In Defense of Homeland Security
I know I come down a bit hard on what I like to call, “Homeland Security types.” To me, a “Homeland Security type” is anyone engaged in homeland security – those who focus on the threat of terrorism more than less “exciting” threats such as natural disaster, disease outbreak or things that take lives slowly, such as traffic accidents and heart disease. These folks tend to favor para-military style response and come from typical response groups such as fire, police or military. While I think that these guys do a terrific job, I think that the move at the federal level to include emergency management, response and planning in DHS has forced them to focus less on what they used to do than on the “next threat.” This group also includes that newly instituted Homeland Security bureaucracy of planners, funders and agents.
My beef with this new focus and those who push it is simple. As in food security, planning for everyday events not only provides day to day safety, but makes you more adept and prepared to respond to unusual (read: terroristic) events.
Please understand that this bias towards more “fun” scenarios is not overt, and by no means official. It’s just that terrorism planning gets more money, more cool toys, and is more likely to be noticed by the evening news. The evidence that it exists, though, continues to mount.
The reason that I’m making this post is because of the people that I’ve met recently. Within the last month or so, I have finally completed IS-100, 200, 300, 400, 700 and 800 (much like Justin). The people that I worked with in IS-300 and 400 (the instructor-based courses) were simply amazing. I met with everyone from utilities’ emergency response teams to health department folks to police and firemen from sergeant to chief. Everyone was exceedingly knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. I’ve learned more about emergency management in the last month than I thought was possible, and while we obviously need to continue ramping up our planning efforts, I feel safer having worked with those who protect us.
So, to everyone that I’ve learned from and worked with, thanks. I hope that I never have to work with you again, but when I do have to, I’ll be glad to see you.
When you see me complaining about “Homeland Security types” in the future, please understand that I’m probably dismissively referring to those federal folks that seem to make everything more difficult than it should be.
To my readers: I hope to have some posts on my ICS courses up shortly. I found them extremely valuable and recommend everyone complete as many as possible as soon as possible.