Unmet Needs and Challenges:
Some Key Challenges Facing Homeland Security and Emergency Management Since 9/11 and Subsequent Large Scale disasters in the U.S. and the World

Date: October 26 — November 22, 2015

The course, one of a five course series, is designed to help those currently in roles of public responsibility
develop an understanding of some of the unmet needs and challenges in homeland security and emergency management. This includes unmet needs and challenges that have been impacting the fields since September 11, 2001 and since Hurricane Katrina, along with other newer challenges, including the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill, the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, and more recently Hurricane Sandy. While course will be of particular interest to those already in practitioner or policy making roles, it will also be of interest to those preparing for such roles. Those developing and teaching homeland security and emergency management courses are also likely to find the course of great value.

Those in the course are introduced to a 50,000 foot level look at the fields of homeland security and emergency management. An objective of the course is to stimulate critical and creative thinking concerning some problems and challenges that are affecting the nation's approach to homeland security and emergency management. The course focuses on an array of perspectives, concerns, and issues that have fallen through the cracks or that have not been well understood and addressed in the fields of homeland security and emergency management.

The unmet needs and challenges that will be addressed in this course include the following:

  • Developing a broad basis for understanding the nature and scope of the terrorist threat and the potential impacts that terrorist actions can have locally, regionally, and nationally, as well as internationally
  • Examining the major underlying assumptions that can be found in recent Government strategy documents, directives, and statements by Administration officials and others; and developing an understanding of the differences between a pre-9/11 and a post 9/11 perspective and the reasons that such understanding is needed on the part of practitioners and policymakers
  • Understanding the complementary nature of emergency management and homeland security, the need for an integration of a concern for public safety with a concern for homeland and national security, and the need for an all hazards approach to emergency management and homeland security that incorporates catastrophic events in general, no matter what their cause
  • Considering a conceptual way of looking at emergencies and catastrophes that can help highlight the different approaches that are needed to plan and prepare for as well as respond to emergencies of differing levels of severity through and including worst case disasters and catastrophes
  • Considering a way of assessing the impacts of disasters and catastrophic events that can help provide a common frame of reference for practitioners and policymakers, a way that includes a recognition of the relevance of the economic impacts and the overall health of the economy to homeland security and national security
  • Examining some current developments concerning critical infrastructure protection, resilience, and continuity and cybersecurity challenges, while also raising key questions concerning the way in which the above mentioned disasters and catastrophes have been addressed
  • Looking at ways of developing approaches that are needed to bridge the culture gaps and address the differences in organizational and professional cultures that are affecting the nation's approach to homeland security and emergency
  • Understanding the importance of vision and a common sense of mission and purpose and the importance of developing leadership, communication, and problem solving skills that are rooted in a common sense of mission and purpose

The course is taught in asynchronous time utilizing a wide assortment of reports, articles, videos, and
other instructional material all accessible without cost online.


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