Introduction To Emergency Management 6th Edition by George Haddow – Test Bank
Emergency Management and the Terrorist Threat
The September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks were felt by all Americans. This event marked a major turning point in the nation’s experience with terrorism. The country has since witnessed the creation of entirely new government agencies that are massive in size and scale, and an expansion of security-related functions across departments and agencies at the Federal, State, and local government levels, all focused on preventing similar attacks. Policies and laws were launched at an alarming rate, impacting not only on emergency management, but also foreign policy, immigration policies and enforcement practices, counter-narcotics programs and policies, the protection of the transportation network, and even the nature of international trade agreements. Funding totaling into the billions of dollars per year has flooded into the emergency management community.
Local responders all needed to increase their understanding of:
How the terrorism hazard impacts communities
How vulnerable their communities and each of the different stakeholders are to the hazard, and
What is needed and likewise could be done to prepare for, to prevent, to respond to, and to recover from a terrorist attack.
The terrorism hazard is broad in scope, and is perpetrated by individuals and organizations with an equally-broad range of types, sizes, and backgrounds. They have a wide range of weapons and tactics to choose from. For the emergency manager, terrorism is just one of many hazards that merit their attention, and likewise their resources. But terrorism is unique in regards to what the threat means to the emergency manager and how it is handled both prior to an attack and after one occurs. Terrorism differs from natural and technological disasters primarily in terms of the presence of intent and criminality, and because of laws that guide the prevention of and respond to incidents involving terrorism.
Changes in Emergency Management and the War on Terrorism
Emergency management policy and strategy is dictated primarily by the policy agenda, which is closely aligned to public opinion rather than risk assessment. Emergency managers must often pay more attention to preparing for terrorism than is proportionate to the risk, at the expense of other hazards, as dictated by grant requirements, regulations, and other legal and statutory provisions. This focus can have crossover benefits into natural and technological hazards management, but can also have detrimental impacts.
The war on terrorism brought about a fundamental change in emergency management capacity due to unprecedented funding resources. The creation of DHS represented a landmark change for the emergency management and Federal communities. FEMA was moved from the President’s Cabinet to within the umbrella of DHS, which had an impact on the overall mission of the agency. After Hurricane Katrina, Congress again reorganized the Federal emergency management function to more closely align FEMA as a leader in emergency management rather than as a component of security enforcement. The evolution continues.
The Terrorist Threat
Terrorism as a hazard has existed for centuries. However, many emergency management and emergency services agencies do not have sufficient knowledge of the threat. There are many different definitions for terrorism given its historical significance, its political implications, and its great media salience. Terrorism has always existed in the United States sourced both domestically and internationally (with most attacks having been domestic) despite the great attention paid to international attacks. Terrorism has been conducted by both organized groups and ‘lone-wolf’ terrorists.
Terrorism, and terrorist weapons, exist because there are terrorists and terror organizations that need them. The first responder cares more about what a terrorist’s bomb might do, than they do about why the bomb was made or why it was detonated. However, knowing who the terrorists’ target is, and what their hope is in terms of causing terror, does help to establish what level of danger is faced by the responders themselves and the victims and civilians they are trying to protect.
Terrorists and terrorist organizations are typically grouped according to their motivating factors, including:
State sponsored terrorism
Single Interest Terrorism
Terrorism was traditionally treated as a criminal act, though this manner of thinking shifted with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Major terrorist attacks in the nation’s history have included:
The Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
The Khobar Towers Bombing
Kenya and Tanzania Embassy Bombings
USS Cole Bombing
The September 11th Attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania
2013 Boston Marathon Bombing
2015 San Bernardino, CA Attack
2016 Orlando Nightclub Shooting
Statutory authority and legal frameworks guiding the management of terrorist incidents as exist today are jointly shaped by the evolution of emergency management and that of counterterror and law enforcement operations. Emergency managers must also plan and train for the response to and recovery from terrorist attacks, and work within their communities to find better ways to harden targets from terrorists and protect all aspects of the population, infrastructure, and the economy from harm. The primary Federal agency responsible for emergency management in terrorist incidents is DHS.
Early Legislation, Action, and Authorities
Statutory authority for emergency management involvement in terrorism dates back to the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act. The White House Office of Emergency Preparedness was created in the 1960s to deal with large-scale events. The 1974 Disaster Relief Act increased the ability of the Federal government to assist in disaster response from all types of emergencies. The creation of FEMA and the consolidation of emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response activities into a single federal agency followed in 1979 through Carter’s Reorganization Plan Number 3.
President Reagan signed into law the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in November 1988, amending the Federal Disaster Relief Act of 1974. FEMA was given authority over the Act, making the agency critical and central to Federal response to all presidentially-declared disasters. Three years later, the Federal Response Plan (FRP) was issued. In November of 1993, Public Law 103-160§1704 was passed, stating that FEMA and other Federal agencies should perform emergency planning to develop the capability to detect and respond to (1) the potential terrorist use of chemical or biological agents or weapons; and (2) emergencies or natural disasters involv¬ing industrial chemicals or the widespread outbreak of disease. And in June of 1994, Executive Order 12919 gave FEMA a greater role on the National Security Council on issues of national security resource preparedness, and in January of 1995 the FEMA Director established the Office of National Security Coordination, which reported directly to him.
Other key plans, laws, actions, and decisions that have driven how the nation manages the terrorist threat and how it responds to and recovers from terrorist incidents, include:
Presidential Disaster Directive (PDD) 39
The Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan (FRERP)
The Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Act
Terrorism Annex to the Federal Response Plan
Attorney General’s Five-Year Interagency Counterterrorism and Technology Crime Plan
Amendment of the Stafford Act
Executive Order 13228
The USA PATRIOT Act
Homeland Security Presidential Directives
In the late 90s, beginning in 1998, a group of three different government commissions were formed to investigate the threat of terrorism, and to identify better ways to manage it. These included:
The Hart–Rudman Commission
The Gilmore Commission, and
The Bremer Commission