Yesterday, the White House released the new National (not Federal) Strategy for Homeland Security. To see the full document (62 printed pages), click here.
Excerpting a section out of Chapter VIII, "Ensuring Long-Term Success," it is pleasing to see an emphasis on improving the American Culture:
Culture of Preparedness
Our entire Nation shares common responsibilities in homeland security. In order to help prepare the Nation to carry out these responsibilities, we will continue to foster a Culture of Preparedness that permeates all levels of our society – from individual citizens, businesses, and non-profit organizations to Federal, State, local, and Tribal government officials and authorities. This Culture rests on four principles.
The first principle of our Culture of Preparedness is a shared acknowledgement that creating a prepared Nation will be an enduring challenge. As individual citizens we must guard against complacency, and as a society we must balance the sense of optimism that is fundamental to the American character with a sober recognition that future catastrophes will occur. The certainty of future calamities should inform and motivate our preparedness, and we will continue to emphasize the responsibility of the entire Nation to be flexible and ready to cope with a broad range of challenges.
The second principle is the importance of individual and collective initiative to counter fundamental biases toward reactive responses and approaches. Our Culture, therefore, must encourage and reward innovation and new ways of thinking as well as better align authority and responsibility so that those who are responsible for a mission or task have the authority to act.
The third principle is that individual citizens, communities, the private sector, and non-profit organizations each perform a central role in homeland security. Citizen and community preparedness are among the most effective means of securing the Homeland, and leadership must continue at all levels to promote and strengthen their preparedness, including through public dialogue and specialized programs such as the "Ready" campaign, the Nation's public service initiative for individual and corporate preparedness (see ready.gov for more information). All Americans must share in the full range of homeland security activities, including prevention and protection, but it is particularly important that we all take responsibility for increasing the likelihood that we can survive an incident and care for our own basic needs in the immediate aftermath. As more Americans contribute to homeland security through self-reliance and mutual assistance, we reduce the burden on our emergency responders so they can focus on those most in need.
We also will continue to encourage the preparedness of other homeland security stakeholders, including private sector and non-profit groups such as non-governmental organizations and faith-based groups and, whenever appropriate, incorporate them as full partners into our national preparedness efforts across all homeland security disciplines. The private sector is particularly important in this endeavor. As highlighted throughout this Strategy, the private sector is the Nation's primary provider of goods and services and the owner and operator of approximately 85 percent of our critical infrastructure. It is an essential partner in ensuring structural and operational resilience that protects the American people, establishing supply chain security to help deny terrorist weapons and material entry into the Homeland, and reporting suspicious activities at work sites that could uncover and ultimately help disrupt terrorist activity. The private sector also is a critical partner in rebuilding communities devastated or severely affected by a catastrophic incident as well as in fielding scientific and technological advancements that can help secure the Homeland. Due to the multiple and essential roles the private sector plays across all areas of homeland security, continued collaboration and engagement with the private sector to strengthen preparedness is imperative.
The fourth principle of our Culture of Preparedness is the responsibility of each level of government in fostering a prepared Nation. Although Federal, State, local, and Tribal governments will have roles and responsibilities unique to each, our Culture must continue to embrace the notion of partnership among all levels of government. Built upon a foundation of partnerships, common goals, and shared responsibility, the creation of our Culture of Preparedness is an enduring touchstone for homeland security.
Get Ready ... Seriously - www.safecastleroyal.com