Homeland Security in the USA

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Former President George W. Bush said “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundation of our tallest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. We will not tire, we will not falter, we will not fail.” This statement made by the former president not only talks about that day formally known and will always be remembered as 9/11. President Bush is letting the people of the United States of America know that no matter what attack happens to the country they will always stand and an untied people and without a doubt, a plan will be put into place to minimize the attacks of terrorist for years to come. This tragic event has been one of the most devastating days in the entire United States. This tragedy brought about so many changes within the US government that the following year a federal institution was put into place called Homeland Security.

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Homeland Security or better known as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) came about to do one thing for the people of the United States to ensure the people of the great county they will always be prepared, there will always be a plan in place to prevent, if it happens they will be able to restore and recovery from any attack whether is that or terrorist or natural hazards. Reminding the people of the United States the land of the free and become safe again. The average person believes that DHS only prepare, prevent, restore and recovery from terrorist attacks but they do more than just that. Yes, it was put into place because of 9/11 but there was also hurricane Katrina and other events that devastated not only America but the entire world. How would they recovery was the question many persons asked? The aftermath was unbelievable, the infrastructure was completely damaged, and many lives were lost.

“Hurricane Katrina caused $81 billion in property damages, but it is estimated that the total economic impact in Louisiana and Mississippi may exceed $150 billion, earning the title of the costliest hurricane ever in US history.” The average person would never associate hazards with homeland security because hazards are normally natural causes. Homeland security main focus allegedly attacked by terrorist associating with terrorist attacks and bomb threats. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provides the coordinated, comprehensive federal response in the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or another large-scale emergency while working with federal, state, local, and private sector partners to ensure a swift and effective recovery effort. In the Caribbean, there are numerous hazardous conditions that threaten our region. Thousands of dollars are spent on infrastructure to repair damages caused by hurricanes, mass movement, and wildfires. Summers in this region is greatly anticipated because it’s the peak season for tourism. It’s also dreaded by the natives due to hurricane season being active during the summer months. Hurricanes are known to be tropical cyclones and depending on the location and strength it can be categorized as typhoon, tropical storms, cyclonic storms, tropical depression, or just simple cyclone. Although it can be classed as s simple cyclone, the hurricane also comes with tornadoes in the interior and that’s depending on the strength of the storm. The intensity of the storm is determined by a scale called the “Saffir-Simpson”. Hurricane season can vary but normally occur during June- November with the peak season being August-October.

During the peak season the region can possibly face more than two storms back to back this is caused by the change our climate experience during the summer (i.e. warmer air and water). Not all countries within the Caribbean region experience mass movement which includes rock fall and mudslides with mudslides being the primary focus due to the mountains located in the lower Caribbean countries. During heavy rainfall or snowmelt, mudflow often called mudslides which is a very rapid to enormously rapid surging movement of debris that has become partially or fully softened by the addition of significant amounts of water to the source material. Wildfires being an uncontrollable fire in a grassland, brushland, or forest. In woodland areas, the fire differs with the conditions of the weather i.e. heat, drought, and the wind participate in drying out the trees or lumber making it very easier to ignite. Once the fire is ignited its intensity is increased by heat, the rate of burning, and drought. The surface of the land affects wildfires, which can spread rather quickly uphill and slower downhill. Light branches, dried grass, and leaves are considered fuel for the fire making them ready to ignite, and the fire spreads faster in them which often generate enough heat to ignite denser fuels such as stumps, and the organic matter of the forest floor. Fuels of this such, generally are slow to kindle and difficult to extinguish. Growing vegetation and green leaves are not considered flammable, but an intense fire can dry out the leaves and needles quickly enough to allow ready ignition.

In this region, wildfire is normally due to the heat. Evergreens sometimes have a danger due to them containing flammable oils that burst into flames when heated sufficiently by a forest fire. The fast-growing pace in technology it has its pro’s and cons in the homeland security efforts. Meanwhile, persons can receive information about a natural disaster via the mobile device. There can still be an attack being planned via the internet this is called cyberterrorists. Technology is a critical instrument for refining interoperability that should meet the needs of consultants on the front lines and should address regional needs, existing organization, cost verses assistances, and sustainability. In an article “By 2014, around 38 percent (38%) of all mobile users were smartphone users.

By 2018, this number is expected to reach over 50 percent (50%). The number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to grow by one billion in a time span of five years, which means the number of smartphone users in the world is expected to reach 2.7 billion by 2019.” With the rapid progression in technology consumptions, it shows how important technology is to the homeland security effort in keeping the people safe. The general public around the world no longer subscribes to the television or radio for the broadcasting of emergency information. Technology an instrument that is helpful for preparing and recovering from natural disasters. Technology makes preparing for a hazard much easier because the country knows what to expect and how to allocate funds to the recovering process. Information sharing, communication between state, local and federal agencies with technology will be operated successfully with the assistance of technology. The Caribbean region is a third world country along with the advancement of technology every day may experience some complication also having a late response rate to hazards in this region. Whereas, for the United States the advancement of technology is happening every second of a day. In an article is was said “Nearly ninety-six (96%) of the US population subscribes to commercial mobile services” hence this study helped in developing wireless emergency alerts (WEA). There is an essential value to collecting actionable information about an emergency as rapidly as possible. Hazards are defined as “threats to life, well-being, material goods and the environment from the extremes of natural processes”. The Caribbean region is at high risk and vulnerability to threats and hazards because of the warm sub-tropical climate and its proximity. The mountains and valleys in Haiti, Dominican Republic just to name a few make those places prone to mass movements or wildfires during the summer seasons.

The state and local agencies here in the Caribbean in particularly

The Bahamas have many roles and responsibilities when it comes to preparing, preventing, responding and recovering from hazards. The government along with local government (is a form of public administration which, in a majority of contexts, exists as the lowest tier of administration within a given state). These agencies have knowledge of the community’s economic, infrastructure and social needs helping to aid in a disaster. The role of the agencies includes having a disaster response capability, approving a local disaster management plan and ensure local disaster information is punctually given. Hazards often occur at a local level. Some type of natural disaster, like approaching hurricanes or slow rising floods warning is available. Other disasters like earthquakes happen with a very little warning. The residents of the country where the event occurs and their local government and charitable agencies are the first to have to cope with the damage. The local agency preserves control of all resources used to respond and recover, regardless of the source of these resources. Local government must plan and prepare for this role with support from the state and federal agencies. When a local authority does not have the assets to respond to a hazard it turns to the state government for support. The state agency may have many local jurisdictions requesting aid at the same time.

State governments assist as agents for the local jurisdictions if federal disaster aid is needed. Local agencies cannot directly access federal programs. As defined by Merriam Webster per capita funding means “equally to each individual or per unit of a population: by or for each person the highest income per capita of any state in the union”. In the effort of homeland security as to natural hazards, the per capita funding should be in effect because the government wouldn’t have to borrow so many funds from other countries when repairing the country infrastructure from a disaster. From understanding what per capita funding is all about it allocating funds that can only be used for the purpose it was allocated, for example, the Bahamas experience hurricane Floyd in 1999 “To help the affected citizens, the Bahamas Red Cross Society opened 41 shelters, though within one week many returned home. The Bahamas required $435,000 (1999 USD; $639 thousand 2018 USD) in aid following the storm, much of it in food parcels. The Inter-American Development Bank loaned $21 million (1999 USD; $30.8 million 2018 USD) to the archipelago to restore bridges, roads, seawalls, docks, and other building projects in the aftermath of the hurricane.”

Explain the collaboration and communication that would and should occur between your state local and federal and regional agencies in homeland security efforts? Although each organization has their own function as it relates to a country, each agency should be able to collaborate and communicate with each other because it is for the betterment of the country. As for the homeland security effort, state, local and federal agencies are to plan together sharing ideas and information because no one knows when a natural hazard will occur or take place. The homeland security effort is to be protection for the United States against terrorism. The department brought together twenty-two (22) different agencies each with a defined role in this effort. “Since the Department’s creation, the goal is simple: one DHS, with integrated, results-based operations.” Here in this region in efforts of the homeland security effort, there are agencies such as The Royal Bahamas Defence Force, The Royal Bahamas Police Force both being federal agencies Describe at least three challenges related to information sharing and establishing interoperable communications among your local and state agencies and federal agencies. Then explain the implication of each challenge on your state and how you might address the challenges.

Planning for an emergency covers a lot of corresponding, co-operative technique of preparing to match vital needs with available resources. Research, writing, dissemination, testing, and updating are the phases. Hence, an emergency plan needs to be an existing document that is modified to changing situations and that provides a guide to the protocols, procedures, and division of tasks in emergency response. Hazard planning is an experimental process that provides nonspecific procedures for handling unanticipated impacts and should use carefully constructed situations to anticipate the needs that will be generated by foreseeable hazards when they strike. Plans need to be established for specific sectors, such as education, health, industry, and commerce. They also need to exist in a nested pyramid that extends from the local emergency response (the most fundamental level), through the regional levels of government, to the national and international levels. Failure to plan can be interpreted as negligence because it would involve failing to anticipate needs that cannot be answered to effectively by improvisation during an emergency.

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