foundation of the NPS is identifying and assessing risks. To be truly prepared and to understand our progress toward our goal, we need to know what we are preparing to address and to what level of service. Every community should understand the risks it faces. By understanding its risks, a community can make smart decisions about how to manage risk, including developing needed capabilities. Risk is the potential for an unwanted outcome resulting from an incident, event, or occurrence, as determined by its likelihood and the associated consequences. By considering changes to these elements, a community can understand how to best manage and plan for its greatest risks across the full range of the threats and hazards it faces. The Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process helps communities identify threats and hazards and determine capability targets and resource requirements necessary to address anticipated and unanticipated risks. The First Edition of the Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG 101) presented the basic steps of the THIRA process. Specifically, the First Edition described a standard process for identifying community-specific threats and hazards and setting capability targets for each core capability identified in the NPG. In August 2013, FEMA refined the THIRA methodology through the release of CPG 201, Second Edition. The Second Edition expands the THIRA process to include an estimation of resources needed to meet the capability targets. The THIRA process now assists communities to answer questions such as, ``What are my current and future risks?'' and, ``What level of service do I need to address my risks?'', and addresses what specific capabilities are needed, such as teams of specialized resources. The results of the THIRA process will continue to mature. Over the coming years, as FEMA and our partners refine our application of the THIRA through repetitive efforts, the results--capability targets and required resources--will be improved. And today, the THIRA process is providing communities all across the country with a clearer picture of what resources are needed to address their risks and providing a realistic and empirical basis for strategic and operational planning than has ever been possible before. State Preparedness Report The THIRA process gives communities their end-state--capability targets based on their own threats and hazards and the resources required to meet those targets. The State Preparedness Report (SPR) measures the rate of change between current baselines and the end-state identified in the THIRA. Once each jurisdiction has determined capability targets through the THIRA process, the jurisdiction estimates its current capability levels against those targets in its SPR. The SPR is an annual self-assessment of State preparedness based on the targets set in the THIRAs. The SPR is submitted by the 56 States and territories to FEMA. The Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (PKEMRA) requires an SPR from any State or territory receiving Federal preparedness assistance administered by DHS. Developing an effective SPR also requires active involvement from the whole community, and FEMA encourages jurisdictions to seek input from multiple stakeholders when assessing their capabilities. The THIRA and SPR processes are scalable to encourage sub- jurisdictions and sub-grantees to provide input to the State or territory. The summary results are published in the annual NPR. The next component of the NPS is to build and sustain capabilities. This step ties grant investments directly to needs and shortfalls. In State grant application Investment Justifications, grantees must address the capability gaps and requirements documented in their SPR that the investment intends to address. In addition, the grantee must identify the specific outcomes the investment will yield. National Planning Frameworks The National Planning Frameworks describe how the whole community works together to deliver the core capabilities needed to achieve the NPG as part of a unified and coordinated effort. There is one Framework for each of the five mission areas (prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery). These mission areas represent a continuum of interrelated activities and reflect the relationships and partnerships across the whole community. The Frameworks document the roles and responsibilities of the whole community in National preparedness, recognizing the value of partnerships and working together. Each Framework: Summarizes the roles and responsibilities across the whole community; Defines each mission area's core capabilities, along with key examples of critical tasks; Defines coordinating structures--either new or existing-- that enable the whole community to work together to deliver the core capabilities; Describes the relationships to the other mission areas; Identifies relevant information to help with operational planning; Provides information that State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments can use to revise their operational plans; and Uses concepts from existing preparedness efforts and doctrine, such as the National Incident Management System. The Frameworks also affect whole-community preparedness reporting and assessments. For example, the Frameworks can assist whole-community partners as they complete the THIRA process. The critical tasks described in the Frameworks will help whole-community partners understand the activities, which help to deliver capabilities to the established targets, as well as the resources needed conduct the activities and achieve the targets. The environment in which we operate grows ever more complex and unpredictable. The Frameworks are living documents, and will be regularly reviewed to evaluate consistency with existing and new doctrine, policies, evolving conditions, emerging risks, and the experience gained from their use. As of today, four of the five frameworks have been published. The National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF), which was released in September 2011 and rolled out across the country during the next 6 months, focuses on how to restore, redevelop, and revitalize the health, social, economic, natural, and environmental fabric of the community and build a more resilient Nation. The updated National Response Framework (NRF), as well as the new National Prevention and National Mitigation Frameworks, were rolled out on May 6, 2013. Each of these frameworks addresses the unique expectations and challenges for each mission area. The NRF aligns roles and responsibilities across Government and the private sector in a unified approach in responding to any threat or hazard. The National Prevention Framework focuses on addressing the challenges stemming from an imminent terrorist threat. Fostering a culture of preparedness--centered on risk (present and future) and resilience to natural, technological, and terrorist events--is the focus of the first edition of the National Mitigation Framework. The document provides context for how the whole community works together and how mitigation efforts relate to all other parts of National preparedness. The Protection Framework is nearing completion. We are working closely with our partners in DHS and across the homeland security and emergency management communities to ensure that the draft Protection Framework aligns with the implementation of Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21) and Executive Order (EO) 13636. PPD-21, which replaced HSPD-7, expands, clarifies, and advances the National approach to protecting critical infrastructure pursuant to the strategic guidance of the Secretary of Homeland Security. And EO 13636 directs Federal agencies to use their existing authorities and increase cooperation with the private sector to provide better protection for the computer systems that are critical to our National and economic security. This alignment will ensure that the efforts undertaken under PPD-21 and EO 13636 complement other efforts under way in the prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery mission space. Federal Interagency Operational Plans (FIOPs) At the Federal level, each framework is supported by a mission area-specific Federal Interagency Operational Plan. The individual FIOPs describe how the Federal Government delivers core capabilities for each mission area. Each FIOP describes the concept of operations for integrating and synchronizing existing Federal capabilities to support State, local, Tribal, territorial, insular area, and Federal plans, and is supported by Federal department-level operational plans, where appropriate. The Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response and Recovery FIOPs are under development. The Protection FIOP will follow the release of the Protection Framework. national preparedness report The National Preparedness Report (NPR) examines preparedness across the Nation. The first NPR, released last year, included specific accomplishments in the context of the core capabilities identified in the National Preparedness Goal. While the inaugural 2012 NPR highlighted preparedness accomplishments in the decade following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the 2013 NPR focuses primarily on accomplishments either achieved or reported on during 2012. In total, the 2013 NPR identifies 65 key findings. Several of these findings focus on overarching National trends and highlight areas of National strength, areas for improvement, and issues that cut across multiple capabilities and mission areas. The 2013 NPR found that the Nation continues to make progress building preparedness in key areas, including planning, operational coordination, intelligence and information sharing, and operational communications--each of these was identified as an area of strength in the 2012 NPR. Hurricane Sandy highlighted strengths in the Nation's ability to respond to and recover from disasters. Federal partners supplemented State and local resources through established response and recovery support functions, and whole-community partners provided valuable support to survivors. The Nation also made progress in addressing the areas for improvement identified in last year's NPR, including: Cybersecurity; recovery-focused core capabilities like economic recovery; protection of natural and cultural resources; housing; and integration of individuals with disabilities and access and functional needs. The 2013 NPR also found that the Nation has made some progress in planning to address the long-term challenges posed by climate change and extreme weather, but that this remains an area of focus for preparedness activities Nationally. This year, FEMA established criteria to identify areas for National improvement using State preparedness data, exercise information, and linkages to long-term drivers of emergency management. The 2013 NPR identifies two new areas for improvement using this repeatable methodology: Infrastructure systems and public and private partnerships. Over time, it is expected that the NPR will also identify additional new areas for improvement and remove areas that are effectively addressed. The strengths and areas for improvement in the NPR will be used to inform planning efforts, focus priorities for Federal grants, and enable informed collaboration among stakeholders working together to improve the Nation's preparedness. preparedness in action The past year has given FEMA more opportunities than we would like to assess preparedness. Whether it was Hurricane Sandy or the Boston Marathon bombing, real-world incidents and National-Level Exercises have tested our preparedness efforts. Hurricane Sandy demonstrated that integrating and coordinating with the whole community is a critical part of FEMA's role in disaster response and recovery efforts, making the Operational Coordination core capability one of the most valuable core capabilities during any incident. These real-world experiences also confirmed that enhancing infrastructure systems is a National area in need of improvement. Stressed infrastructure systems--including water and wastewater treatment, surface transportation, airports, inland waterways, marine ports, electricity infrastructure, and communications and fuel systems--can present obstacles to effective response and recovery operations. Climate change and extreme weather events also expose vulnerabilities in key infrastructure sectors--including transportation and commercial facilities. The response to the Boston Marathon bombings was another example of how the Nation's preparedness activities had a positive effect on response. FEMA has supported 12 exercises directly involving the city of Boston. These have included topics as diverse as chemical or biological attacks, hurricane preparedness, hazardous materials events, cyber incidents, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In 2011, DHS--in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Counterterrorism Center--hosted a Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop that focused on integrating response operations to a complex attack in the Boston metropolitan area. Many participants from the local, State, and Federal community, who participated in these exercises, responded to the bombings. Oklahoma's response to the May 20, 2013 tornado that devastated the city of Moore is also indicative of the meaningful impact of FEMA's homeland security grant funding. Oklahoma's Regional Response System, developed with the support of FEMA's grant funds, deployed Technical Rescue Teams to assist with rescue efforts. Ambulance Strike Teams and Mass Emergency Medical Surge Teams also responded, providing care to thousands of survivors. The responses to Hurricane Sandy, the Oklahoma tornadoes, and the Boston Marathon bombings demonstrated the security and resilience of the Nation. Our preparedness programs, posture, and investments were critical in each one of those responses, but there is still more--there is always more to do--to improve preparedness. We will continue to work with communities across the country to prepare. All disasters are local, but we're proud to be there to support communities across America as they prepare for whatever hazard they may face. conclusion The NPS, as envisioned by PPD-8, has contributed to our ability to focus on those areas where gaps exist in order to strengthen public safety and the Nation's security and resilience. Our ability to measure our progress has also improved, and clarity and focus will be brought with the continued implementation of the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment process. We look forward to working with the Congress and stakeholders as we continue to reduce vulnerabilities the Nation faces. Thank you for the opportunity to testify. I am happy to answer any questions the subcommittee may have. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you, Mr. Manning. The Chairwoman now recognizes Mr. Ghilarducci for 5 minutes. STATEMENT OF MARK GHILARDUCCI, DIRECTOR, CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES, TESTIFYING ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION AND THE GOVERNORS HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISORS Mr. Ghilarducci. Thank you. Good morning, Chairman Brooks, Ranking Member Payne, and the Members of the subcommittee for allowing me the opportunity to appear before you today to provide a State's perspective on National preparedness intergovernmental engagement. First let me say that we have made significant progress since September 11, 2001, in our combined efforts to build and enhance the capabilities necessary to meet our Nation's preparedness. It really is indisputable that Federal investments have played a crucial role in this all-hands-on- deck effort. However, there are on-going and ever-changing threats and challenges which we must remain vigilant to and nimble enough to collectively understand and effectively address. Without this effort, the forward progress in our Nation's level of preparedness will be in jeopardy due the challenges that exist or have emerged during the last several years, such as, on- going and new homeland security threats or hazards such as cyber-terrorism and espionage, transnational criminal organizations, home-grown extremists, and an increase and the frequency of complexity of natural disasters. As well are the inconsistent capability at State and local levels for multi-agency coordination and the necessity to establish and/or expand mutual aid capabilities. A suite of Federal preparedness grant programs that are somewhat cumbersome and untimely and whose structure no longer aligns with the current economic or hazard- and security-based environments. A newly-established doctrine on National preparedness, which has shown really early promise, but it needs time and on- going fine-tuning to be truly effective in the long term. Last, a lack of emphasis, really, on pre-event disaster mitigation as part of the whole community effort to increase community resiliency and help reduce the physical and economic impacts of a disaster. So we need to continue to work together at all levels of government and the private sector to address these and the many other challenges that we face, to ensure that important gains our Nation has made in overall preparedness are not reversed. Neither the Federal Government nor States can address any of these issues independently. In an era of constrained budgets, all levels of Government must do more with less and must identify opportunities to leverage and optimize resources to meet the needs of our communities. To achieve our shared goal of a more resilient and secure Nation. I believe that one of the most significant avenues to help us get there, is through an effective multi-agency coordination and adequate and trained workforce and a robust mutual aid system. California, as you may know, has a long history of using its mutual aid system for responding to man-made natural disasters and other emergencies. We understand that no one agency, be it State or local, has enough resources to cope with large-scale emergencies or complex disasters. For example, our strong mutual aid system recently was leveraged in fighting the rim fire near Yosemite National Park, which I am sure you all saw, it made National news, through effective multi-agency coordination and situational intelligence sharing. Over 142 fire agencies, 24 law enforcement agencies, 36 county governments, and 13 State agencies were coordinated through my department with the Federal Government and deployed to the rim fire for over 5 weeks. A fire that is actually still burning and has consumed more than 255,000 acres making it the third-largest in California's history. In addition, California's dedicated emergency management professionals and first responders are often called upon by FEMA and other States to respond to disasters throughout the country including catastrophic disasters, such as, Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina. My team coordinates these out-of-state resource requests through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact or EMAC agreements. California receives EMAC's agreements regularly and most recently, members of my team returned from providing on- site assistance to Alaska in response to their flooding disaster, and we sent multiple resources to New York and New Jersey and Connecticut following Superstorm Sandy. So I believe that our mutual aid system really is one of the best in the world and, although, all 50 States are signatory to EMAC, the recent 2013 National Preparedness Report showed that many States are not accounting for critical resources in neighboring States as a part of their capability assessment. A shared awareness is critical for States to ensure what assistance can be leveraged via inter-State mutual aid during times of crisis. The fiscal support is important in ensuring and promoting a shared awareness of regional assets and capabilities to ensure that this is done in a coordinated and effective way. So the Governors and the members of GHSAC stand ready to serve as equal partners with both the Federal Government and with local communities to improve the Nation's preparedness system, to make Federal investments more efficient by recommending changes and improvements in performance metrics, and hoping to reform preparedness grant programs to build State capabilities to achieve that goal of a more secure and resilient Nation for our future. I thank you for the opportunity to testify before the committee today on behalf of California National Governors Association, and I look forward to working with you to create a prepared and resilient country. Thank you very much. [The prepared statement of Mr. Ghilarducci follows:] Prepared Statement of Mark Ghilarducci September 19, 2013 Thank you Chairman Brooks, Ranking Member Payne, and Members of the subcommittee for holding this hearing. My name is Mark Ghilarducci. I am director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services and the homeland security advisor to Governor Edmond G. Brown Jr. It is my privilege to appear on behalf of both the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council (GHSAC), which represents Governors' homeland security advisors of the 55 States, territories, and commonwealths as well as the District of Columbia. Governors and their homeland security advisors appreciate the opportunity to appear before you to provide the State perspective in this important dialogue about National preparedness and intergovernmental engagement. a ``whole-community'' approach has been key to preparedness Governors are committed to leading State-wide efforts to build and sustain the capabilities required to meet local needs and address National homeland security priorities. The National Preparedness Reports (NPR) of the last 2 years have made it clear that our Nation's level of preparedness has vastly improved since September 11, 2001. This is the result of not only an increased focus on community preparedness since 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, but also a decade's worth of Federal investment and engagement at the State and local level. Intergovernmental and public-private collaboration, effective coordination, and enhanced communication are key elements in achieving a ``whole-community'' approach to National preparedness. These concepts have been recently demonstrated in a number of ways, including: The improved preparation and response to Hurricane Sandy; the support provided by State and local fusion centers on numerous successful criminal and terrorism investigations, such as the Boston Marathon bombing; the on-going implementation of a Nation-wide public safety broadband network; the use of National Guard dual-status commanders to coordinate State and Federal military forces during an emergency; and the development and implementation of the National Preparedness System (NPS). Unfortunately, our progress could be put at risk by a number of significant, emerging challenges, including: a growing number of homeland security threats and hazards facing States and communities such as those related to cybersecurity; a suite of Federal preparedness grant programs whose structure no longer aligns with the current economic or security environment; and a newly-established doctrine on National preparedness, which has shown early promise, but needs time and fine-tuning to be truly effective in the long term. Active Federal-State engagement will be critical to addressing these challenges and ensuring that positive trends in our Nation's level of preparedness are not reversed. Neither the Federal Government nor States can address any of these issues independently. In an era of constrained budgets, all levels of government must do more with less. Unity of effort is no longer an aspiration, but an imperative to meet both the needs of our communities and the National Preparedness Goal of ``a more secure and resilient Nation.'' engagement is key in addressing state cybersecurity needs States and the Nation face an expanding range of homeland security threats that have moved beyond the traditional physical domain and now includes cyberspace. In fact, while this year's updated NPR highlighted forward movement on Federal efforts to strengthen its cybersecurity posture in the last year, a majority of State Preparedness Reports (SPR) ranked cybersecurity as one of the weakest core capabilities at the State level.\1\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \1\ Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2013 National Preparedness Report, March 30, 2013, p. ii. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Governors and their homeland security advisors are aware of the rising cybersecurity risk facing public and private-sector entities within their States. Many are actively engaged in efforts to develop threat prevention, remediation, response, and recovery strategies to enhance security and improve resiliency against attacks. Because of the speed and evolving nature of this threat, however, States must take full advantage of Federal resources and expertise they can leverage to protect State systems and address current gaps in capabilities. Active Federal-State engagement will identify additional opportunities to collaborate on strategic planning, coordinate on incident response, and share information on potential threats. To support this need, NGA established the Resource Center for State Cybersecurity (Resource Center), co-chaired by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. The Resource Center brings together representatives and experts from key State and Federal agencies and the private sector to provide strategic and actionable policy recommendations that Governors can adopt to craft and implement effective State cybersecurity policies and practices. Next week here on Capitol Hill, the Resource Center will release A Governors' Call to Action on State Cybersecurity that will provide five key recommendations Governors can implement in the near term to address cybersecurity within their State. For its part, the Federal Government can expand its level of engagement with States by improving information sharing; better leveraging State and local fusion centers to share intelligence information and mitigate cyber threats; assisting with cyber incident response planning; and working through the Council of Governors to build and enhance the role of the National Guard to support State cybersecurity needs. As States seek to make investments to build cybersecurity capabilities, they also need the flexibility to prioritize Federal grant funding for such uses--an option not fully available today. federal grants can better align with preparedness planning In the last decade, Federal, State, and local governments have invested billions to strengthen homeland security and emergency preparedness. States continue using homeland security grant funds to develop and sustain core capabilities such as intelligence fusion centers, State-wide interoperable communications, specialized response teams, and citizen preparedness programs. While the number of threats and hazards facing States and the Nation has increased, Federal support for State and local preparedness efforts has steadily decreased. Federal, non-disaster preparedness grant funding has dropped 75 percent since 2003. This reduction, combined with State and municipal budget challenges, has significantly limited the ability of State and local governments to build new capabilities, sustain prior investments, and maintain forward momentum with preparedness efforts. The NPS and its components are intended to ensure the most effective and efficient use of resources across the preparedness spectrum. While the NPS was established as a framework to better enable States to prioritize projects, the structure of the grant programs themselves has changed very little since their inception. As currently designed, the preparedness grant programs are often duplicative. Statutory restrictions on the use of funds and shortened performance periods reduce States' flexibility and compound administrative burdens. Grant programs should appropriately align with the NPS to better link Federal investments to capability targets and National preparedness objectives. Reform is essential to ensure that limited Federal funds go towards priority projects for States and communities, while providing the most value to all taxpayers. The National Preparedness Grant Program (NPGP) proposed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is a good first step to addressing many of the challenges with the current suite of grant programs. While not endorsing the NPGP, NGA sent a letter (attached) in May to Chairman Michael McCaul and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson to articulate States' appreciation of the proposal and calling for comprehensive grant reform. Included with the letter was a set of Governors' principles on grant reform to help inform Federal efforts to restructure and streamline these programs. Federal, State, and local engagement on grant reform is on-going, but could be more active. States will continue to work with Congress, FEMA, and their partners at the local level to develop a reform proposal to make preparedness grants more measureable, accountable, and flexible to meet the needs of our communities. implementation of the preparedness system can be improved Post-Hurricane Katrina, the focus of National preparedness efforts was expanded to an all-hazards approach to meet the challenges of both terrorist events and natural disasters. As the list of potential threats and hazards expanded, so too did States' interpretation of how and where funding and attention should be prioritized. There was no systematic approach to measure the Nation's level of preparedness or the long-term value of the $40 billion Federal investment through preparedness grant programs. A number of statutory and administrative changes have been introduced to address gaps in Federal policy and streamline processes including the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 and Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8) issued in 2011. These reforms attempt to provide a roadmap for all levels of government to assess risk and build capabilities using a whole-community approach. Many deliverables required by PPD-8 are still in various stages of development and will likely take years to fully implement. Despite this protracted time table, establishing a standardized, Government-wide planning doctrine for disaster management would be a significant achievement. The NPS is intended to be a collective effort to provide valuable insight into National-level risks and ensure that investments are targeted appropriately. States are doing their part through NPS deliverables such as the State Preparedness Report and the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA). Through these processes, States are working hard to understand their level of risk to a broad array of threats and the capabilities needed to address them. Implementing the SPR and THIRA, however, is not without its challenges. Despite FEMA's efforts to engage with States on their concerns, many problems remain unresolved. States recommend the following steps to improve Federal-State engagement on the NPS, streamline planning processes and make the system work in a truly integrated and synchronized manner: Existing relationships with State stakeholder groups should be better utilized.--In general, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FEMA should take advantage of existing State associations and councils, such as the GHSAC, to help solicit input and feedback on NPS guidance and programs. As much as FEMA and the Federal Government are leading these efforts, effective collaboration must go both ways. Innovations at the State level in these areas can better inform the development of Federal guidance and operating procedures. Federal outreach must happen earlier with more time allotted for feedback.--While DHS has reached out to State stakeholders during the development of the NPS and planning frameworks, it has concurrently solicited State, local, Tribal, and territorial (SLTT) input on a series of other draft planning documents (including the National Infrastructure Protection Plan). This has made it a challenge for some stakeholders to prioritize feedback requests and provide a timely response under the tight deadlines provided. If DHS seeks meaningful input from SLTT stakeholders, a reasonable amount of time-- certainly more than a couple of weeks--must be offered. FEMA must connect the dots on the NPS.--Engagement on specific parts of the NPS such as the THIRA has been adequate. There has been less guidance, however, on how the SPR, THIRA, and other parts of the NPS will develop into a cohesive ``system'' that will meet the National Preparedness Goal. States will be leading efforts to evaluate overall progress and integrate processes into standard operating procedures. FEMA must provide the SLTT community with a better understanding of how NPS processes are integrated to meet objectives and measure performance over time. As new guidance and revised plans are rolled out in the coming months and years, technical assistance and consistent collaboration with State and local partners must remain a priority for DHS. The NPS should be given time to mature.--Prior to PPD-8 and the NPS, Federal processes, policy, and grant guidance lacked an integrated framework, consistent methodology, or adequate metrics for measuring performance over time. To gain the SLTT community's continuing support of these efforts, processes and doctrine must remain consistent, deliberate, and stable. In many ways, instituting the NPS will require a cultural shift and changes to entrenched bureaucracies. Stability will ensure that new processes and procedures have the opportunity to take root within all levels of government and are fully integrated between all stakeholders as the NPS is designed. Elements of the NPS need to be aligned and synchronized.--A key objective of the NPS is to ensure that decisions regarding incident management and resource allocation are informed by both National-level priorities and the reciprocal needs of States, local communities, and surrounding regions. Recently, regional THIRAs were performed by FEMA Regional Offices before State THIRA's were complete. For the NPS to be effective and efficient, schedules and deadlines on deliverables should be synchronized and better-aligned with State activities. This small but important change will provide senior leadership at all levels with a shared situational awareness about the risks, capabilities, assets, and resources that exist across and within jurisdictions. Promote shared awareness of regional resources and expand mutual-aid capabilities.--Knowledge of regional assets and capabilities is critical for State preparedness and response planning. All 50 States, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico are signatory to the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). As the recent 2013 NPR indicated, however, many States are not accounting for the resources and assistance available in neighboring States as part of their capabilities assessments. FEMA can provide better coordination through its regional offices to facilitate mutual aid agreements between States and the FEMA regions. In an era of tightened budgets and declining Federal grant funding, leveraging resources across jurisdictions is essential to meet both State-wide preparedness requirements and National objectives. states are partners in meeting preparedness goals Per the 2013 NPR, States continue to deal with gaps in several core capabilities including cybersecurity and those that are recovery- focused such as housing. As States seek to build these capabilities, sustained collaboration and communication with Federal partners will be critical. The NPS is intended to provide an ``all-of-nation'' approach for building and sustaining a cycle of preparedness activities over time. Significant progress has been made over the last 2 years to standardize processes and create a common doctrine for disaster planning Nation-wide. We are clearly still in the ``building'' phase, however, and more work remains to be done. Similar to what are now widely-accepted procedures for incident command, the NPS will require several years in the field and continued refinement for progress to be made and measured over time. Programs and processes at each level--including preparedness grant programs--must be better-aligned and synchronized to permit each part of the NPS to accurately inform the next. This cascading effect will ensure that capabilities are prioritized and focused to meet local, State, and National needs. Federal engagement must be consistent, deliberate, and transparent as new guidance is issued and as stakeholder feedback is acquired. Governors and the GHSAC stand ready to serve as partners with the Federal Government and local communities to improve the NPS, reform preparedness grant programs to improve efficiency, and build capabilities to address threats across all domains including cyberspace. Attachment.--Letter From the National Governors Association June 10, 2013. The Honorable Thomas Carper, Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510. The Honorable Tom Coburn, Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510. The Honorable Michael McCaul, Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security, United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515. The Honorable Bennie Thompson, Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland Security, United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515. Dear Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Coburn, Chairman McCaul, and Ranking Member Thompson: The Nation's Governors thank you for supporting State and local homeland security preparedness programs. Over the past decade, these programs have strengthened our ability to detect and prevent terrorist attacks and respond to catastrophic emergencies. Despite this progress, recent events such as the Boston Marathon bombing and Hurricane Sandy remind us that threats to our communities continue to evolve. To confront today's dynamic threats, Federal homeland security grant programs must be restructured to streamline processes and ensure the most effective use of taxpayer dollars. We urge you to support common-sense reforms and stand ready to work with you to find solutions to our Nation's most pressing homeland security challenges. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, nearly 20 programs were established to help State, territorial, Tribal, and local governments prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and other emergencies. Together, these programs have invested billions in Federal and State funds to build and strengthen critical capabilities such as intelligence information sharing, interoperable emergency communications, bomb detection, and hazardous materials response. By serving as the central point of coordination among multiple jurisdictions and functional areas, States have played a key role in ensuring that scarce resources are used effectively to meet identified National priorities while being tailored for regional needs. Today, while all levels of government are better-equipped to handle a range of emergencies, whether man-made or naturally-occurring, we face new emerging threats such as cyber-attacks and home-grown violent extremism. To actively address these new risks, State and local public safety officials require greater flexibility than the current homeland security grant framework allows. The current grants structure does not properly incentivize collaboration between local governments and State agencies, which can lead to duplication of effort and restricts the dedication of resources to areas of most critical need. Thoughtful reform of these grant programs can ensure the efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars while protecting our citizens and our way of life. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has proposed a new National Preparedness Grant Program (NPGP) to replace the current suite of grants. This proposal addresses many of the challenges States face with the current suite of grant programs. While we have concerns about portions of the NPGP, we applaud FEMA for putting forward a comprehensive proposal and believe it is a good first step toward meaningful reform. The Nation's Governors stand ready to work with you to improve these important grant programs and offer the attached set of reform principles to help guide this effort. We look forward to working with you to continue to strengthen the partnership among all levels of government to prepare for and respond to emergencies. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Governor Martin O'Malley, Chair, Health & Homeland Security Committee. Governor Brian Sandoval, Vice Chair, Health & Homeland Security Committee. Attachment.--Governors' Principles for Homeland Security Grant Reform The Department of Homeland Security provides State and local governments with preparedness grant funding that provides support for developing and maintaining critical homeland security and emergency management capabilities. Over the last several years, these grant funds have been significantly reduced. With decreased funding expected for the foreseeable future, Congress and the administration are reexamining the grant programs in order to make them more flexible and effective. Currently, there are 18 major preparedness grant programs administered by the Department of Homeland Security. Many of these programs often overlap with others, creating unintended inefficiencies and unnecessary administrative burdens. In addition, changing program requirements often make the current structure complex and burdensome to States. Governors are supportive of efforts to reform these programs. As reform proposals are considered by Congress and the administration, Governors offer the following principles: Principles: Grants should be risk-based but continue to provide each State and territory funding to support critical homeland security and emergency management capabilities, including personnel costs and the sustainment of investments. Funding should focus on developing, enhancing, and sustaining common core capabilities. The Federal Government should work with States and territories to develop consistent methods to measure or assess progress in achieving common core capabilities. Grant funding should be distributed through States and territories to enhance regional response capabilities, avoid duplication of effort, and ensure awareness of gaps in capabilities. Consistent with current law, States should be permitted to use a portion of the grant funds for management and administration in order to coordinate the efficient and effective use of grant funds, provide necessary oversight, and comply with Federal reporting requirements. Any reform to the current grant programs should provide States with flexibility to determine which priorities should be funded and where investments should be made within their borders. Any grant program should allow flexibility for any State cost-share requirements. The Federal Government should provide clear, timely, and explicit guidelines for conducting threat assessments and how those assessments will be used to determine base-level funding. The Federal Government should be more transparent with States in sharing the data used to populate the funding formula/algorithm. States should be provided with a centralized point of contact and reasonable time to review and inform the data. The Federal Government should ensure that reforms eliminate inefficiencies, do not duplicate efforts, and do not place additional administrative burdens on States. Grants should allow for multi-year strategic planning by States and local jurisdictions. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you, Mr. Ghilarducci. The Chairwoman now recognizes Mr. Walker for 5 minutes. STATEMENT OF JEFFREY W. WALKER, SENIOR EMERGENCY MANAGER, LICKING COUNTY, OHIO, TESTIFYING ON BEHALF OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF EMERGENCY MANAGERS Mr. Walker. Chairman Brooks, Ranking Member Payne, and distinguished Members of the subcommittee, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to provide testimony on this important topic. I am Jeffrey Walker, the president of the International Association of Emergency Managers to the U.S. Council. I served 13\1/2\ years as director of the Licking County, Ohio, office of homeland security and emergency management. We appreciate the opportunity to talk about the gains that have been made in preparedness, the remaining challenges, some local perspectives on capability, and the further steps needed to enhance them. At the local government level, emergency managers play an essential role bringing together the stakeholders, public, private, and non-governmental organizations for a cohesive and workable plan and response to a disaster. They have the responsibility to ensure horizontal coordination between the departments of local government and vertical coordination between local, State, and Federal governments. They are responsible for making sure that all missions of emergency management, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery, are able to be accomplished at the local level. Let's review some tools that allow emergency managers to perform their vital role in National preparedness. The Federal emergency management agencies, Emergency Management Performance Grants is vital funding to local emergency managers and has been called the ``backbone'' of emergency management systems. The EMPG is fundamentally different from the post-September 11, 2001, homeland security grants. It goes back to the 1950s, requires a 50/50 cost match, and requires various performance measures. All disasters start and end at the local level, which emphasizes the importance of building and sustaining this capability at the local government level. The EMPG funding should not be invested exclusively in State governments alone. Funding from EMPG frequently makes a difference as whether or not a qualified person is present to perform these duties in a local jurisdiction. One of the challenges of local emergency managers is to get individuals and families to take action to be well-prepared. We welcome FEMA's efforts to bring a more scientific basis to this effort. FEMA's Emergency Management Institute, located in Emmitsburg, Maryland, provides vitally-needed training. The crown jewel of emergency management training and doctrine has made progress over the past 3 years in the development of programs for State and local emergency managers, particularly, the development of the Emergency Management Professional Program which includes National emergency management foundations, leadership, and executive academies. IAEM-USA is an active participant in developing the National planning system curriculum. We look forward to the final product which will be focused on moving planners from all disciplines to the same common operating picture and lexicon, which will increase awareness of their impact on emergency management. Congress frequently hears about Federal programs being rolled out without consulting with stakeholders. There has been extensive consultation with stakeholders making this program stronger. Emergency management capabilities are being built across our Nation at the local government level. For example, the locals in the State of Mississippi have built a strong partnership to prepare for a wide array of hazards. Mississippi passes through a minimum of 60 percent of its allocated EMPG funding to local government emergency management offices and spends the remainder on programs designed for local support. After Hurricane Katrina, the Mississippi locals identified their highest priority mitigation actions, and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency worked with them and FEMA to fulfill those priorities, particularly, generators, shelters, and safe rooms. Another capability, local capability, is a Metropolitan Medical Response System. Every MMRS jurisdiction has its success stories. Success as an on-going critical analysis can be attributed to the MMRS planning, training, and coordination, which has been replicated across the United States. Since 2012, MMRS has not been funded as a Department of Homeland Security stand-alone program, but it is allowable expense to be decided at the State and local level. Many of these valuable programs are facing extinction. In these challenging economic times, it is important to know what the return on investment is for our preparedness dollar. We know what a prepared community should look like. IAEM- USA released a paper titled, ``Preparedness, a Principled Approach to Return on Investment,'' which is available on our website. The paper articulates a framework based on the ``Principles of Emergency Management'' that should be used to derive meaningful objectives and measures for preparedness grants as we try to reach that goal. In conclusion, the assessment of our Nation's preparedness is neither simple nor straightforward. We continue to make progress towards the goal a prepared community with our key partners at the local, State, and Federal levels of government, private enterprise, and non-governmental organizations. Thank you. [The prepared statement of Mr. Walker follows:] Prepared Statement of Jeffrey W. Walker September 19, 2013 Chairman Brooks, Ranking Member Payne, and distinguished Members of the subcommittee, I would like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to provide testimony on this important topic. I am Jeffrey Walker, the president of the International Association of Emergency Managers, U.S. Council. I served 13\1/2\ years as director of the Licking County, Ohio Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. IAEM-USA is our Nation's largest association of emergency management professionals, with 5,000 members including emergency managers at the State and local government levels, Tribal nations, the military, colleges and universities, private business, and the nonprofit sector. Most of our members are U.S. city and county emergency managers who perform the crucial function of coordinating and integrating the efforts at the local level to prepare for, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from all types of disasters including terrorist attacks. We appreciate the opportunity to talk about the gains that have been made in preparedness, the remaining challenges, some local perspectives on capabilities and the further steps needed to enhance them. Like an imposing and beautiful edifice is made up of individual parts, so goes our National preparedness. The brick and stone of preparedness in our local jurisdictions make up the walls of State preparedness, which together, form the overall shape of National preparedness. While we admire the look and design of the final, overall edifice, we must appreciate the value and importance of the individual parts that make the construct assume its final shape. And, like the fact that the building will not stand without the individual bricks and stones supporting the overall structure, so too, goes our National preparedness. At the local government level, the emergency managers play an essential role--bringing together the stakeholders (public/private/and non-governmental organizations) for a cohesive and workable plan in response to a disaster. They are the people who are charged with the responsibility to ensure horizontal coordination between the departments of local government and vertical coordination between local governments, State governments, and the Federal Government. They are responsible for making sure that all missions of emergency management (mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery) are able to be accomplished at the local level. Let us take a look at some of the tools that allow local Emergency Managers to perform their vital role in National preparedness. emergency management performance grant The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) is vital funding to local emergency managers and has been called the backbone of the Emergency Management System. EMPG is fundamentally different from the suite of post- September 11, 2001 homeland security grants. EMPG has a history stretching back to the 1950's when it was recognized that there was a Federal interest in building emergency management capacity at the State and local levels. Its original authorization was in the Civil Defense Act of 1950, as amended. EMPG requires both State governments and local governments to invest 1 local dollar for each grant dollar received. It also requires various performance measures in order to continue participation. IAEM-USA recognizes that all disasters start and end at the local level which emphasizes the importance of building and sustaining this capacity at the local governmental level--and EMPG funding should not be invested exclusively in State governments alone. Funding from EMPG frequently makes a difference as to whether or not a qualified person is present to perform these duties in a local jurisdiction. We are grateful that Congress has recognized the importance and uniqueness of EMPG by supporting that it be maintained as separate account within FEMA. It is important to have a grant focused on building emergency management capability for those entities at the local government level statutorily charged with the responsibilities of coordinating mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. individual and family preparedness One of the challenges of local emergency managers is to encourage individuals and families to prepare. A report called ``Preparedness in America: Research Insights to Increase Individual, Organizational, and Community Action'' was released in September 2013 by FEMA. The report acknowledges, ``[a]s disasters continue to impact our Nation, the role of individuals and the importance of engaging all sectors in reducing the impact of disasters has become increasingly evident. (Page 1)'' It is clear to me that in America there are many factors that influence how preparedness becomes relevant to each and every citizen. The attitudes and the experiences of our citizens either encourage or discourage them from taking preparedness seriously. When preparedness information is provided for where we live, work, and play it must be easy to understand and apply. Opportunities to review, discuss, and exercise family preparedness plans help make preparedness a personal goal. Unless we become personally committed to being prepared we will not be ready for the next disaster or emergency. Each community has various ``networks'' that need to be encouraged to join the preparedness ``team.'' Only when the time is taken to reach out and educate these networks about the need for personal preparedness will the whole community plan be successful. emergency management institute (emi) The Emergency Management Institute (EMI), located in Emmitsburg, Maryland, provides vitally-needed training to State, local, and Tribal government emergency managers through on-campus classes, a curriculum developed for field deployment and distance learning. This ``crown jewel'' of emergency management training and doctrine has made tremendous progress over the past 3 years in the development of vitally-needed training programs for State and local emergency managers. We are particularly pleased with the progress made in the development of the Emergency Management Professional Program (EMPP) which includes the National Emergency Management Foundations, Leadership and Executive Academies. These multi-course academies will enhance the education and training opportunities of the current and next generation of emergency managers by focusing content on the critically important core competencies which were developed as part of the project. national planning system IAEM-USA is an active participant in developing the National Planning System (NPS) Curriculum. We look forward to the final product which will be focused on moving planners from all disciplines to the same common operating picture and lexicon, which will increase awareness of their impact on Emergency Management. For example, municipal planners should be aware of the hazards within the community so that they avoid development and construction within the areas impacted by the hazard. The NPS efforts have strongly engaged the stakeholders in identifying ways to be more inclusive of Emergency Management. We cautioned them to not start from scratch. Instead, we suggested that they identify the gaps and develop steps to remove them by implementing courses that provide the skills necessary. The stakeholders participating in this effort ranged from certified planners, the Military, the FBI, State and local law enforcement, FEMA, local emergency managers, National Flood Plain Managers, land-use planners, and many others. The new training curriculum results in the potential of up to three certificates for those with successful completion. It provides a challenge to planners, enhancing their existing knowledge. Planning is at the core of what we do in emergency management. If the work invested in building the foundation of the NPS is carried through the rest of this project, IAEM-USA is confident the training will have a great deal of validity. Congress frequently gets to hear about Federal programs being rolled out without consulting with stakeholders. We're here to let you know that this one is not one of those programs. There has been extensive consultation with the stakeholders, and this program will be the better for it. By building on what has gone before and by being inclusive of a wide range of stakeholders this program will be well- built. This is a program that we expect to have follow-through that results in actions that will have a meaningful impact on our preparedness. building local capabilities Emergency Management capabilities are being built across our Nation at the local government level. Many of the local jurisdictions--as well as the State of Mississippi--are being very active in building emergency management capabilities at the local level. Mississippi is subject to a wide array of hazards including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, ice storms, earthquakes, and technological hazards. Together, the locals and the State of Mississippi have built a strong partnership to prepare for these hazards. Mississippi passes through a minimum of 60% of its allocated EMPG funding to local government emergency management offices and spends the remainder on programs designed to support locals. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the local jurisdictions in Mississippi identified what their highest priority mitigation actions were, and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency worked with them and FEMA to fulfill those priorities. Hundreds of generators were purchased for shelters and critical infrastructure identified by the locals. Over 120 community ``safe rooms'' and ``361'' shelters with a capacity of over 50,000 were constructed to provide individuals, communities, and schools with a place to take shelter from natural hazards in Mississippi. Another local capability being built is the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS). It has played a critically important role in a number of communities, but today I'd like to share with you a story from Huntsville, Alabama about MMRS and also provide some background on the program. One of our IAEM-USA members, John ``Rusty'' Russell is the Emergency Management Director for Huntsville, Alabama. He tells me that MMRS funding has been the cornerstone of their medical and responder team building since 2002. They have been able to develop plans and build medical response capability in 14 counties across north Alabama. They were able to provide training and exercises that have added cohesion to the way traditional responders and medical professionals work together during emergencies. In November, 2007, a Huntsville City School bus with a driver and 41 students plunged 75 feet from an interstate overpass in Huntsville. The bus landed vertically and toppled over killing three students and injuring several others. The response was immediate and working within the MMRS plan 40 students were transported to two major hospitals within the first 50 minutes after the accident. The actual emergency part of the response was quickly and definitively over after 1 hour although the media frenzy and the investigation lasted for months. The very same responders and hospital personnel had participated in an eerily similar exercise just days before which involved a simulated airplane crash. Since the inception of the MMRS program in 1996 under the then U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration it grew to 124 jurisdictions covering approximately 75% of the U.S. population. MMRS programs began building health care coalitions 12 years before the recent initiative by the assistant secretary for preparedness and response (ASPR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The latest guidance for the HHS Funding Opportunity Announcement is similar in intent and uses wording similar to the original MMRS jurisdiction deliverables. The MMRS program was moved to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2004 and continued to build cross- disciplinary public health and medical emergency capabilities in accordance with Federal guidance under the Target Capabilities List. Every MMRS jurisdiction has its success stories. In recent years MMRS-built preparedness and response capabilities were used in Pima County, Arizona to respond to the ``Gabby Giffords'' shooting, in the Aurora, Colorado theater shootings, and at the Boston Marathon bombings. Successes and on-going critical analysis can be directly attributed to MMRS planning, training, and coordination, which has been replicated across the United States. As a country we are facing the very real possibility that these valuable resources and capabilities will fade away as Federal agencies decide what the priorities of the locals should be and seem to ignore the MMRS success story. Since 2012 MMRS has not been funded as a U.S. Department of Homeland Security stand-alone program, but is an ``allowable expense'' to be decided at the State level. Some MMRS jurisdictions have fortunately still received some funding for MMRS activities, but a majority of MMRS jurisdictions face certain ``extinction'' within the next 12 months if they do not receive sustainment funding. The final year of the MMRS program funding (Federal fiscal year 2011) was approximately $28 million; dollar-for-dollar those funds have yielded the greatest return on preparedness funds than any other U.S. DHS program. A minority of MMRS jurisdictions may be absorbed into other systems but the reality is the capabilities that have been built will be lost. The newer initiative from U.S. HHS ASPR is starting from ground zero in its endeavors to build health care coalitions based on the whole-of- community approach and in many States it is a hospital-centered program for which inter-agency cooperation can be an afterthought. The best realistic result would be for U.S. HHS ASPR to receive increased funding to then directly fund and reinvigorate the MMRS program and enhance and expand what has already been built to include more communities. The top-down program driven at the State level does not have as great of a chance to succeed when it sometimes disregards the locals which are the community in whole-of-community. measuring preparedness IAEM-USA released a paper called ``Preparedness: A Principled Approach to Return on Investment.'' http://www.iaem.com/documents/ Preparedness-Principled-Approach-to-ROI-11Aug2011.pdf. (Overview available at http://www.iaem.com/documents/overview-ROI.pdf) Challenging economic conditions have meant that, in addition to the Federal Government, local, State, Tribal, and territory jurisdictions have also been carefully examining where they will invest their resources. All resource investments are being evaluated including those related to emergency management. Specifically, local, State, Tribal, and territory jurisdictions, and Congress want to know ``How can we tell if we are getting a return on our investments in emergency management?'' The answer to this question has been historically delivered through reciting anecdotal stories or visually displaying data related to the things we can count--what we have purchased and activities we have undertaken--in maps, charts, tables, and graphs. Unfortunately, these stories and data have had little meaning absent a framework against which to interpret them. Jurisdictions at all levels invest in emergency management preparedness activities to ensure, to the degree possible, that their jurisdiction is ready to efficiently and effectively respond to and recover from hazard events. Thus, the question we must answer when considering return on investment related to emergency management is, ``To what extent are we prepared?'' To this point jurisdictions at all levels have not been able to answer this question satisfactorily. It may be easiest to introduce what a meaningful framework against which to measure preparedness would entail if we first begin at the end with IAEM-USA's vision of what a prepared jurisdiction (at any level) would look like. A prepared jurisdiction is one that engages in preparedness actions guided by professional emergency managers and professional emergency management programs. The jurisdiction's preparedness actions are driven by the risks that they face. The jurisdiction has comprehensively considered all known hazards, vulnerabilities, and possible impacts and actively engages in preparedness actions related to mitigation, response, and recovery. The jurisdiction is progressive by incorporating innovations, technologies, and best practices as they ready themselves for future hazard events. The jurisdiction's preparedness actions have provided a legitimate basis upon which to act in the wake of hazard events but are not so rigid as to lack the flexibility to respond to unanticipated issues. The stakeholders in the jurisdiction (e.g., fire, police, public works, elected officials) are integrated by their use of common technologies, systems, and management processes. The jurisdiction operates in a collaborative organizational environment wherein inclusiveness, relationships based on trust, on- going interactions between stakeholders, open communication, and consensus-based decision making are the norm. And, finally, the prepared jurisdiction would be coordinated; the stakeholders within the jurisdiction would know and accept their roles, have identified the procedures necessary to fulfill their roles, and have practiced the fulfillment of their roles in conjunction with other stakeholders. A prepared jurisdiction is the goal of every emergency management practitioner and every emergency management program. Bringing about the description above is the reason emergency management exists. The EMPG program allows emergency management to work toward these outcomes; therefore, our objectives and measures associated with EMPG should be designed to measure progress towards these goals. IAEM-USA suggests in Preparedness that a framework of preparedness outcomes based on the accepted Principles of Emergency Management (2007) should be used to derive meaningful objectives and measures for the preparedness grant program most valued by local emergency managers--EMPG. This argument is supported by decades of disaster and emergency management research. The outcomes include professionalism, risk-driven, comprehensiveness, progressiveness, flexibility, integration, collaboration, coordination. The fact is the equipment, supplies, and systems we buy and the activities we undertake with EMPG funds are critical because they contribute to our ability to achieve these outcomes. conclusion In conclusion, the assessment of our Nation's preparedness is neither simple nor straightforward. We do know what a prepared community looks like and we continue to make progress toward that goal with our key partners at the local, State, and Federal levels of government, private enterprise, and non-governmental organizations. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you, Mr. Walker. The Chairwoman now recognizes Chief Schwartz for 5 minutes. STATEMENT OF JAMES H. SCHWARTZ, FIRE CHIEF, ARLINGTON COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT, TESTIFYING ON BEHALF OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS Chief Schwartz. Thank you, Chairman Brooks, Ranking Member Payne, for this opportunity to be here this morning with you and talk about this important topic. The International Association of Fire Chiefs represents the leadership of the Nation's fire, rescue, and emergency medical services including rural volunteer, metropolitan career, and suburban combination departments. I would like to thank the subcommittee for this opportunity to share with you some thoughts about our Nation's preparedness. Local fire and emergency services are critical players in any effective system of National preparedness. They respond to all hazards including earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and mass casualty events. They also provide a diversity of other services including emergency management, community education about family and personal preparedness, building code enforcement, protection of critical infrastructure, and information sharing about threats and risks to their jurisdictions. The Nation is better prepared today than it was 12 years ago. Evidence of this fact can be found in the response to natural disasters like the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri, and the Superstorm Sandy, as well as mass casualty events, like the April 15 bombing in Boston. Jurisdictions are developing capabilities to fill those gaps based on lessons learned from these and many other events. If I could cite a couple of examples. On September 11, 2001, the National capitol region was capable of putting two mass casualty units on the scene of the Pentagon during that crisis. Today, we have 23 units across the region that are standardized and completely interoperable. In addition to that, we have ambulance buses which were a lesson out of the Katrina emergency where we realized that we needed the capacity to move large numbers of patients. These buses can move up to 25 patients at a time. An issue that has obviously been spoken about a little bit this morning and is very relevant to our timing here, active- shooter capabilities. In the northern Virginia region of the National capitol area, we are in the process of training 3,000 police officers in the techniques of tactical emergency casualty care, which takes the lessons of the war theatres of Afghanistan and Iraq and teaches police officers and fire fighter EMS personnel how to treat trauma wounds in the field to save lives. In addition, some departments have created capabilities to insert medical providers into an indirect threat zone before a shooter is subdued, and we look forward to that particular capability being rolled out across the country over the next several months. The National Preparedness System depends on local fire and EMS resources to be adequately staffed, equipped, and trained. However, the great recession cost Federal, State, and local budget cuts that have affected the Nation's response capabilities. A couple of examples cited by research from the National Fire Protection Association. Fifty-one percent of all fire departments do not have enough portable radios to equip emergency responders on a shift. This is down from 77 percent in 2001, and 75 percent in 2005. Forty-eight percent of all fire departments that are responsible for EMS have not formally trained all their personnel to provide that service. This percentage is down from 54 percent in 2001. Sixty-five percent of all fire departments that are responsible for hazardous materials response have not formally trained all their personnel to National standards, and this is down from a percentage of 73 percent in 2001. The IAFC believes that taxpayer funds can and should be used effectively to improve National preparedness. In order to help grantees use better Federal grants, the IAFC recommends that FEMA develop a system for grant recipients to share information about the successful, and occasional not-so- successful, uses of grant funds in order to harness information about what we do next. It seems not very efficient when somebody has created something very successful to not promote that to be replicated in other communities across the country. The Nation's information-sharing efforts are another area in which National preparedness can be improved. The Nation has developed an information-sharing regime with 78 fusion centers around the Nation. Many of these fusion centers lack standardization and are in various stages of implementation. They must continue to focus on collaborating with all stakeholders including fire and EMS departments and, in addition, it is important to make sure that these centers provide information for end-users, local fire, EMS, and law enforcement personnel. The Joint Counter Terrorism Assessment Team at the National Counterterrorism Center is another information-sharing tool for local public safety. This is an effort by NCTC to include local responders in the intelligence community, so that there is not only a greater awareness in local communities of what the intelligence community is producing, but a higher level of understanding within the community about what locals need in order to make better preparations. It is important that local stakeholders also have a role in the PPD-8 process. From fire to emergency services perspective, all of the resources, equipment, and personnel, are owned by local jurisdictions. We are concerned that the State-centered approach identified in the THIRA and National Preparedness Grant Program proposal and look forward to working on improving these efforts in the near future. Fires remain a major threat to the Nation. Overseas terrorists deliberately used fire as a weapon during 2008 attacks in Mumbai and at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in 2012 to cut access and draw media attention. Al-Qaeda magazine Inspire has urged its followers to use fire as a weapon here in the United States to cause damage and fear. Fire fighting will remain a major component of an effective National preparedness system, and we urge the committee to consider this oversight by FEMA as it reviews PPD- 8 progress. On behalf of the leadership of the Nation's fire and EMS departments, I want to thank you for this opportunity to be here this morning to talk about this important topic, and I look forward to your questions. [The prepared statement of Chief Schwartz follows:] Prepared Statement of James H. Schwartz September 19, 2013 Good morning, Chairman Brooks, Ranking Member Payne, and Members of the subcommittee. My name is James Schwartz, chief of the Arlington County (Virginia) Fire Department and chairman of the Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). The IAFC represents the leadership of the Nation's fire, rescue, and emergency medical services (EMS), including rural volunteer fire departments, metropolitan career departments, and suburban combination departments. I would like to thank the subcommittee for this opportunity to share with you some thoughts about the Nation's preparedness. America's fire and emergency services play a critical role in our National preparedness system. There are approximately 1.1 million men and women in the fire and emergency services--approximately 344,000 career fire fighter and 756,000 volunteer fire fighters--serving in over 30,000 fire departments around the Nation. These fire fighters are the only organized group of American citizens that is neighborhood- based, staffed, trained, and equipped to respond to all types of emergencies. They respond to all hazards ranging from earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, to acts of terrorism, hazardous material incidents, technical rescues, and fires. Local fire departments also provide a diversity of non-traditional services to their communities including emergency management; community education about family and personal preparedness; building code enforcement; protection of critical infrastructure; and information sharing about threats and risks to their jurisdictions. America's fire and emergency services also provide a majority of the Nation's pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency medical response. are we better-prepared to respond to a major incident in the homeland? The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the catastrophic nature of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 demonstrated major weaknesses in the Nation's ability to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond to, and recover from major all-hazards events. In the aftermath of these events, the Federal Government, States, counties, localities, and communities all have taken steps to improve the Nation's preparedness. The Federal Government created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); strengthened the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); developed the National Incident Management System (NIMS); and distributed over $38 billion in grants to States and localities to improve the Nation's preparedness. On March 30, 2011, President Obama released Presidential Policy Directive/PPD-8, National Preparedness, as a further refinement to the Nation's preparedness system. As events across the Nation have demonstrated, the Nation is better-prepared today than it was in the 1990s and early 2000s. While major incidents, both natural and human-made, will always cause loss to life and property, events such as the response to the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri; the response to Superstorm Sandy last year; and the response to the Patriot's Day bombing in Boston all demonstrate the strength of the Nation's emergency preparedness system. Jurisdictions across the Nation are developing capabilities to fill gaps in their preparedness systems, and studying these events to learn lessons that can be applied in their communities. Consider these examples from the National Capital Region (NCR): One of the lessons of September 11 was the importance of patient tracking. In the aftermath of 9/11, it took several days to locate all of the victims that had been transported from the Pentagon to area hospitals. In response to this problem, the NCR developed a patient tracking system. Now EMS personnel are deployed with hand-held devices that allow them to scan a victim's triage tag and enter basic information about the victim's identity and pre-hospital care. This information is transmitted to a regional hospital coordinating center. The center coordinates the distribution of patients to area hospitals, so that no patients are lost in the system and no hospitals are overloaded. The response to 9/11 also identified the need for greater emergency response capacity. This capacity needed to be standardized to ensure true interoperability for an effective response to any crisis. In order to address this challenge, the NCR developed standardized regional capabilities like mass casualty units and ambulance buses; bomb teams that coordinate through a regional organization called Metrotech; and air units to refill fire fighters' self-contained breathing apparatus during an incident. On 9/11, there were only two mass casualty units in the NCR, and they were stationed at the airports. Now there are 23 mass casualty units situated around the region. To improve greater coordination, the NCR jurisdictions used funds from the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) to interconnect the fiber optic networks built and funded by local jurisdictions to form the ``NCR Net.'' This system enables the seamless transition of critical data, including information from computer-aided dispatch systems, throughout the region to improve situational awareness and reduce emergency call processing time. Many similar examples exist across the Nation. For example, in analyzing the response to Hurricane Katrina, many States found that they did not have Intrastate Mutual Aid Systems that would allow them to deploy fire and EMS resources in a timely manner within the State. With the support of FEMA, the IAFC developed the Intrastate Mutual Aid System (IMAS) program to help States build these mutual aid systems. During the time of Hurricane Katrina, only 4 States had State-wide mutual aid systems for fire and EMS. Now, because of the IAFC's work, there are 34 States with robust mutual aid systems and 12 States that have completed exercises to their programs and are in the process of being deployable with assistance. While the majority of investments in preparedness are made by local communities, it is important to emphasize the role that the Federal Government has played in enhancing the Nation's preparedness. The NIMS and its resource-typing help local authorities from around the Nation identify capabilities and share resources with each other. The preparedness grant programs, administered by FEMA, help States and localities purchase necessary equipment and training to fill gaps in their homeland security preparedness. In addition, the Federal grants help to bring homeland security partners (fire, EMS, law enforcement, private sector, public health, etc.) together to plan, train, and exercise together. For example, the years of planning, equipment, and training purchased by Tucson, Arizona, through the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) played a major role in the effective interdisciplinary response to the January 8, 2011, incident involving Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others. The Federal Government also is playing a significant role in resolving the problem of communications interoperability. The Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States highlighted the tragic consequences of the communications interoperability problems that occurred during the 9/11 response. The DHS has been focused on resolving this issue since 9/11. Through more than $13 billion in grants, including the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program, and the work of the DHS' Office of Emergency Communications and the Office for Interoperability and Compatibility, the Federal Government is helping first responders around the Nation to begin to talk to each other at the State and regional levels. Last year, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (Pub. L. 112-96), which allocated 20 MHz of spectrum and $7 billion to establish a Nation-wide, public safety broadband network. This legislation also created the First Responder Network Authority, which is doing the preliminary planning that will allow first responders from different States to respond to a National disaster and be able to seamlessly communicate with each other. areas for improvement While the Nation is more prepared for a major all-hazards incident, there is still a lot of work to do. The Great Recession cut property values and local government tax receipts, which reduced the amount of funds that State and local governments could spend on emergency preparedness. A long period of spending cuts and the sequester have reduced Federal funds and programs to improve preparedness. The National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) 2011 Needs Assessment provides some information about how the fire and emergency services have both improved and still have lots of work to do to become truly prepared. For example: 51 percent of all fire departments that answered the NFPA's survey do not have enough portable radios to equip all emergency responders on a shift. This percentage is down from 77 percent in 2001 and 75 percent in 2005. 51 percent of all fire departments cannot equip all fire fighters on a shift with self-contained breathing apparatus. This percentage is down from 70 percent in 2001 and 60 percent in 2005. 48 percent of all fire departments that are responsible for EMS have not formally trained all of their personnel involved in EMS. This percentage is down from 54 percent in 2001 and 53 percent in 2005. 65 percent of all fire departments that are responsible for hazardous materials response have not formally trained all of their personnel involved in hazmat response. This percentage is down from 73 percent in 2001 and 71 percent in 2005. The National preparedness system depends on local fire and EMS resources to be adequately staffed, equipped, and trained. FEMA grant programs, such as the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, help to bolster the emergency response capabilities in jurisdictions that still cannot meet basic needs. However, it is clear that more work needs to be done. The IAFC believes that taxpayer funds can--and should--be used effectively to improve National emergency preparedness. In order to help grantees better use Federal grant funds, the IAFC recommends that FEMA develop a system for grant recipients to share information about the successful uses of grant funds to develop capabilities. For example, as part of the Public Health and Medical Services core capability defined by PPD-8, FEMA could post information about the NCR's patient tracking system. If a jurisdiction was interested in developing this capability using Federal funds, it could adopt the NCR system for its use and avoid costly mistakes already experienced elsewhere. In addition, as more jurisdictions adopt each other's plans for developing core capabilities, the system will create greater interoperability of these capabilities across the Nation. Along with building and sustaining basic emergency response capabilities, the Nation also needs to move forward more aggressively on developing and dispensing medical countermeasures. As the Nation debates military action over the use of chemical weapons in Syria, it is important to recognize the need for the Nation to be prepared for this threat at home. First responders will be on the front lines of any biological or chemical attack or the outbreak of pandemic influenza. The IAFC supports H.R. 1791, the Medical Preparedness Allowable Use Act, which would allow jurisdictions to use homeland security grants to fund the distribution of medical countermeasures to both first responders and their families. The legislation proposes a good use of Federal funds to ensure the health of critical staffing needed during a catastrophic incident. The Nation's information-sharing efforts are another area in which National preparedness can be improved. After being identified as a weakness by the Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, the Nation has developed an information-sharing regime with 78 fusion centers around the Nation. Many of these fusion centers lack standardization and are in various stages of implementation. It is important that these fusion centers continue to focus on collaborating with all stakeholders, including fire and EMS departments. In addition, it is important to make sure that the fusion centers are providing information to the end-users in local fire response agencies that is clear, helpful, and actionable. As the committee determines the next steps in fusion center development, any performance metrics must measure not only the quantity of information passed on to local stakeholders, but also the information's quality and if it meets the needs of the end-users. One important tool in the Nation's information-sharing system is the Joint Counterterrorism Assessment Team (JCAT). This organization is located in the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). It is composed of local fire fighters, EMS personnel, and law enforcement officers, who are allowed to work with intelligence analysts to develop information for local first responders. The JCAT develops specific products that are distributed to first responders to warn them of new threats and the tactics and techniques they may face in the field. One issue that may arise with the JCAT is that local agencies must cover the salary and backfill expenses for the JCAT detailee. In this budget environment, many jurisdictions are unable to cover these expenses, which mean that only a few large departments will be able to participate in this program. presidential policy directive/ppd-8 PPD-8 is the latest revision of the Nation's preparedness system. It sets the National Preparedness Goal, solidifies Federal roles and responsibilities, and describes the National Preparedness System. The IAFC was consulted by the National Security Council staff as it developed PPD-8. Many of our suggestions were included in the final document. One highlight of PPD-8 and the National Preparedness Goal is the focus on mutual aid. Mutual aid is a key to an effective emergency response system. Based on the principle of ``neighbor helping neighbor,'' an effective mutual aid system allows fire and EMS departments to use a scalable system to call upon resources as an incident escalates. As local budgets are cut around the Nation, local fire departments rely upon each other to protect their communities. Mutual aid is also a major component of an effective National preparedness system. Many jurisdictions will not be able to meet all of the core capabilities defined by PPD-8 on their own. However, by working together, they will be able to complement each other's strengths and weaknesses and protect their citizens. The IAFC has worked with the States to develop intra-State mutual aid systems through its IMAS program. As FEMA implements PPD-8 and the National Preparedness Goal, the IAFC also urges the agency to recognize the importance of developing mutual aid through regionalism. In jurisdictions, like the NCR, the communities clustered around a border may have more in common than with the rest of the State. Programs like UASI and MMRS help to foster this type of regionalism for major metropolitan areas that cross State lines. One concern about PPD-8 is the National Preparedness System's focus on States. For example, the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) should be completed by States and the FEMA regions. The proposed National Preparedness Grant Program proposal would give States a larger say in how FEMA grant funding is allocated. It is important that local stakeholders also have a role in the process. From a fire and emergency services perspective, all of the resources--both equipment and personnel--are owned by local jurisdictions. Any estimation of resources to meet the core capabilities must include the input of local fire and EMS departments. In addition, local jurisdictions best know their threats, risks, and level of preparedness to meet them. The IAFC welcomes language in the latest THIRA Guide (Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 201), which urges State emergency managers to use a whole-communities approach in filling out their THIRAs by consulting local fire, EMS, law enforcement, and public health departments. However, the record on the THIRAs has been mixed so far, with some States working with their local jurisdictions to complete their THIRAs and other States not doing so. As the committee continues its oversight of the PPD-8 process, one question should be ``are local stakeholders being included as equal partners in the process?'' The IAFC also is concerned that firefighting is not listed as a core capability under PPD-8. Other missions of the fire service are covered, including building code enforcement, hazmat response, and emergency medical response. However, as recent events in California have shown, fires remain a major threat to the Nation. Overseas, terrorists deliberately used fire as a weapon during the 2008 attacks in Mumbai and at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in 2012 to cut access and draw media attention. The al-Qaeda magazine, Inspire, has urged its followers to use fire as a weapon here in the United States to cause damage and fear. As 9/11 demonstrated, firefighting will remain a core capability in an effective National preparedness system. We urge the committee to consider this oversight by FEMA as it reviews the PPD-8 process. conclusion On behalf of the leadership of the Nation's fire and EMS departments, I thank you for the opportunity to discuss the state of the Nation's preparedness. It is important to remember that any National disaster begins locally and ends locally. However, one of the greatest lessons that the Nation has learned in the past 12 years is that it requires the development of a comprehensive National system to improve preparedness. This National Preparedness System must incorporate all stakeholders at the Federal, State, Tribal, local, and individual levels. Through its various missions, the fire and emergency services are prepared to perform their role in the mission areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. It is important to recognize the amount of progress that the Nation has made since 9/11, and that there is more work that needs to be done. The IAFC looks forward to working with the committee and the administration to continue to improve our Nation's preparedness system. Mrs. Brooks. Chief Schwartz. The Chairwoman now will recognize Ms. Spangler for 5 minutes. STATEMENT OF KATHY SPANGLER, VICE PRESIDENT, U.S. PROGRAMS, SAVE THE CHILDREN Ms. Spangler. Chairwoman Brooks, Ranking Member Payne, and the esteemed Members of the homeland security committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on this critical issue. Unfortunately, I must report to you that when it comes to protecting our Nation's children from disaster, America is not prepared. Over the past year, we have seen incredible destruction and high-profile school tragedies that remind us how vulnerable children are during disasters, and that they can strike anywhere and at any time. However, too many States are failing to take basic actions essential to protect our children. It is like they are stuck in a pre-Katrina mindset. Do you know how long it took to reunite the last child with their family post- Katrina? Six months. After 8 years, many States still fall short on their reunification planning. Any given work day, 68 million children are separated from their families. If a disaster strikes a school or a child care center, what happens to these children? Are schools and child care centers doing all they can to prepare for emergencies? Is Government requiring them to meet even minimum standards? More often than not, the answer is no. After Katrina, Congress authorized the National Commission on Children in Disasters and led by Save the Children. It recommended hundreds of steps that should be taken to protect children. We condensed those recommendations into four minimum standards. They are that States require all child care centers to have an evacuation and relocation plan, a family reunification plan, and a plan for children with special needs. That they require all schools K-12 to have a disaster plan that account for multiple hazards that can occur. This month, we released our sixth annual disaster report card and found that 28 States and the District of Columbia still fail to meet at least one, if not all four, of these minimum standards. Six States and the District of Columbia fail to even require multi-hazard plans for all schools. So with so many States failing to act, it is up to the Federal Government to do what it can to protect children. That is starting to happen. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Children and Families has proposed a new rule requiring child care providers that receive subsidies through the Child Care and Development Block Grant to verify that they have an emergency plan that meets two out of three child care standards. We are hopeful that HHS will amend the rule to include all three. Today, we express our profound gratitude to Ranking Member Payne, and Ranking Member Thompson, for introducing legislation that takes the same approach to motivate State action on the fourth standard to better protect children in schools. Their legislation titled, Safe School Act, would require each State applying for the State Homeland Security Grant Program through the Department of Homeland Security to certify that they already require schools to have multi-hazard emergency plan. If ever there was a year when we saw the variety of emergencies that can occur in States, it is this one. This act is a critical first step to protecting children in schools. I encourage you all to co-sponsor this legislation and to encourage your colleagues to do the same. Save the Children has three recommendations today. First, pass the Safe School Act. Second, make child care mapping an eligible activity under the State Homeland Security Grant Program. One of the areas where the gaps in protecting children is most glaring is around child care. After the Oklahoma tornadoes and Hurricane Sandy, Save the Children helped damaged and destroyed child care centers reopen. These centers often have little access to emergency recovery funds. Yet their services are desperately needed by families who have lost everything, and for children who have experienced an event that is terrifying in their young lives. One Oklahoma child care director told us, as parents and staff pulled children from the rubble after the tornado destroyed her center, first responders raced down the street right past them to a nearby destroyed hospital. Nobody stopped to help them because nobody even knew a child care center, with infants and young children, was there. Federal support for child care mapping will help ensure that this does not occur again. Our third recommendation would require FEMA to report annually on the amount of homeland security grant funds that are being dedicated to the needs of children. Save the Children has successfully advocated for such a report from FEMA via the annual appropriations process. We can announce today that this reporting has shown, that out of the $14 billion in homeland security preparedness grants, for fiscal years 2004 through 2010, only 16 States put funds toward protecting children. The total investment was less than $10 million. In other words, only 0.7 percent of emergency preparedness funds were invested to the needs of children. We need to start tracking this allocation every year. To do that, we recommend a long- term authorization directing FEMA to complete this task annually. Once we shed light on how little is being done to protect the most vulnerable among us, our children, we can encourage States to rectify this shameful oversight. Congress has the power to act now to protect children before the next disaster strikes. We urge you to do so. I appreciate the opportunity to be here today and welcome any questions you may have. [The prepared statement of Ms. Spangler follows:] Prepared Statement of Kathy Spangler September 19, 2013 UNACCEPTABLE: Despite a record disaster year and high-profile school tragedies, most States still fail to meet basic child-safety measures. Chairman Brooks, Ranking Member Payne, and esteemed Members of the Homeland Security Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on this critical issue. You ask whether our Government is doing enough to protect children when disaster strikes? Put quite simply, we are not. This is unacceptable. This past year showed our country how disaster can strike anywhere at any time and how vulnerable our children can be. 2012 was the second-costliest year of U.S. disaster destruction on record. Thousands of families were uprooted. The devastation left by Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac in New York, New Jersey, and the Gulf Coast, the Oklahoma tornadoes, and the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut should be a wake-up call. But when it comes to taking very basic measures to protect our children from disaster, too many States won't budge. It's like they're stuck in a pre-Katrina world where the gaps weren't so clear. Do you know how long it took to reunite the last child with her family after Hurricane Katrina? Six months. And yet 8 years later, many States are still falling short when it comes to family reunification planning. Any given work day, 688 million children are separated from their families. Where are these children? In schools and child care. Children need protections where they are, and it's the Government's obligation to make sure that happens. After Katrina, Congress authorized the National Commission on Children aand Disasters led by Save the Children and it recommended hundreds of steps that should be taken to protect children. We condensed many of those recommendations into just four minimum standards. And for 6 years we have released a Disaster Report Card on how States are doing. The four standards are: That States must require all child care centers to have (1) An evacuation and relocation plan, (2) a family reunification plan, and (3) a plan for children with special needs, and (4) that States require all K-12 schools to have disaster plans that account for multiple types of hazards. Last week, we released our 2013 report, ``Unaccounted For: A National Report Card on Protecting Children in Disasters'' (www.savethechildren.org/get-ready) and the results were astonishing. 288 States plus the District of Columbia still fail to meet minimum standards on protecting children in schools and child care. 6 States and the District of Columbia still fail to require multi-hazard plans for all schools. Since 2008, the number of States meeting all four standards has risen from 4 to only 22. Fortunately, there are some bright spots. This year, 4 States including New Jersey, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Utah all took steps to meet all four standards. Furthermore, the Federal Government appears to be advancing efforts to address these gaps. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration on Children and Families, has proposed a new rule obligating child care providers that receive subsidies through the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to verify that they have an emergency plan with 2 of our 3 critical provisions, and we are hopeful that HHS will amend that rule to include all three. Today, we are pleased to congratulate Ranking Member Payne, Jr. and Ranking Member Thompson, on this very committee, for introducing legislation today that takes this same approach to motivate State action on the 4th standard--to better protect children in schools. Their legislation, called the ``S.A.F.E. Schools Act'' would require each State applying for the State Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to certify that it already requires its schools to have multi-hazard emergency plans (or that it will do so by the start of the 2015 academic year). This would be the tipping point we need to better protect our children! If ever there was a year when we saw the variety of emergencies that can occur in States this year was it. From fires to floods to tornadoes to hurricanes to man-made disasters; we saw first-hand that at a very minimum, schools and child care centers must have emergency plans that require them to consider and practice each. Just imagine how different it is to practice moving all children out into a parking lot in a fire drill, versus moving them all into a safe room for a tornado, much less practicing a lock-down for a shooting situation. We must require multi-hazard plans. And this act is a critical first step. I encourage you all to co-sponsor this legislation and encourage your colleagues to do the same. This is the first of three recommendations we offer today. Because there is more the Congress can do to protect our children. From Sandy to Sandy Hook, Isaac to Oklahoma, Save the Children was on the ground during the major disasters of the past year. We provided child-friendly services in shelters, mental health programs for parents and kids, and recovery funding for child care providers and schools. As the leading child-focused emergency response organization, we are seeing many critical gaps in protecting children. One of the most startling is how child care centers are often left behind when it comes to emergency response and recovery. After the Oklahoma tornadoes, we helped damaged and destroyed child care centers that have little access to emergency recovery funds reopen. Their services were desperately needed by families of children who experienced the most terrifying experience of their young lives, and many of whom lost homes or even neighbors. One director told us how as parents and staff pulled children from the rubble of her destroyed center that day, first responders raced down the street, right past them to a nearby destroyed hospital. Nobody stopped to help them because nobody even knew a child care center, infants and young children, were even there. Our second recommendation is that the Congress encourages States to map the locations of all child care centers so this never happens again. It can do so by making child care mapping eligible for block grant eligibility. Finally, we need to encourage protecting children and accounting for their unique needs across all our Nation's emergency planning efforts. Save the Children believes a good start is showing just how much or little the States are doing for children with the Federal funds they receive. Unfortunately, it is very, very little. A measure we were able to successfully advocate be included in the fiscal year 2012 budget process required for the first time that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) detail how much of their annual grant funds are dedicated towards the needs of children. FEMA's resulting report showed that only 16 of the States dedicated a total of less than $10 million to protecting children out of billions of dollars worth of emergency preparedness grants between 2004-2010. Our third recommendation is that instead of fighting to include this required reporting in the budget every year, the Congress require such reporting in authorizing legislation. Once we shed light on how little is being done to protect the most vulnerable among us--our children--we can encourage States to rectify this shameful oversight. To recap, our three recommendations are: (1) Pass the ``SAFE Schools Act'' in order to utilize the State Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) to ask States to require multi-hazard emergency plans for schools; (2) Recommend block grant eligibility for child care mapping; (3) Require FEMA to report the percentage of grants going children's needs. Congress has the power to act now to protect children before the next disaster strikes. We urge you to do so. I appreciate the opportunity to be here today, and welcome any questions you may have. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you, Ms. Spangler. I now am going to recognize the gentleman from New Jersey for questions. I understand he may need to step out a bit and so I wanted to make sure that he got his questions in. Mr. Payne. Mr. Payne. Well Madame Chairwoman, I appreciate that consideration. Let me start with Mr. Manning. The 2013 NPR boast Nation-wide adoption of NIMS in 2012. That is really encouraging, but I am hearing that NIMS is not being enforced in New Jersey. Have you heard about any problems enforcing NIMS in New Jersey? Mr. Manning. Congressman, I am not aware of any specific problems in New Jersey, but it is something I would be very happy to look into and get back to your office on. Mr. Payne. Yes, I would appreciate it. We had conversations at a forum several weeks ago with first responders and heads of homeland security in my district, and that issue has been raised by several different entities in terms of that, you know, what should I tell them in terms of it not being enforced? Mr. Manning. Well Congressman Payne, I believe that NIMS has been the National doctrine for the preparation for coordination in response to disasters for many years now. It is enforcement or the manner in which it is used is one that varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The basic doctrine of the incident command systems span of control, unity of command, and the organization of responding to a disaster is one that has had wide-spread distribution. Not one that I have heard that there are concerns with the New Jersey, and I will look closely into it. I know there have been questions from time to time about its applicability in the day-to-day organizational structure of emergency response organizations, and the current position of the administration is that NIMS is an organizational--the incident command system specifically is an organizational structure specifically created for response to a multi-agency or a large emergency or disaster and not one necessarily to be used to organize the administrative function of an organization. That may be the case there. I would be happy to look into it and report back to your office. Mr. Payne. That will be fine, thank you, sir. Ms. Spangler, you know, over the course of the past year man-made and natural disasters have had a tremendous impact on children, as you stated. Save the Children supported efforts in Hurricane Sandy, Newtown, and the tornado in Oklahoma. What are the most important lessons learned related to children that the organization learned during--as a result of these disasters? Ms. Spangler. Thank you for the question, Congressman Payne. It has been an extraordinary year, and we have been on the ground in partnership with FEMA and the Red Cross and other partners in each of these disasters. For us what has been so amazing to watch is the fact that child care facilities are not considered part of the core strategy. That there is very little data--it took us weeks to identify the damages associated with child care centers. I think it is incredibly important to recognize that for communities to recover, getting child care centers back up and operational is critical to family well-being, it is critical to the economic well-being of a community, and it is an area that I think we have really failed to identify before, during, and after. Many of these child care facilities are operating. They are not necessarily non-profit, but they operate on very small margins, and they are not eligible for emergency recovery funds. So we have done the best we can with our partners to help them recover and get back operational, but we think that the mapping strategy around child care would be incredibly important for emergency management. It would be important for the States to be able to provide necessary resources to help communities recover more quickly. In long term, it will allow us to reach out more directly to child care providers on the preparedness front. Mr. Payne. Okay. It has been about 3 years since the National Commission on Children and Disasters released their report to Congress. In your opinion, what ways has the Federal Government been most successful in implementing the recommendations of the report? Ms. Spangler. A few ways. We would really give credit to the Federal agencies for their support in this work, in particular, our partnership with FEMA and the focus on child- friendly materials and services at shelters. You may know that we will work with shelter partners to implement child-friendly spaces to provide psycho-social support for children to have a normal environment as much as it possibly can be and to allow their families to begin to restore through the process of registration and recovery. So FEMA has instituted new regulations that do support greater access to materials and equipment in those settings. Certainly FEMA has also been focused on through Mr. Fugate's direction on leadership in terms of children and the task force associated with children's efforts, and so we are really pleased with the effort that FEMA has put forward in these past few years to support that. We also would say that we are partnering with the Department of Education, certainly post-Sandy Hook, as well as previous disasters to support efforts to support preparedness in schools. Multi-hazards preparedness is a very important part. We saw in Sandy Hook that reunification and relocation were issues that caused some strife for families in those immediate moments following the tragedy. Those are areas that even for a school that was prepared and drilled as we believe that Sandy Hook was, in the fog of a disaster, it still is a priority that we train and we drill, so we are working with the Department of Education on that as well. Mr. Payne. Thank you and, you know, as a child of the 1960s I can remember having fall-out shelters in the schools, and we--fire drills, and so, moving forward with this legislation, it just bothers me that, I mean, we even have to raise this issue and people haven't thought about, what about the children, especially after what we saw in Sandy Hook and the tornado. The Sandy Hook incident was--you know, just a terrible act of violence, but the natural disaster, us not being prepared for that, I don't see why it should be such an issue, and maybe we have to take to the American people if we can't get, you know, this body to act. Let's take it parents and see how they feel, and they can push their representatives in this way. So I really thank you for all your efforts. Your report was enlightening and is really helping us determine how to move forward and making sure our children, I am a father of triplets, they are older now, but I try to put myself in other peoples' situation and what would I do if it was my children? I think this is just really a refining of what we have done in this country to be prepared for a disaster. So this should be the next step. We have a National preparedness, now what are we doing for our children? So I thank your efforts, and I ask unanimous consent to submit the 2013 Save the Children National report card and support letter from Save the Children to the record. Mrs. Brooks. Without objection, so ordered. [The information follows:] Letter From Kathy Spangler September 18, 2013. The Honorable Donald Payne, Jr., U.S. House of Representatives, 103 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515. Dear Congressman Payne: On behalf of Save the Children, US Programs, I am proud to endorse the ``Secure America for Education (SAFE) in Our Schools Act of 2013.'' The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina demonstrated how unprepared the Nation was for major disaster. Children were extremely vulnerable, often unprotected, and it took 6 months to reunite the last child with her family. In addition, despite a record disaster year and high- profile school tragedies, most States still fail to meet basic child- safety measures endorsed by the National Commission on Children and Disasters, which was Congressionally-authorized as a result of Hurricane Katrina, and submitted a comprehensive package of recommended standards to Congress and the administration in 2010. Since 2008, Save the Children has published a disaster report card* tracking the progress on all States meeting four critical standards: --------------------------------------------------------------------------- * The Disaster Report Card is available at http:// www.savethechildrenweb.org/getready/Disaster-Report-2013/. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- an evacuation plan; a family reunification plan; a plan for children with special needs; and that States require all schools to have disaster plans that account for multiple types of hazards. In the first year of publication, we found that only four States met all four standards, however, that has risen to 22 as of 2013. Unfortunately, there are 28 States (including the District of Columbia) that are still failing to meet the needs of children and protect them in school settings. That is why we greatly appreciate your leadership in introducing the ``SAFE Schools Act of 2013,'' by requiring States that apply for homeland security grant funding to adopt basic evacuation, reunification, multi-hazard, and children with special needs in school settings. This bill would represent a critical step towards holding States accountable for meeting the disaster-related needs of children in schools. We look forward to working with you and your colleagues on advancing this bill through the legislative process. Thank you for your consideration and support of our Nation's children. Sincerely, Kathy Spangler, Vice President, U.S. Programs, Save the Children. Mr. Payne. Thank you, Madame Chairwoman. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you. I now will recognize myself for 5 minutes of questions. These really are directed more to Mr. Ghilarducci, Mr. Walker, and Chief Schwartz. It really appears to me that the National preparedness report is a very Federal and State-driven report that tries to capture where the Nation is regarding our preparedness capabilities. According to that report, as I said in my opening statement, planning, intelligence, information sharing, operational communications are all considered National strengths and things that have improved. Whereas cybersecurity, which you certainly mentioned, Mr. Ghilarducci, and public-private partnerships still remain challenges. I am curious in your opinion and as the people most in-tune with your communities and you have mentioned, response is local. When we have emergencies, whether they are natural disasters or man-made, the response is always local, and you are most in-tune with your communities. Do you feel that the strengths and weaknesses identified in these reports are accurate? Are they detailed, and are they accurate? You have mentioned, you know, some of--and so I would like to kind of drill into what you think are the strengths and weaknesses and more probably with respect to our weaknesses, and you have mentioned in your opening statement some of those weaknesses, but I would like for you to share a bit of what you think with respect to that report, the strengths and weaknesses. Mr. Ghilarducci. Mr. Ghilarducci. Thank you, Madame Chairwoman. You know, the report and the strengths that were identified, sort-of try to capture a one-size-fits-all through the country as we have put this effort forward and developing capabilities, so from that context, I think it is understandable, and we are trying to put a parameter around this. But really from where we are engaging, you know, with our stakeholders, with our partners, leveraging those relationships with public-private partnerships or private sector, for example, with community-based organizations, is absolutely critical if we are going to actually have a comprehensive whole-community capability. That is one area that more could be done in including all the way up to engaging the business community in our decision makings and incorporating them into our operation centers as a partner and being able to adjudicate different issues that come up during disaster operations. In addition, that replays into the whole context of cybersecurity and the need to build a platform, a baseline, for which we are all on the same page with regards to cybersecurity, and how we are going to be able implement those mitigated efforts to protect ourselves as local communities, as the industry, business and industry, and as education, academia, and Government. So that we are all working together because really--in cybersecurity, really, it is the weakest link that is going to exploited, and when that happens, then the system can be fully impacted. So again, this area of bringing in subject matter experts in different organizations and stakeholders that have-- and in the case of cyber, pretty much everybody is impacted by this, has a role and would benefit from a capability to develop and get them into that process as we move forward. As we have done our planning efforts we have used the THIRA and the THIRA is a good tool. It was really a little bit, I think in the approach, a little bit discoordinated in being able to collect a most appropriate amount of information, most relevant information to be able to give you really what the true picture is with regards to our National preparedness. I think that given more time, given the ability to not have different sectors submitting information sort of unilaterally, to be able to make that THIRA complete, would have gone a long way to give you a more comprehensive picture to make this report something that is less of an overarching and a little bit more specific. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you. Thank you for those comments. Mr. Walker, any thoughts you have. Mr. Walker. Thank you, Chairwoman Brooks. Just one comment I would have on the report, essentially to start with, I believe it says in there in detail that--this is the second report and as they grow, there will be measurement tools available, more clear pictures presented, and I would agree with that as being a--and I see it on the local level, any of the reports that are provided to us as local directors from either our States or from FEMA, that there are tools that we use as a measurement supporting device for the decisions we are making to become resilient locally. To make our whole community. We want to look at what is around the country versus where we are and try to measure up to some of those, or try to say it is impossible for us to do that, because emergency management is really resource-driven, so we are looking at, do we have the resources here locally when the wind blows and the storm happens? I think of Gaylon Kitch, who is the Moore, Oklahoma, emergency manager. He is in a one-man shop, only able to do what he can do for one person, but he has developed a strong supporting group of volunteers and that is what--you have to do those kind of things on the local level to be successful, as they use the skills and the people available to you locally and the tools like the NPR to become successful, to be able weather the storm so to speak. Thank you. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you. We know that DHS is committed to those performance measurements and working on those systems. Chief Schwartz, any comments you might have? Chief Schwartz. Just briefly, Chairwoman, I guess, you know, I would observe in addition to the comments already made that, we oftentimes suffer from a lack of defined processes and maybe even standardization, so when we talk about, is it a State-centered process or is it more locally-driven? The real answer is that it is a diversity of approaches. We listen to fire chiefs talk about their involvement in THIRA. We hear some say that they have been involved. They have been asked to provide inputs, and we hear from others that they have never been a part of that conversation. I think in acknowledgment of a National preparedness goal, and even pre-dating PPD-8, this idea that we were going to build a system of National preparedness, that we focus on the locality and build out regionally to the State and then multi- State as necessary, hasn't really been achieved. We haven't--and we haven't created really the direction, I think, in terms of processes. As an example, if the States were to be required to engage stakeholders on a regional basis, as they do in some instances, like Virginia, where we have regions of the State that are home to regional hazardous materials teams. Everybody doesn't have to have their own team, but there is an assessment within the region about what that threat looks like and how to resource against that threat. You can imagine how that same kind of approach could be, you know, put in every State, and then, where there are discrete differences between one area of the State and another, those could be accounted for, but localities and regions--some regions of the State would know where they are getting their resources, how they are going to meet those threats that are specific to them. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you very much. My time is now up. I now will recognize the other Members of the subcommittee for questions they may wish to ask our witnesses and, in accordance with the committee rules and practice, I plan to recognize the Members who were present at the start of the hearing by seniority in the subcommittee, and those coming in later will be called upon as they arrive. At this time, I would recognize the vice-chair of the subcommittee, the gentleman from Mississippi, Mr. Palazzo. Mr. Palazzo. Thank you, Madame Chairwoman, and I thank our witnesses for being here today. I have a couple of statements I want to read, and then I just want to ask a couple questions to get an understanding of why of these programs was not properly funded in the President's budget. It is centered around the pre-disaster mitigation program. We know it provides funds to States, territories, communities for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects before a disaster event. Funding these plans and projects reduces overall risk to the population and structures. You know, our No. 1 priority is to protect property and our people, and the pre-disaster mitigation grants do that. Now the President's fiscal 2014 budget proposed to eliminate PDM funding, and so that is--kind of my question is to Mr. Ghilarducci and/or Mr. Walker, the pre-disaster mitigation grants are useful, aren't they, I mean, can you elaborate on that? Mr. Ghilarducci. Absolutely. I mean, this is a--it is a good question you have, why they weren't funded. If we look at the--I mean this cycle that we are in is problematic. This deal where we continue to--I mean, it is important to have response capability. There is no question about that. But as we see more and more events taking place, more complex events taking place, particularly, weather-related complex events taking place, and we see that there is really no effort being put into pre-disaster mitigation from the standpoint to harden, to reduce vulnerabilities, to make our communities more resilient, we have only done one-half of the equation. This is problematic. Because it will cost the taxpayers, it will cost us more and more by just throwing response resources at it and be ready to response when we could actually reduce that amount of money and costs by hardening and making our communities more resilient. As a part of that, it is not infrastructure resiliency. It is also in the preparedness aspects. It is in the building, as mentioned, you know, getting our schools up to speed and our children educated, and there is a lot to pre-disaster mitigation, and I would like to see, you know, when you look at the total number of dollars that are spent in sort of the response and the after event side, by comparison to what is put into pre-disaster mitigation, if we could even just take half of that and move it in, we would be so much further as a country. That is really what we need to do, and I concur with your statement 100 percent. Mr. Palazzo. Mr. Walker, do you have anything to add? Mr. Walker. Just a couple of things--you know, we are interested in why pre-disaster mitigation is not funded, also, as an organization, the International Association of Emergency Managers. It is pretty important to each one of our directors on the local level. You know, there is an adage, I guess, to say, that for every dollar spent on mitigation, we save $3 or $4 of other dollars. I believe that to be true having experienced disasters, having seen the outcomes, having seen what is necessary, so pre-disaster mitigation is a tool for the local emergency manager, preliminary, before the disaster strikes, to be ready to be able to survive. Thank you. Mr. Palazzo. So you all would agree it is a good investment to put money into the PDM program. It helps save lives. It helps save property. So that leaves my question to Mr. Manning, can you explain to me why the President's budget zeroed those dollars out? Mr. Manning. Thank you, Congressman. In putting together the President's budget request, we had to take close consideration given the fiscal environment with which we were presented, which grant programs to propose and how to structure FEMA's overall budget to accomplish our mission. There is no question of the support within FEMA for mitigation. It is an absolutely critical element to emergency management. When we were considering which grants to propose, we had to look at which grant programs accomplish something that is duplicated by another grant program. Those are the areas where we had to constrict what we proposed. Mitigation--the vast majority of money that is spent on mitigation in this country comes from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, a separate mitigation grant. It is significantly higher than PDM. That is a grant that comes as a percentage of a disaster. It is grant money that is awarded following a disaster, but there are two options for the expenditure of that money. One of which is--was referred to as 404 mitigation, and that is a grant that is used for a pre-disaster mitigation elsewhere in the State, but is awarded as part of the public assistance program of a disaster grant. By linking it to the disasters, you have a program that focuses mitigation money in the areas of the country with which they are faced with the most frequent disasters. Mississippi is a huge recipient of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, for example. That allows for repetitive loss mitigation programs, flood control structures, things that will alleviate the repetitive damage from frequent disasters such as hurricanes, tornados in the central United States, earthquakes in California, wild fires throughout the American Southwest. So at first when putting together the President's budget, we took a number of different areas, PDM being one, the pre- disaster mitigation grant program--the majority of that money was spent on planning, not on mitigation programs per se, but on planning for a mitigation. That planning activity is eligible under all of our other grant programs and the actual mitigation, the construction projects, the doing of mitigation, which is most often completed in the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, HMGP, is maintained in this proposal. Mr. Palazzo. Mr. Manning, I am out of time, but I think that one thing is certain, that both of the grant programs are extremely important. One is pre-disaster, one is post-disaster, and not only are they both great investments, but not to digress too much, I think we need to continue to invest in our NOAA satellites, our National Weather Service, our data buoyancy center. These are our early--you know, basically alarms that allow us back here in the homeland, to be prepared for the Sandy, for you know, just natural disasters, and that is going to lead to us saving lives and property, so thank you, Madame Chairwoman. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you. The Chairwoman now recognizes the gentlelady from New York for 5 minutes. Ms. Clarke. Thank you, Madame Chairwoman, and let me thank our panelists for their insight and expertise in this matter. I am a New Yorker so very familiar with all of the challenges we face, was a member of the New York City Council post-9/11, and so the whole build-out of the incident command structures was a part of the portfolio that I managed as a council member. I am looking at the decades that have passed now and wondering, you know, what we need to do to make sure that is there is National standard, and would want sort of get some feedback and, in addition to that, just trying to get a sense of, you know, how we focus our Nation from municipality up through the States on the need to really integrate emergency preparedness into our way of life. Because that is really the major challenge and to the extent that, after each event, we go back to life as best we can and adjust ourselves to those new environments, there is really no call to action in terms of behavioral change. So I want to get some feedback, you know, I recognize my colleagues' comments around funding, but the reality is we would really love a robust funding, the ability to get to the municipalities the resources they need. The reality is that our budget just doesn't provide for it, and we have to make some very harsh decisions about what our priorities are financially. We are in an age where the climate is really wreaking havoc across the Nation. We, you know, went from 9/11 to Sandy, and so it is great to want these things, but then you have to have the political will to put the resources where your mouth is. Let me just get some feedback about how we Nationalize and sort of create within our civil society a desire to change behavior, to address what we know has become a way of life for us, and I will start with you, Mr. Manning. Mr. Manning. Thank you, Congressman Clarke. The absolutely critical and important point you make there. We heard from many of the other witnesses this morning about the maybe perceived State-centricity of the efforts that the Federal Government has been undertaking, but let me assure and all the committee Members that we take a truly National approach to this. You may have heard Administrator Fugate on many occasions talk about how emergency management is a team effort. FEMA is just part of that team. But the most important part of that team is the public, as our citizens, our friends and family, and our neighbors. So while we anticipate the National preparedness system that we discussed earlier, is really one of National--it requires the whole Nation to be part of it. We refer to this often as the whole-community approach. But the idea is not one simply of the State bringing assets to bear, we interface with the State as an organizing principle, but it really requires private sector, requires non- governmental organization, it requires--it is the aggregate of all the local capabilities. But most importantly, it is the preparedness and the commitment and willingness of the public to be part of that solution. A key element to the President's directive, PPD-8, our National preparedness is the campaign is to build and sustain resilience in the Nation. That is not something that is focused on governments at any level. It is something that is focused on the public. It is an attempt at our efforts--our collective efforts to shift the conversation from something as simple as critical, but as simple as have an emergency kit and a plan to really understand the hazards that you are faced with in your community and those things that you need to do to work as a community, to protect each other and make it more resilient. Things like planning guidance for schools that we have done with the Department of Education and the Office of Vice President, Department of Justice, but things that we are doing with the Department of Treasury about financial literacy for underprivileged, and just the general public, because that really can make the difference between being a victim of a disaster and surviving the disaster more resiliently. So those are huge efforts that we are undertaking starting with, as you heard from Mr. Walker earlier in his testimony, a more science-based approach to the public's perception of emergencies and disasters and why they do or do not react or take steps. A very interesting one that our colleagues at Save the Children has informed of in the past, we have now evidence of, that families that have--individuals who have children in their home are roughly 60 or so percent likely to have an emergency plan in place. Without children in the home, it is in the teens. There is a huge difference there understanding why people do or do not react or prepare is key to our ability to change that and move the needle in our preparedness and resilience of our communities. Ms. Clarke. My time is up, but if we are having a second round, I would love---- Mrs. Brooks. We will, thank you, yes. Ms. Clarke. Thank you. Mrs. Brooks. We will begin the second round of questioning at this point. It is my understanding that it is voluntary for States to include local first responders in their process in completing the State preparedness report, and we have heard about how different States have different assets throughout the report from the chief and certainly we know that from Mr. Walker's testimony about emergency preparedness, emergency managers, and what assets they have. I guess this is to start out with Mr. Ghilarducci, did your office solicit input from local emergency managers and first responders in developing California's specific preparedness report, and do you know if the other States you are here representing, really all States, what is the process that you use to collect that information? Mr. Ghilarducci. Well the short answer, yes, we did include all of the local partners and members of the private sector and NGOs. You know, I mean, sometimes I am a little bit surprised to hear about the lack of maybe coordination that takes place at State and local across the country because in California, it is second nature. We have a very integrated collaborative process on all aspects of emergency management. We work routinely--our centers are interagency centers so they are made up of local, State, and Federal. We have private- sector people involved, representatives of the non-governmental community. So, from that context, you know, as we move forward with all these initiatives there involved in it, we often reach out to our partner States. In our case, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, to come and join us in these multifunctional efforts so that we can look at the cross-boundaries from State to State. As I spoke before, sometimes States don't do that, and, you know, when we look at these--truly, when you get catastrophic earthquake in California, believe me, there is going to be plenty of work to go around and plenty of need, and we are going to need support from our partner States. I think that when you look across the country and talking to my colleagues, it is different in different places, and sometimes there are really strong relationships between the State and the locals and sometimes there isn't so much strong States. Some right-to-work States, and the locals are more on their own, and some where the State has much more of a role and being engaged with developing mutual aid capabilities and emergency planning. For us, I could tell you, there really should not be and there cannot be another way except to integrate and collectively and collaboratively work together to develop these. That is going to give you the strongest product that you could possibly get. Mrs. Brooks. Absolutely. Chief Schwartz, I am curious, in your State and, again, Mr. Walker, how is that collection process happened with your State or has it? Chief Schwartz. In Virginia when they submitted their THIRA, they did include a document from our region that had been produced a couple of years ago. It was our hazard and risk assessment, but there was no follow-on to that. There wasn't any conversation about how we might have wanted to have amended that paper or placed it in the proper context for the THIRA report. I would just, again, go back to the point, that if in the amount of diversity that we have to approaches across the State, if we don't get FEMA to create certain mandates, to require inclusiveness, to require participation through all levels of government, then we will remain, I think, all over the place in terms of the inputs that we are getting. Mrs. Brooks. If I am not mistaken, the fire service community is actually not specifically mentioned in the National preparedness system document or the preparedness report and system report. Any thoughts regarding that? Chief Schwartz. Well there are references to what the fire service does. There is no direct reference to fire fighting as a core capability. I think our position is that if you were to look at localities that were not properly resourced for something as basic as fire response within their community, it is probably an indicator that they are also incapable of dealing with anything beyond, you know, a simple house fire or a fire--how would you expect a community that is under- resourced, as I was describing in my testimony around radios and protective gear for their fire fighters to then be able to put together some response for a larger crisis like a Joplin- sized tornado or such. Mrs. Brooks. Mr. Walker, any comments you have? Thank you. Mr. Walker. Well my experience in the State of Ohio is the one that they offered up an idea that if we had input on certain areas of the fire initially, we weren't required to, but it was kind of an agreement where we could do that. One of the things in the International Association of Emergency Managers that I think is important to point out is, that we form strong partnerships with a lot of different agencies like the Red Cross, a lot of different agencies that are responsive in emergencies. We work with them and we make them partners, so that we can make sure that our local people also have that partnership because the Red Cross is everywhere. Certain agencies are everywhere in the country and that they can form those partnerships and when they are building resilience, and when they are doing the things that commit to a whole community, they can use those resources and public/private partnerships. We have an extremely strong caucus that evolves around public/private partnerships that is really working very hard. We have a very strong caucus leader, and they are doing a lot of substantial work to push that forward so that the private sector and the public sector actually get together and talk about things. That is what is necessary in resilience. I just was contacted by my own Red Cross chapter in my local community and resilience is a term that they are going to start working on, and they wanted to know if I could help read the book, so to speak. I also had--after FEMA put out the piece on worship centers, I was contacted by the Methodist church in Ohio about how could we help them support so they could better understand what was being said in the document because they are not emergency managers. So there are a lot of things going on as well as the THIRA, there are a lot of opportunities, I would say, that people can afford themselves of that will make them stronger on the local level. Thank you. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you. Thank you very much. My time is up. I now would return to the gentlelady from New York for further questions. Ms. Clarke. Thank you very much, Madame Chairwoman. I serve as the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies so I want to direct questions to you, Mr. Ghilarducci and Mr. Walker. The NPR indicated that progress has been made toward building cybersecurity capabilities, but there are still challenges. How much support are States receiving from the Federal Government to implement a new cyber technology, develop incident response plans, and employ effective cyber risk management, and do you feel States need more direction and support from the Federal Government for cyber? To you, of course, Mr. Walker, with respect to emergency managers, how you are working to develop relationships with chief information officers and chief information security officers so that you can work together in the event of a cyber incident? Let me layer this a little bit because, you know, a cyber incident could mean the shutdown of many of our skater systems, things that would, you know, basically stop life as we know it, which makes it a layered incident to a certain degree. At what level, what depth, are our States and our managers looking at this potential threat to our Nation? Mr. Walker. Thank you, Congressman Clarke. I think on the local level, I have seen a lot of work being done to enhance the abilities of the local people to use cyber correctly. What would happen if cyber quits, that means do you back to writing checks by hand? What is your COOP plan for your local community. That has to be included in there, so it is a strong primary function of that. The other side, I would say that as in emergencies when we try to use the social media side of things, we need to be careful that the facts that are coming out, that are correct. I believe we saw during Hurricane Sandy somewhere, I was in New York City, if I remember right, that Wall Street was flooded and that was not a fact. So it has to be factual. It also has to have some kind of support if the system goes down so that we can take a step back and still operate and still serve our citizens as best we can with their understanding that, you know, we are in a disaster. Thank you. Mr. Ghilarducci. This is really a threat that is evolving and emerging every day, and I think everybody is still kind of grappling to get their hands around really what is the magnitude of the threat. I would tell you that from a State perspective that there is still a lot of gaps. Because of what I just said in that we are grapple with understanding the parameters of the threat, the ability for the Federal Government to support State provide guidance, has been rather limited. I mean, we get threat announcements, potential cyber incidents or cyber threats, and the Federal Government is just starting to kind of come up to speed with this. You know, I think in time, we all need--we are able to get on the same page, we actually have started a cybersecurity task force because there was really a lack of guidance. This cybersecurity task force really is a unique group that incorporates not just government agencies at the local, State, and Federal level, but the private sector, the individuals that actually are responsible for building and designing security software. So that when they are doing that, they are building resilient systems that we can count on as we move forward in the out-years. We are also talking to subject-matter experts to identify where those low-hanging fruit sort-of mitigated efforts that can be done immediately so we could socialize that across the board. I think local governments, academia, et cetera, and even individuals in their homes are thinking to themselves, how can I really protect myself against the kind of cyber intrusions that we are seeing? It could be something stealing your identity all the way up to knocking its data system, so the threat is broad, and the other piece is education. You know, we are working with the Department of Ed to try to identify educational processes where we can start teaching kids early on about cybersecurity. Most kids today are using social media, and that opens them up to cyber crimes. So, we are looking at it on different levels. I think you have to look at it on different levels as you move forward to be able to establish this. Then I think once, you know, some of these drivers can put in some guidelines. I think everybody at the State and the Federal level will get on the same page, and we could be a little bit more robust, but to specifically answer your question, I think there are still gaps with regards to that relationship. Ms. Clarke. Madame Chairwoman, I am concerned about this area and the level and the depth and breadth of what our local governments, State governments would encounter were there to be a major incident with respect to cyber if it is the grid. I think that it may be worthwhile for us to take a deeper look into this matter as we go forward. You know, you could have a cyber event at any moment. It could be on top of a natural disaster, and if you layer these types of incidents, it could be catastrophic. So I hope that you will share with your colleague, that the Chairman of the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies subcommittee, of our desire to see us come together and really delve deeper into this subject matter. I want to thank you all for your candid responses today. It is very helpful. Thank you. Mrs. Brooks. I thank the gentlelady from New York because her concern, and I think a significant growing concern among Members of Congress, is this issue of cyber attacks, and what we would do in case of an emergency. I am pleased to report, we haven't shared yet with the entire committee, that both the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee of the Committee on Homeland Security, as well as this subcommittee, will be having a joint hearing in October specifically on whether or not our State and local communities are prepared for a significant cyber attack. I think what the American people don't begin to appreciate and think about is, while a cyber attack right now, we think about maybe an attack on our financial institutions and, as you mentioned, things such as identity theft and maybe our computers simply going down, you know, or some denial-of- service attack is what a lot of people are accustomed to learning about. What I think we need to be prepared for are things such as cyber attacks on our infrastructure, cyber attacks on our Federal aviation systems, or on our nuclear systems. These are, I think, very grave serious concerns that we have, and I think as we have also learned the number of cyber attacks that are being launched by foreign governments. These are not just individuals that are launching, you know, young hackers who are hacking into systems. This is a whole other level, and so I very much appreciate you agreeing that we need to have this hearing, and so we will be having further discussion in October and so I look forward to your participation at that hearing. It is my understanding that the gentleman from New Jersey may be returning, and so we are going to--I have a couple of more questions, follow-up, if the panel will indulge us. One thing that you have mentioned, that I think is very important and a number of you have mentioned is, what is the individuals--what are our roles as Government to educate individuals? Congressman Payne spoke about that a bit, and what are we doing as Government to really raise the level of awareness to individuals and to families and to businesses as to what their role is? I mean, the public/private partnership, public is really government, private is--well we often think of them maybe as businesses, it is also all individuals and what their role is. We once had a house fire at our home and only because we had drilled with our children and had talked to them, you know, to Ms. Spangler's point about preparedness with children, did the kids know where to go, and it was--it worked just having had those conversations. It is interesting, Mr. Manning, that you talked about the fact that people with children are often a bit more prepared than now, my daughter who is 23, does she have a plan, has she even thought about, you know, a plan now that, you know, she is really more on her own. So I am curious how local--we will start with you, Mr. Walker, maybe, just to all of your points, what your thoughts are about what should we be doing, in Government, to help raise the level of awareness. It is not just the Red Cross' job. They work very hard day in and day out. What are your thoughts about what we can be doing to really raise the level of individual--I have also just returned from Israel in August, and let me tell you, every citizen in Israel goes through drills, is prepared and thinks about their role in protecting themselves and their families, but I think the United States of America is far behind. We will start with you, Mr. Walker, and then would like others' comments. Mr. Walker. Thank you, Chairwoman. I would agree with you that we--the picture we see a lot of times seems to be that we are far behind, but there is a lot of work that is done. I think sometimes we have that 1 month a year where September is ready month. I think the better thing is that it is 12 months out of the year that we are ready because there are various catastrophes, various weather emergencies, various things that happen around the country. How do we get our people involved? I think through public/private partnerships. That is one of the things that is being discussed strongly by our organization and by other organizations is, how do you increase involvement? How do you, let's say, get their attention so that it remains a factor in their lives? It is very difficult because we are drawn in a lot of different directions individually in our lives, but there has to be a way. I am not sure I have the solid answer for that. We continue to work on it, and I think in public/private partnerships, you are broadening the base of people who can help you get there. They employ the people in your community. They can do things through their businesses, through all kinds of opportunities to get their attention. How do we measure that? I think that yet has to be established. Mrs. Brooks. Thanks. I appreciate and believe that every agency is working on that. I am curious whether or not any of you know of any, you know, specific efforts that have actually proven to be effective or any ideas that you would like to-- that you would like to see implemented. Chief. Chief Schwartz. Well, Madame Chairwoman, I would observe that, you know, we have had a lot of successes. If you look at the Joplin response, if you look at the flooding in Iowa 4 or 5 years ago, the community proved itself to be quite resilient and capable of dealing with a tragedy that couldn't be stopped in the moment, but certainly I think was a good demonstration of a resilient community, resilient region. I, for one, think that we need to focus on growing a generation of prepared adults. We need to start getting in our school systems and getting kids when they are young. If you follow the example of the reduction in fires and fire deaths in this country, you can see a parallel between increases in technologies, in our buildings, and they include things like sprinkler systems, but you can also see an increase of public awareness about safe practices with regard to fire. How many young adults could you find today that do not know what ''``stop, drop, and roll'' is, that don't know what ``change your clock, change your battery'' is? Imagine a parallel effort around preparedness. It may be somewhat cynical to suggest that we are not going to change or affect much of adult behavior, but over a relatively short period of time, we could grow a new generation of prepared adults who rethink this, similar in a way to your experience in Israel, because the fact is in Israel, it is part of the culture. Now, it may be because it is--it goes to their existential, you know, their mere existence whether or not they are prepared, but we could transfer some of the lessons from there in terms of being more acculturated to the issues of preparedness. If we got access to kids early in schools and gave them the life skill of being prepared. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you very much. I do agree and as actually Congressman Payne mentioned, you know, as a child, it seemed like we did a lot of drills in the 1960s, that would be when I was growing up as well. Ms. Spangler, anything you would like to say specifically because I agree it can be a cultural shift and if we start younger, and if we talk about it, but I know that a lot of people don't want to scare their kids. They don't want, you know, people to be overdramatic about what can happen, but yet, I believe it is so important. Ms. Spangler. Ms. Spangler. Visiting a Seaside Heights child care center and spoke to a mother who was displaced and spent many months trying to get back home, and she had a 2-year-old. She expressed to me how her child stopped talking at 2, and how tragic that is for a child in their development. It wasn't until they got back to the child care center that they started to verbalize. Brain research is suggesting that even non-verbal children, who experience a disaster, years later, once they begin to have vocabulary, they start to act this out. It is precisely the right time to inculcate those preparedness lessons, those integrated practices. They are part of the equation. They are not just little adults. All too often, we tend to treat them in that manner, so part of early childhood development should include, whether that is a Head Start center or a private center, whether that is a school at an elementary age or at high school, there are ways that we can incorporate the elements of preparedness into their development. This past year, we actually, as a Nation, had very clear moments of collective helplessness, and it was really because of the children that were affected by these disasters. So we have seen, just in the last year, the interest in preparedness take a shift. It has been very difficult as a non-profit organization to get anyone interested in supporting this work. We have partnered well with the Federal agencies. We have partnered well with the Red Cross, but for the very first time, because of this visceral emotion that we have shared around the risk that our children face, there is an openness. So any way we can incorporate our partnership with emergency management personnel to educate and inform, not only the children, but their parents to ensure that licensing regulations include elements of preparedness. We have to weave this in to all that exists around children in a more holistic way. Mrs. Brooks. Thank you very much. At this time, I would recognize Ranking Member Payne for any further questions he might have. Mr. Payne. Thank you, Madame Chairwoman. Mr. Walker, what kind of relationships do the State and local emergency managers have with school districts, and how do emergency managers incorporate schools, child care facilities, and children into their preparedness plan? Mr. Walker. From the local's perspective, we, in my experience, all the schools and child care agencies are part of our response plan. They are part of our 9-1-1 system for notification. We also support their drills and exercises so that when they have fire drills, they have tornado drills which are required by law, I know in the State of Ohio, and probably in numerous other States around the country. So we hope, I guess the best term I could say is, our local emergency managers like to become partners with those people, so they can support what needs to happen if there is a disaster. We can support their movement of people. We can support all those kind of things that are necessary for that agency to be successful in preventing loss of life. Mr. Payne. Based on the legislation that I have proposed, the Safe legislation, what is your feeling upon that? Mr. Walker. I am not totally familiar with that legislation. Mr. Payne. Right. I know you didn't have the opportunity, but the overall, you know, description of--yes. Mr. Walker. It has got to be of primary importance for every emergency manager to support that kind of an opportunity, to support that kind of an element or legislation would hope. Mr. Payne. Thank you. Mr. Manning, whatever has FEMA undertaken to encourage States to require school and child care facilities to meet the standards for emergency planning set forth by the 2010 commission on children and safety? Mr. Manning. FEMA has done a great deal of work with the commission on children in disaster, Save the Children, our other partners such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. In developing our capabilities at the State, local, and the Federal government levels, to coordinate children in disasters. On the preparedness side, we have done--we just completed not too long ago an effort with the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, led by the Vice President, to issue new planning guidance for schools as well as higher education and houses of worship, three different documents, to bring their emergency plans into kind of the more modern approach. Not just for fires and tornadoes where applicable, but for active-shooter environment. How to work with their State and local government emergency management agencies which wasn't very clear in previous guidance. By all accounts, very well received, and a great deal of work going towards that. It is not currently required by the Federal Government that schools accomplish this. This is something that we encourage folks--encourage our partners at the State and local governments to do, but similar to the other elements of the National Preparedness Program recognizing the diversity of the 56 States and territories and how they are organized and how they are subordinate--and their political subdivisions are organized the degrees of autonomy in school districts are even more widely organized. It is work that we encourage--strongly encourage. We make eligible under all the grant programs and provide a great deal of tools and resources to governments and school districts to accomplish. Mr. Payne. Okay. Thank you. What is your take on what--the effort that I am trying to foster in terms of children? Mr. Manning. Well as we have encouraged our partners in the educational community and communities throughout the country to do this work, it is certainly important, of course, Congressman, I look forward to examining the bill and discussing it within the Executive, but at this point until I have a chance to see it, it is kind of difficult to comment. Mr. Payne. Absolutely. Just the broad idea in terms of---- Mr. Manning. Yes. The coordination--planning within schools for all hazards and emergencies, both the things that they have historically done, such as, fire evacuations and drills for tornadoes. It is absolutely critical bringing the community more involved, absolutely critical. I recently--this month is National Preparedness Month. This year, we are focusing on children, ready kids. Mr. Payne. Excellent. Mr. Manning. Did a great deal of press over the last few months where, in every interview, emphasized the importance of parents getting involved in their schools, knowing their school's emergency plan, and providing assistance there. Absolutely something important. Mr. Payne. Hopefully after you have a chance to look over the bill and study it, you will come back to me and say it is not strong enough, Congressman, so---- Mr. Ghilarducci, I understand that California is one of the 22 States that requires schools and child care facilities to include their emergency plans and the four standards of the commission on children. Can you talk about your office work to ensure the special needs of children are incorporated into all hazard preparedness plans? Mr. Ghilarducci. Well we do have a very robust program working both with our State department of education and with our county governments and the various school districts on all aspects of emergency preparedness. Obviously, California is a large earthquake-prone State and so, you know, we do a lot with earthquake preparedness in schools, and that gives us, of course, the opportunity to expand on everything from active- shooter to, you know, basically evacuations or emergency sheltering, et cetera. We have programs where we don't only train the responders on how to deal with the schools, but we have programs where we actually train the teachers. They are really on the business end of this. They are the ones that have to deal with the children at the time. Of course, I am married to a second-grade school teacher, so I hear about this all the time, and she gives me lots of suggestions on how better to incorporate emergency preparedness in schools. In the students training education program we do for teachers, it really empowers them, because the more you know the more empowered you are, and you can then act accordingly during emergency situations. I just want to say that, you know, there are many kids today that have access and functional need issues as well, which is another component to the emergency planning efforts that needs to be taken into account. It is another area where we focus on. I actually placed in my office--an office of access and functional needs, so we really focus on that segment of the child population so that they are--in many ways, they are the ones that need support the most at the critical time, and we don't want to lose sight of that, so those have been initiatives that we have worked with as well. Mr. Payne. Thank you very much. Madame Chairwoman, I yield back. Mrs. Brooks. I would like to thank you and thank all of the witnesses for your very valuable testimony. I think as you said initially, Mr. Ghilarducci, it is ``all hands on deck'' when we are talking about emergency preparedness, response, and communications. We have seen that, seen a significant improvement as you have all shared. Certainly since 9/11. We certainly appreciate the insight that you gave during your opening statements as well as answering questions with a lot of thought and care. I appreciate the time and staying over. We will continue to, you know, take comments. I must let you know that Members of the committee may have additional questions for the witnesses, and we would ask you to respond to those in writing. So, at this time, pursuant to Committee Rule 7(e), the hearing record will be open for 10 days and, again, thank you all for staying over a bit longer and for the work that you are doing each and every day. Without objection, this subcommittee will stand adjourned. [Whereupon, at 11:51 a.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.] A P P E N D I X ---------- Questions From Hon. Susan W. Brooks for Timothy Manning Question 1. In May, FEMA released three of the five National planning frameworks--Prevention, Mitigation, and Response. FEMA also released the National Disaster Recovery Framework in September 2011. We are still waiting on the Protection Framework to be released. These frameworks are to act as guides for the whole community in developing and maturing capabilities to achieve the National Preparedness Goal. How will these frameworks help to enhance the state of preparedness? Answer. The National Planning Frameworks set the strategy and doctrine for building, sustaining, and delivering the core capabilities necessary for achieving the National Preparedness Goal and help enhance the state of preparedness in several ways. First, each framework establishes a set of key themes that guide the development and execution of the 31 core capabilities identified in the National Preparedness Goal. These themes include engaged partnership with the whole community; scalability, flexibility, and adaptability in implementation; and integration among the frameworks. Second, the frameworks emphasize a risk-driven, capabilities-based approach to preparedness, which helps jurisdictions maximize resources and focus on the risks that are most likely to affect their communities. Third, the frameworks provide an emphasis on emergency planning. Each framework includes planning assumptions and other valuable guidance that includes the development of various plans among all levels of government, private-sector entities, and other whole- community partners. For example, the frameworks provide the setting for the development of the Federal Interagency Operational Plans (FIOPs) and allow for the integration of other policies, plans, and doctrine. Finally, the Frameworks summarize the roles and responsibilities of each part of the whole community in National preparedness--including all levels of government, private and non-profit sectors, faith-based organizations, communities, and individuals--recognizing the value of partnerships and working together. Question 2. The 2013 National Preparedness Report once again highlights cybersecurity as a major capability gap among States. In 2012, DHS/FEMA held a National-Level Exercise that simulated a cyber attack. This exercise raised a number of issues, including a question about when Stafford Act assistance would be available in response to a cyber attack. How has FEMA been working with the Department's National Protection and Programs Directorate and relevant stakeholders to address the findings of the exercise? Answer. For the 2012 National-Level Exercise, FEMA's National Exercise Division led an analysis of observations and findings from the exercise, and facilitated development of corrective actions. This effort included subject-matter experts from both the public and private stakeholder community and the corrective actions are part of the formal Corrective Action Program (CAP). At multiple levels of government, key stakeholders have conducted working group meetings and other forums to collaborate on resolving the issues. After the exercise, FEMA's responsibility is to track the progress of the corrective actions. A primary agency and specific individual as a point of contact are assigned to each corrective action and are responsible for collaborating with identified supporting agencies (such as NPPD) and other stakeholders to implement appropriate recommendations and report the corrective action as complete. Question 3. When you testified before this subcommittee in March, we discussed the draft Capability Estimation Guide. At the time of the hearing, you indicated that the guide was in its final stages of completion and would include information from pilot programs. Can you share with us the results of the pilot programs? Answer. During the spring of 2013, FEMA developed draft capability estimation guidance and supported a pilot program to facilitate implementation of the ``Estimating Capability Requirements'' component of the National Preparedness System. The results of this pilot program led to a streamlined Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process that includes capability estimation and associated technical assistance. Based on feedback received during the National review of the Capability Estimation Guide last spring, FEMA updated the THIRA guidance, releasing the Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 201, Second Edition: Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment, in August, 2013. The updated CPG incorporates capability estimation as step 4 of the THIRA process. Jurisdictions implement this process to determine the resources required to achieve their capability targets, and successfully manage their risks. This year, all grantees receiving funding assistance from the Homeland Security Grant Program, Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program, and Emergency Management Performance Grants, must conduct a THIRA in alignment with CPG 201, Second Edition. All grantees will complete and submit a THIRA to FEMA by December 31, 2013. As a part of the completed THIRA, grantees will conduct capability estimation for a subset of the 31 core capabilities, including eleven Response-specific core capabilities and two Recovery core capabilities. These are as follows: Response: Critical Transportation; Environmental Response/Health and Safety; Fatality Management Services; Infrastructure Systems; Mass Care Services; Mass Search and Rescue Operations; On-Scene Security and Protection; Operational Communications; Public and Private Services and Resources; Public Health and Medical Services; Situational Assessment. Recovery: Health and Social Services; Housing. Question 4. For the second year in a row, the President's fiscal year 2014 budget request includes a proposal to consolidate a number of non-disaster grants into a new National Preparedness Grant Program. This request has been repeatedly denied by Congress due to a lack of detail. We have been told that the administration is developing a legislative proposal that would provide the additional detail we are looking for. What is the status of this proposal and when will it be sent to Congress? Answer. The administration has re-proposed the National Preparedness Grant Program (NPGP) to continue the development and sustainment of a robust National preparedness capacity supported by cross-jurisdictional and readily deployable State, local, Tribal, and territory assets. DHS and FEMA recognize that a secure and resilient Nation is one with the necessary capabilities in place, across the whole community, to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk. The fiscal year 2014 NPGP will continue the building and sustainment of the core capabilities in the National Preparedness Goal (NPG) across the whole community. The administration's proposal is in the final stages of the Executive branch concurrence process, and will be shared when the process is complete. The administration's fiscal year 2014 budget re-proposes the NPGP, originally presented in the fiscal year 2013 budget, to create a robust National preparedness capability, with some adjustments made to respond to broad stakeholder feedback solicited and received during 2012. In particular, the fiscal year 2014 NPGP provides grantees and other stakeholders greater certainty regarding the sources and uses of available funding while maintaining the core priorities of the administration's fiscal year 2013 grants vision. (1) The fiscal year 2014 NPGP prioritizes the development and sustainment of core capabilities as outlined in the NPG. Particular emphasis is placed on building and sustaining capabilities that address high-consequence events that pose the greatest risk to the security and resilience of the United States and can be utilized to address multiple threats and hazards. The NPGP continues to utilize a comprehensive process for assessing regional and National capability requirements through the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) and capability estimation processes, in order to prioritize capability needs and invest in critical National capabilities. (2) DHS will submit a comprehensive legislative proposal seeking authorization of the proposed NPGP. That legislative proposal currently is under review within the administration; we expect that Congress will receive it in the near future. Question 5a. As we move forward in developing the National Preparedness Report and implementing the National Preparedness System, what steps need to be taken to ensure that we are getting an accurate picture of the Nation's state of preparedness? Answer. FEMA has identified a set of strategic priorities for the National Preparedness Report (NPR) to ensure an accurate picture of the Nation's state of preparedness and support implementation of the National Preparedness System. These priorities include collecting repeatable preparedness indicators to demonstrate year-over-year progress and gathering meaningful indicators from across the whole community. These activities will help inform the development and implementation of National preparedness priorities. Finally, it remains a priority to effectively communicate preparedness progress to inform decisions across the whole community. Question 5b. How do we ensure that the whole community is included in the development process for the National Preparedness Report? Answer. The NPR is intended to reflect preparedness contributions from the full spectrum of whole community partners: Federal, State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments; the private sector; non- governmental organizations; faith-based and community partnerships; the access and functional needs community; and individuals. FEMA will continue to encourage whole-community partners to contribute to future evaluations of National preparedness by participating in the planning process, exercises, and capability assessments. In November 2010, FEMA published CPG 101: Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans, Version 2 (CPG 101 v. 2), to assist in making the planning process consistent across all phases of emergency management and for all homeland security mission areas. With this edition, greater emphasis is placed on representing and engaging the whole community--to include those with access and functional needs, children, and those with household pets and service animals. Grantees are required to submit to FEMA an annual assessment of their progress in developing and/or updating and exercising their EOP that reflects this planning guidance. In addition, FEMA encourages States, territories, urban areas, and Tribes to engage the whole community in the development of their THIRA and SPRs and report to FEMA on whole community participation. The results of these efforts are used to support and validate key findings in the NPR. Findings from exercises-- as well as real-world event responses--are a valuable performance-based tool for understanding areas of strength and areas for improvement in preparedness Nationally. Whole-community partners should engage in the yearly State Preparedness Report process as it remains a key avenue for State, local, Tribal, and territorial stakeholders to support future NPRs. In addition, private-sector organizations can continue to engage in annual assessments and reporting on critical infrastructure protection and resilience, which helps the Nation understand the progress made across all 16 infrastructure sectors in protecting critical infrastructure. Non-governmental, faith-based, disability, access and functional needs, and community organizations can document and share their accomplishments to highlight the critical role they play across the core capabilities. Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS.gov) serves as the National, on-line network of lessons learned, best practices, and innovative ideas for the emergency management and homeland security communities. LLIS.gov provides Federal, State, local, Tribal, and territorial responders and emergency managers with a wealth of information and front-line expertise on effective planning, training, and operational practices across homeland security functional areas. Best practices, lessons learned, and case studies developed by practitioners and submitted to LLIS.gov are used in the NPR to illustrate whole-community preparedness efforts. Questions From Hon. Susan W. Brooks for Mark Ghilarducci Question 1. What are your thoughts about the consolidation of non- disaster grants into a single National Preparedness Grants Program? Answer. Comprehensive grant reform is necessary to give State and local public safety officials sufficient flexibility to ensure funds can be used as effectively as possible. The current grants structure reduces the flexibility of grantees to invest in capabilities identified as the highest priority and does not properly incentivize collaboration between local governments and State agencies. This can lead to duplication of effort and restricts States from ensuring resources are used to meet the most critical needs. Thoughtful reform can ensure the efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars while protecting our citizens and our way of life. Consolidation of the grant programs such as that proposed by the National Preparedness Grant Program (NPGP) is one possible solution. As the committee considers the NPGP or other reform proposals, the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Governors' Homeland Security Advisors Council (GHSAC) encourage you to ensure that any reforms provide greater flexibility to meet today's dynamic threats while ensuring transparency, accountability, and collaboration. Additional improvements could also have a positive impact, such as: Extending the period of performance.--Lengthening the current 2-year grant process would better ensure effective use of taxpayer dollars and lead to more sustainable outcomes. The condensed 24-month period of performance lends itself to funding the expedient, but not necessarily the highest priority or most beneficial projects. This can include projects and programs that tend to be more complex and comprehensive, such as interoperable communications or cybersecurity. Providing better performance metrics.--While Federal investment in building and sustaining State and local capabilities has clearly improved community preparedness Nation-wide, a systematic process to determine both the qualitative and quantitative value of Federal investments against preparedness priorities and capability gaps the Nation has lacked. Establishing more clearly-defined performance metrics, time lines, and milestones will provide a means to link investments to National preparedness priorities and measure progress in filling capability gaps over time. Strengthening States' leadership role.--States are best- positioned to understand the daily threats facing their communities and serve as key facilitators in the homeland security enterprise. Reform of current grant programs should provide States with the flexibility to determine which projects should be funded and where investments should be made within their own borders. The Federal Government should also ensure that reforms eliminate inefficiencies, avoid duplication of effort, and do not place additional administrative burdens on States. Question 2. Chairman McCaul and Chairman King recently released a report on the National Network of Fusion Centers, which among other things discussed the importance of the National Network to our Nation's homeland security mission and made recommendations for the network's improvement. California has a number of fusion centers, six I believe. Additionally, California is one of the few States that have developed a coordinated State-wide fusion center program--the State Threat Assessment System (STAS). How has implementation of this system helped to enhance California's state of preparedness? Answer. Since its establishment in 2007, the State Threat Assessment System (STAS) has significantly enhanced California's preparedness to counter the full spectrum of threats facing the State. California's comprehensive STAS is comprised of five Regional Threat Assessment Centers (RTACs) and a State Threat Assessment Center (STAC). Our preparedness capability has been supported by the STAS through both the implementation of a concept of operations governing its activities, and numerous intelligence coordination and information-sharing agreements. These enabling agreements have facilitated the creation of joint threat assessments, information-sharing environments, and the Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) Network. These tools and products help construct a comprehensive State-wide threat picture and better enable State and local leaders to efficiently deploy their resources to prepare for or respond to the threats facing California and the broader western region. Through STAS, TLOs are enlisted and trained to serve as California's front-line defense to disrupt terrorist plots, analyze disparate pieces of information and share analyses with the National intelligence community. California's system brings together public safety agencies at all levels of government and provides first responders with the tools and training necessary to detect and report suspicious activity that may be a pre-indicator of terrorism or other criminal activity. More than 84,000 law enforcement officers and public safety personnel in California have received training through the program. We believe our experience with STAS demonstrates how continued leadership and investment in the Nation's network of fusion centers can provide a critical resource to meet local, State, and National intelligence and information-sharing needs. Question 3. Would you recommend this system or a similar system to States that have multiple fusion centers? Answer. The State Threat Assessment System (STAS) could be a force multiplier for other States with multiple fusion centers, but each State faces a unique set of circumstances and must have the flexibility to use systems and processes that best fit their needs. Intelligence coordination and information sharing are universal concepts within the fusion center network and implementing a version of California's STAS concept of operations could enhance those activities in other States. The STAS has provided California's fusion centers with the ability to quickly and efficiently share critical intelligence information and best practices. At the same time, each STAS member center retains its unique mission and independence so it can provide the focused support upon which their customers depend. Question 4. As we move forward in developing the National Preparedness Report and implementing the National Preparedness System (NPS), what steps need to be taken to ensure that we are getting an accurate picture of the Nation's state of preparedness? Answer. An accurate picture of National preparedness requires a standardized, Government-wide planning doctrine for disaster management. States continue to have concerns with integrating NPS guidance, such as the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA), into their annual disaster planning processes. As I discussed in my written testimony, there are a number of steps FEMA could take to improve State-Federal engagement on the NPS, streamline planning processes and make the system work in a truly integrated and synchronized manner. These recommendations include the following: FEMA must connect the dots on the NPS.--There has been little guidance on how the State Preparedness Report, THIRA, and other parts of the NPS will form a cohesive ``system'' that will meet the National Preparedness Goal. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must provide the State, local, Tribal, and territorial (SLTT) community with a better understanding of how NPS processes are integrated to meet objectives and measure performance over time. The NPS should be given time to mature.--To ensure implementation and the support of the SLTT community, processes and doctrine must remain consistent. In many ways, instituting the NPS will require a cultural shift and changes to entrenched bureaucracies. Stability and continuity will ensure that new processes and procedures have the opportunity to take root within all levels of government and are fully integrated as the NPS was designed. Elements of the NPS need to be aligned and synchronized.-- Recently, regional THIRAs were performed by FEMA Regional Offices before State THIRAs were complete. For the NPS to be effective, deliverables should be synchronized and better aligned to ensure valuable information from States and localities can be included in regional plans. This small but important change will provide senior leadership at all levels with a shared situational awareness about the risks, capabilities, assets, and resources that exist across and within jurisdictions. Furthermore, reform of Federal preparedness grant programs would allow States to better align Federal and State funding with capability targets identified through the NPS process. In combination with the recommendations above, grant reform would ensure that Federal investments in State and local capabilities are supporting State-wide and regional needs, as well as the overall objectives of the National Preparedness Goal. Question 5. How do we ensure that the whole community is included in the development process for the National Preparedness Report (NPR)? Answer. States are taking a number of steps to ensure that local communities are part of the disaster planning and funding allocation process. This includes involving cities and municipalities in the THIRA process early on, so that State THIRAs are informed and aligned with the needs of local communities and the surrounding region. As mentioned above, better alignment and synchronization of NPS products would help support State efforts to improve collaboration with partners at the local and municipal levels and solicit their valuable input into State- wide risk assessments and preparedness reviews. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FEMA could also take several steps to facilitate better collaboration and ensure that feedback from all relevant stakeholders is comprehensive and provides value to the NPR. These recommendations include the following: Existing relationships with State stakeholder groups should be better utilized. DHS and FEMA could take better advantage of existing State efforts, associations, and councils, such as the GHSAC, to solicit input and feedback on NPS guidance and programs. As much as FEMA and the Federal Government are leading these efforts, effective collaboration must go both ways. Innovations at the State level in these areas can better inform the development of Federal guidance and operating procedures. Federal outreach must happen earlier with more time allotted for feedback. DHS has concurrently solicited SLTT input on a series of draft planning documents (including the National Infrastructure Protection Plan). This has made it a challenge for some stakeholders to prioritize feedback requests and provide a timely response under the tight deadlines provided. If DHS seeks meaningful input from SLTT stakeholders, a reasonable amount of time--certainly more than a couple of weeks--must be offered. Promote shared awareness of regional resources and expand mutual aid capabilities. Knowledge of regional assets and capabilities is critical for State preparedness and response planning. For States to provide accurate capabilities assessments, they must be able to account for the resources and assistance available just across their borders. FEMA is best positioned to facilitate better coordination through its regional offices by supporting mutual aid agreements and awareness of resources between States and the FEMA regions. Questions From Hon. Susan W. Brooks for Jeffrey W. Walker Question 1. What are your thoughts about the consolidation of non- disaster grants into a single National Preparedness Grant Program? Answer. Combining Non-disaster Grants Non-disaster grants include a wide variety of grant programs that cover a number of different areas of responsibility. Some of these areas would not make good candidates for joining together in one over- arching grant program. For example, the Emergency Management Performance Grant Program (EMPG) should not be included in any grant consolidation program. The Emergency Management Performance Grant Program (EMPG) should be maintained as a separate all-hazard program focused on capacity-building for all-hazards preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation at the State, local, and Tribal levels for those entities statutorily charged with such responsibility. All disasters start and end at the local level, which emphasizes the importance of building and sustaining this capacity at the local governmental level. Funding from EMPG frequently makes a difference as to whether or not a qualified person is present to perform these duties in a local jurisdiction. EMPG is fundamentally different from the suite of post-September 11, 2001 homeland security grants. It has been in existence since the 1950's, requires a 50% State, Tribal, and local match and has established performance measures. EMPG, called ``the backbone of the Nation's emergency management system'' in a Congressional report constitutes the only source of direct Federal funding for State and local governments to provide basic emergency coordination and planning capabilities including those related to homeland security. The program supports State and local government initiatives for planning, training, exercises, public education, as well as response and recovery coordination during actual events. In addition, the Firefighter Assistance program grants and the Pre- Disaster Mitigation grants should not be included in any consolidation proposal. Administration's National Preparedness Grant Program Proposal Along with 12 other National organizations of local elected officials, police chiefs, sheriffs, and the major fire organizations, IAEM-USA voiced our concern about the administration's fiscal year 2014 budget proposal. This proposal would combine the current suite of DHS homeland security grant programs into a State-administered block and competitive grant program in which funding decisions would be based on State and multi-State threat assessments without clear local involvement. The proposal posited the use of a Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) but did not describe the role of locals in the process or how to handle a disagreement on the results. We believe that such a consolidation proposal should be carefully considered by the authorization committees and not accomplished through the appropriations process. It is our understanding that the administration will be submitting a legislative proposal to the authorization committees and we look forward to reviewing that language and having discussions with FEMA and the committees. Without the specific language it is difficult to evaluate. Our 13 organizations agreed on a set of principles for reforming the homeland security grant programs to include transparency, local involvement, flexibility and accountability, local funding, terrorism prevention, and incentives for regionalization. We will review the language with these principles in mind. Question 2. As we move forward in developing the National Preparedness Report (NPR) and implementing the National Preparedness System, what steps need to be taken to ensure that we are getting an accurate picture of the Nation's state of preparedness? Answer. Elected Government leaders, legislative bodies, emergency responders, and citizens have been asking the question, ``How prepared are we?'' This question has loomed large in our minds since September 11, 2001--and even more so in recent years with their economic constraints. We have traditionally answered this question by reciting anecdotal stories or visually displaying data related to the things we can count--what we have purchased and activities we have undertaken--in maps, charts, tables, and graphs. Unfortunately, these stories and data have had little meaning absent a framework against which to interpret their meaning. The NPR has attempted to provide such a framework by looking at the 31 core capabilities strictly from the perspective of the Federal and State government. Most of the capability within the United States actually resides at the local government level (below the State level) and does not appear to be reflected in the NPR data. Jurisdictions at all levels invest in emergency management preparedness activities to ensure, to the degree possible, that their jurisdiction is ready to efficiently and effectively mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from hazard events. Thus, the answer to the question posed by this committee is quite important. And, to this point jurisdictions at all levels have not been able to answer satisfactorily. If we desire a system of measurement that allows us to assess the extent to which we are prepared as a result of our investments in emergency management, then we must ensure that the system must be simple, relevant, and valued across stakeholder groups (including Congress, FEMA, and State, territory, Tribal, and local jurisdictions). The system and any associated tools must facilitate the local jurisdiction's understanding of the status of its preparedness and what remains to be accomplished as well as the Federal Government's understanding of the extent to which the Nation is prepared. In 2011 the U.S. Council of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM-USA) released a document entitled, Preparedness: A Principled Approach to Return on Investment, which tackles this important issue by articulating a meaningful system of measurement for the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) that IAEM-USA believes will also be simple, relevant, and valued. The EMPG program, in place since the 1950's is intended to be a 50-50 matching program between the Federal Government and participating local, State, Tribal, and territory jurisdictions designed to build capacity at all levels of government. It may be easiest to introduce what a meaningful framework against which to measure preparedness would entail if we first begin at the end with our vision of what a prepared jurisdiction (at any level) would be able to do in the aftermath of hazard events. We know what we want. We want jurisdictions across the Nation to be able to effectively mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from hazard events. We want to limit injuries and deaths, property and infrastructure loss, and environmental damage after a hazard event. We want jurisdictions to manage hazard events at the lowest possible level and with their own resources if possible. We want jurisdictions that can efficiently and effectively utilize their resources and the resources of supporting jurisdictions to get what they need, when they need it, where they need it. We want jurisdictions to be able to quickly get their jurisdictions back to normal and better than normal if possible. And, we want to know that this vision will be consistently achieved in the wake of hazard events. Making this vision a reality is the job of emergency management. How emergency management makes this vision a reality is not adequately captured through anecdotal stories or reports of the number of equipment purchased or plans produced. Simple stories and numbers do not alone paint a picture of preparedness nor do they get at the heart of what ultimately allow jurisdictions to achieve our vision. A prepared jurisdiction is one that engages in preparedness actions guided by professional emergency managers and professional emergency management programs. The jurisdiction's preparedness actions are driven by the risks that they face. The jurisdiction has comprehensively considered all known hazards, vulnerabilities, and possible impacts and actively engages in preparedness actions related to mitigation, response, and recovery. The jurisdiction is progressive by incorporating innovations, technologies, and best practices as they ready themselves for future hazard events. The jurisdiction's preparedness actions have provided a legitimate basis upon which to act in the wake of hazard events but are not so rigid as to lack the flexibility to respond to unanticipated issues. The stakeholders in the jurisdiction (e.g., fire, police, public works, and elected officials) are integrated by their use of common technologies, systems, and management processes. The jurisdiction operates in a collaborative organizational environment wherein inclusiveness, relationships based on trust, on-going interactions between stakeholders, open communication, and consensus-based decision making are the norm. And, finally, the prepared jurisdiction would be coordinated; the stakeholders within the jurisdiction would know and accept their roles, have identified the procedures necessary to fulfill their roles, and have practiced the fulfillment of their roles in conjunction with other stakeholders. A prepared jurisdiction is the goal of every emergency management practitioner and every emergency management program. Bringing about the description above is the reason emergency management exists. The EMPG program allows emergency management to work toward these outcomes; therefore, our objectives and measures associated with EMPG should be designed to measure progress towards these goals. We strongly believe that the principles outlined above may have wider applicability than simply measuring the return on investment in EMPG funding. IAEM suggests in Preparedness that a framework of preparedness objectives based on the accepted Principles of Emergency Management (2007) should be used to derive meaningful objectives and measures for the preparedness grant program most valued by local emergency managers--EMPG. This argument is supported by decades of disaster and emergency management research. The fact is the things we buy and the activities we undertake with preparedness funds are critical because they contribute to our ability to achieve these outcomes. Preparedness suggests a principle-based process to developing measures of return on investment for EMPG. The second part lays out a cohesive framework of outcomes. We are pleased to present the document to this committee, and we urge dialogue within Congress and FEMA with a goal of adopting the framework presented by IAEM-USA as a means to assess the overall preparedness of our Nation. Question 3. How do we ensure that the whole community is included in the development process for the National Preparedness Report? Answer. IAEM-USA suggests that following the model proposed in our document will create a process that is more inclusive of the whole community, and the impact those interactions have on the overall level of preparedness within our Nation. Questions From Hon. Susan W. Brooks for James Schwartz Question 1. In the National Preparedness Report, the intelligence and information-sharing capability was listed as one of the areas of National strength. However, I'm concerned that the report overlooked the lack of information sharing between Federal and State law enforcement entities and first responders, specifically fire fighters. How can we improve this interaction to ensure that our fire service personnel and other first responders are aware of any criminal or terrorist activity in the communities they serve? Answer. This issue continues to be a constant problem for the fire and emergency services, even though there has been improvement. Effective information sharing for the fire and emergency service must meet two important criteria: (1) It must be timely.--In many cases, information from the fusion centers comes out after press reports. This problem is to be expected in the case of an on-going terrorist attack where CNN and the major news networks will display the events in real- time as Federal, State, Tribal, and local authorities try to determine what is happening. However, it is a problem, when the information distributed by a fusion center warning about a possible threat does not add any information beyond what fire chiefs can pick up from public sources. (2) It must provide information that fire chiefs can use to take action to protect their communities.--Much of the information from fusion centers is not much different than information that chiefs can infer or obtain from public sources. Many fire chiefs take actions to protect their communities based on this information and information gained from relationships with Federal, State, Tribal, and local authorities in their jurisdictions. The best information is strategic information that will influence the response capabilities that a fire chief develops. One example of a successful information-sharing partnership is the Joint Counterterrrorism Assessment Team (JCAT), which is part of the National Counterterrorism Center. The JCAT invites local first responders to work with intelligence analysts to develop information- sharing products that are written from the first responders' perspective. These products include information about potential terrorists' threats, tactics, and techniques, along with how local communities can prepare for these threats. Question 2. What are your thoughts about the consolidation of non- disaster grants into a single National Preparedness Grant Program (NPGP)? Answer. The IAFC continues to be concerned about the administration's National Preparedness Grant Program (NPGP) proposal. Over the past 2 years, we have asked for more information about how the program would work and offered to engage in negotiations with the administration to develop a grant program that meets the needs of local first responders, the administration, and other stakeholders. However, we have not received detailed information about how the NPGP would actually work. While the revised NPGP proposal for fiscal year 2014 meets some of our previous concerns, we continue to believe that a successful reform of the existing homeland security grant programs must include the principle of local input into the grant determination process. The local first responders will be the first on-scene in an incident and will remain in the community afterwards. In addition, local first responders best know their preparedness capabilities and where the potential targets and weaknesses are in their communities. Any successful grant program must include the participation of all stakeholders: Federal, State, Tribal, and local. Question 3. As we move forward in developing the National Preparedness Report and implementing the National Preparedness System, what steps need to be taken to ensure that we are getting an accurate picture of the Nation's state of preparedness? Answer. The first thing that we need to decide as a Nation is whether we would like to measure outputs or outcomes. Many analysts try to use a quantitative approach that measures the number of fire apparatus, search-and-rescue teams, etc. purchased with Federal funds. This method is simpler to use, but misses the true qualitative approach needed to measure preparedness. A more outcome-based approach would focus on concepts such as better coordination by local communities and regions, better training, possession of the necessary resources, and other factors that would result in an effective response. The National Preparedness Goal focuses on the development of capabilities that are important to an effective response. However, it makes an important error in not including fire fighting as a core capability. Many fire and emergency service departments are involved in the core capabilities, such as Threats and Hazard Identification, Mass Search and Rescue Operations, Public Health and Medical Services, and Operational Communications. However, all of these capabilities require fire departments to engage in activities above their baseline mission. It is difficult to measure the preparedness of fire and emergency departments to perform these other capabilities without a definition of the baseline mission of the department. In order to get a comprehensive understanding of the Nation's preparedness, the IAFC recommends that the administration look at not only preparedness activities taken through Federal mandates and funding, but also what the States and localities are doing. States, like Virginia, complete an Annual Fire Service Assessment for the Virginia State Assembly. Non-governmental organizations, such as the National Fire Protection Association, complete semi-annual needs assessments for the fire and emergency services that provide information about the Nation's preparedness at the State and local level. In addition, there are numerous academic analyses of the Nation's preparedness and response capabilities. In order to effectively measure the Nation's National preparedness, FEMA should include reports and assessments from Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions. Question 4. How do we ensure that the whole community is included in the development process for the National Preparedness Report? Answer. It is important for FEMA to work with all stakeholders to examine a comprehensive picture of what is happening. As stated above, there are numerous analyses being completed by Tribal, State, local, non-governmental, and academic entities. These entities should be engaged in developing the National Preparedness Report. In addition, the report should reflect that local communities and regions have relationships that fall outside of the Federal sphere, and FEMA should work with these communities and regions to include their perspectives in this report.