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Saturday, October 13, 2007

New "National Strategy for Homeland Security"

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
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 -

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

During my service with NDMS in Katrina, I began developing a program to help restore individual self-reliance in America’s citizens. The program is called “Rinse, Lather, Repeat”.

As you know the three decade old Stop, Drop and Roll program taught to kindergarten students has resulted in more children saving the lives of parents than parents saving the lives of children in household fires. Moreover, after three decades, the children of yesterday are the parents and even grandparents of today, thus two and three generations have now learned the lessons of Stop, Drop and Roll.

Rinse, Lather, Repeat seeks to do the same for all hazards, not just fire. With Rinse, Lather, Repeat you can survive anything, anywhere, every time!

Rinse, Lather, and Repeat is a one-week educational curriculum for kindergarten-age students that focuses on five core activities:

1. Preparation and maintenance of a three-day travel pack
2. Knowledge of where to obtain reliable news and evacuation instructions
3. The memorization of local and out-of-state phone numbers for friends, relatives, or family
4. The location of local shelters and local evacuation routes
5. The appropriate hygiene techniques for home in a household shower or at a hospital or other community facility including hand washing to decrease spread of disease.

Finally, children will learn the crux of the Rinse, Lather, and Repeat program, which is how to decontaminate themselves. Contamination can occur for a number of reasons, including raw sewerage if the levee breaks flooding their town, household chemicals like bleach or cleaning products may be splashed on them at home, there may be an industrial accident in their community, or even a biological or chemical weapon scare.

Unfortunately, health care workers still struggle with how to decontaminate a child. After all, we teach children never to get naked in public, so you can’t expect them to disrobe in front of people in bio-suits and walk naked through a decontamination unit. However, every child can be taught how to take a simple shower, which is really all decontamination is. They just have to learn to Rinse well, to Lather well (not just wander around in the bathtub as so many kids do), and then to Repeat the process one time.

Several articles have been released on the internet and recently published in several newsstand magazines concerning the program. A national independent television network filmed a 30 minute program about Rinse, Lather, Repeat 8 weeks ago. The next step is to garner DHS, HHS and DOE support for the program and release it on the internet for download by any school or home school parent who chooses to implement the program. One Washington insider has introduced the program as part of a larger package. Ten weeks ago, another such person introduced Rinse, Lather, Repeat to the Vice-President of the second largest kindergarten curriculum publisher in the country. All who have reviewed the program have recommended Rinse, Lather, Repeat garner financial support from government as well as private sources such as Disney, Universal, Microsoft and others.

Rinse, Lather, Repeat will not benefit the general populous, but by enhancing awareness and the overall Culture of Preparedness, Rinse, Lather, Repeat will create greater expectation and demand for preparedness in all aspects of society, life and business in the same way that Stop, Drop and Roll has created such expectation and demand for fire safety.

No one knows better than you who or what within your sphere of influence may be of assistance to Rinse, Lather, Repeat. My goal is to make Rinse, Lather, Repeat as common as Stop, Drop and Roll. This will require a curriculum development partner, an internet distribution partner, large scale television news coverage and political support.

Please drop me an email and let me know your thoughts on Rinse, Lather, Repeat and how best to advance the program