According to psychologist and terrorism expert Andrew Silke, the attacks of 9/11 have “acted as a powerful catalyst to improve our understanding of the impact of terrorism.”114 This essay has explored this impact, and highlights important issues of national resilience in responding to terrorism. According to the research described here, the psychological impact of 9/11 was strongest among citizens who lived within 100 miles of the attack locations. Children were also profoundly affected by the events of September 11. On a national level, children (regardless of location) were on average more affected by the attacks than adults. The economic impact of the attacks is still being calculated, with some estimates of over one hundred billion dollars. Several industries were hit harder than others, including domestic and international aviation corporations, the insurance industry, and small businesses within the vicinity of the attacks. Also, since 2001, spending on security-related initiatives has skyrocketed in both the public and private sectors. Sociologically, large portions of the American public became seekers, demonstrated by a search for answers, a search for revenge, and/or a search for comfort from their communities, religion, and families.
Meanwhile, Americans saw an outpouring of support from nations around the world, while domestically they demonstrated a mixture of support for and animosity towards inconveniences of new security procedures at airports, as well as anxiety about possibility of “the next attack”—which led to widespread public support for the Bush administration’s initial policies of invading Afghanistan, the USA PATRIOT Act, and establishing the Department of Homeland Security. Indeed, perhaps the most visible response to the 9/11 attacks has been the near-universal adoption of a new term in the American lexicon—homeland security, a term conceived and used in ways seldom envisioned before 2001. Billions of taxpayers dollars have been allocated for a plethora of new projects—from providing biohazard suits to the fire departments of small towns in Wyoming, to increases in patrols and checkpoints along the Mexican and Canadian borders—all in the name of improving homeland security. The American public’s support for such initiatives is a direct response to 9/11, as beforehand even the mere suggestion that our citizens were vulnerable was given little credence. Now, a newfound sense of vulnerability has led to the most dramatic reorganization of the U.S. federal government in over 50 years, as well as a flurry of national strategies for securing the nation from, and preparing for, terrorist attacks in the future (for example, see Appendix A: Homeland Security Presidential Directive on National Preparedness).
This analysis suggests that while the majority of these strategies and initiatives have focus on four central themes of preparation, communication, education, and developing social capital, there is more we can do in each of these. There is also a need to foster greater interagency cooperation between government agencies and between the public and private sectors. And a strategy for building community resilience in an age of terrorism must incorporate research on the experience of other countries. These and other efforts are helping strengthen the resilience of the American people, and will require strong leadership at the federal, state and local levels. There is still much work to be done.
Homeland Security Presidential Directive-8 (HSPD-8)—National Preparedness
The White House, December 2003
(1) This directive establishes policies to strengthen the preparedness of the United States to prevent and respond to threatened or actual domestic terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies by requiring a national domestic all-hazards preparedness goal, establishing mechanisms for improved delivery of Federal preparedness assistance to State and local governments, and outlining actions to strengthen preparedness capabilities of Federal, State, and local entities.
(2) For the purposes of this directive:
(a) The term “all-hazards preparedness” refers to preparedness for domestic terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.
(b) The term “Federal departments and agencies” means those executive depart-ments enumerated in 5 U.S.C. 101, and the Department of Homeland Security; independent establishments as defined by 5 U.S.C. 104(1); Government corporations as defined by 5 U.S.C. 103(1); and the United States Postal Service.
(c) The term “Federal preparedness assistance” means Federal department and agency grants, cooperative agreements, loans, loan guarantees, training, and/or technical assistance provided to State and local governments and the private sector to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. Unless noted otherwise, the term “assistance” will refer to Federal assistance programs.
(d) The term “first responder” refers to those individuals who in the early stages of an incident are responsible for the protection and preservation of life, property, evidence, and the environment, including emergency response providers as defined in section 2 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101), as well as emergency management, public health, clinical care, public works, and other skilled support personnel (such as equipment operators) that provide immediate support services during prevention, response, and recovery operations.
(e) The terms “major disaster” and “emergency” have the meanings given in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122).
(f) The term “major events” refers to domestic terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.
(g) The term “national homeland security preparedness-related exercises” refers to homeland security-related exercises that train and test national decision makers and utilize resources of multiple Federal departments and agencies. Such exercises may involve State and local first responders when appropriate. Such exercises do not include those exercises conducted solely within a single Federal department or agency.
(h) The term “preparedness” refers to the existence of plans, procedures, policies, training, and equipment necessary at the Federal, State, and local level to maximize the ability to prevent, respond to, and recover from major events. The term “readiness” is used interchangeably with preparedness.
(i) The term “prevention” refers to activities undertaken by the first responder community during the early stages of an incident to reduce the likelihood or consequences of threatened or actual terrorist attacks. More general and broader efforts to deter, disrupt, or thwart terrorism are not addressed in this directive.
(j) The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Homeland Security.
(k) The terms “State,” and “local government,” when used in a geographical sense, have the same meanings given to those terms in section 2 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101).
Relationship to HSPD-5
(3) This directive is a companion to HSPD-5, which identifies steps for improved coordination in response to incidents. This directive describes the way Federal departments and agencies will prepare for such a response, including prevention activities during the early stages of a terrorism incident.
Development of a National Preparedness Goal
(4) The Secretary is the principal Federal official for coordinating the implementation of all-hazards preparedness in the United States. In cooperation with other Federal departments and agencies, the Secretary coordinates the preparedness of Federal response assets, and the support for, and assessment of, the preparedness of State and local first responders.
(5) To help ensure the preparedness of the Nation to prevent, respond to, and recover from threatened and actual domestic terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies, the Secretary, in coordination with the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies and in consultation with State and local governments, shall develop a national domestic all-hazards preparedness goal. Federal departments and agencies will work to achieve this goal by:
(a) providing for effective, efficient, and timely delivery of Federal preparedness assistance to State and local governments; and
(b) supporting efforts to ensure first responders are prepared to respond to major events, especially prevention of and response to threatened terrorist attacks.
(6) The national preparedness goal will establish measurable readiness priorities and targets that appropriately balance the potential threat and magnitude of terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies with the resources required to prevent, respond to, and recover from them. It will also include readiness metrics and elements that support the national preparedness goal including standards for preparedness assessments and strategies, and a system for assessing the Nation’s overall preparedness to respond to major events, especially those involving acts of terrorism.
(7) The Secretary will submit the national preparedness goal to me through the Homeland Security Council (HSC) for review and approval prior to, or concurrently with, the Department of Homeland Security’s Fiscal Year 2006 budget submission to the Office of Management and Budget.
Federal Preparedness Assistance
(8) The Secretary, in coordination with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the heads of other Federal departments and agencies that provide assistance for first responder preparedness, will establish a single point of access to Federal preparedness assistance program information within 60 days of the issuance of this directive. The Secretary will submit to me through the HSC recommendations of specific Federal department and agency programs to be part of the coordinated approach. All Federal departments and agencies will cooperate with this effort. Agencies will continue to issue financial assistance awards consistent with applicable laws and regulations and will ensure that program announcements, solicitations, application instructions, and other guidance documents are consistent with other Federal preparedness programs to the extent possible. Full implementation of a closely coordinated interagency grant process will be completed by September 30, 2005.
(9) To the extent permitted by law, the primary mechanism for delivery of Federal preparedness assistance will be awards to the States. Awards will be delivered in a form that allows the recipients to apply the assistance to the highest priority preparedness requirements at the appropriate level of government. To the extent permitted by law, Federal preparedness assistance will be predicated on adoption of Statewide comprehensive all-hazards preparedness strategies. The strategies should be consistent with the national preparedness goal, should assess the most effective ways to enhance preparedness, should address areas facing higher risk, especially to terrorism, and should also address local government concerns and Citizen Corps efforts. The Secretary, in coordination with the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies, will review and approve strategies submitted by the States. To the extent permitted by law, adoption of approved Statewide strategies will be a requirement for receiving Federal preparedness assistance at all levels of government by September 30, 2005.
(10) In making allocations of Federal preparedness assistance to the States, the Secretary, the Attorney General, the Secretary of HHS, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the heads of other Federal departments and agencies that provide assistance for first responder preparedness will base those allocations on assessments of population concentrations, critical infrastructures, and other significant risk factors, particularly terrorism threats, to the extent permitted by law.
(11) Federal preparedness assistance will support State and local entities’ efforts including planning, training, exercises, interoperability, and equipment acquisition for major events as well as capacity building for prevention activities such as information gathering, detection, deterrence, and collaboration related to terrorist attacks. Such assistance is not primarily intended to support existing capacity to address normal local first responder operations, but to build capacity to address major events, especially terrorism.
(12) The Attorney General, the Secretary of HHS, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the heads of other Federal departments and agencies that provide assistance for first responder preparedness shall coordinate with the Secretary to ensure that such assistance supports and is consistent with the national preparedness goal.
(13) Federal departments and agencies will develop appropriate mechanisms to ensure rapid obligation and disbursement of funds from their programs to the States, from States to the local community level, and from local entities to the end users to derive maximum benefit from the assistance provided. Federal departments and agencies will report annually to the Secretary on the obligation, expenditure status, and the use of funds associated with Federal preparedness assistance programs.
(14) The Secretary, in coordination with State and local officials, first responder organizations, the private sector and other Federal civilian departments and agencies, shall establish and implement streamlined procedures for the ongoing development and adoption of appropriate first responder equipment standards that support nationwide interoperability and other capabilities consistent with the national preparedness goal, including the safety and health of first responders.
(15) To the extent permitted by law, equipment purchased through Federal preparedness assistance for first responders shall conform to equipment standards in place at time of purchase. Other Federal departments and agencies that support the purchase of first responder equipment will coordinate their programs with the Department of Homeland Security and conform to the same standards.
(16) The Secretary, in coordination with other appropriate Federal departments and agencies and in consultation with State and local governments, will develop plans to identify and address national first responder equipment research and development needs based upon assessments of current and future threats. Other Federal departments and agencies that support preparedness research and development activities shall coordinate their efforts with the Department of Homeland Security and ensure they support the national preparedness goal.
Training and Exercises
(17) The Secretary, in coordination with the Secretary of HHS, the Attorney General, and other appropriate Federal departments and agencies and in consultation with State and local governments, shall establish and maintain a comprehensive training program to meet the national preparedness goal. The program will identify standards and maximize the effectiveness of existing Federal programs and financial assistance and include training for the Nation’s first responders, officials, and others with major event preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery roles. Federal departments and agencies shall include private organizations in the accreditation and delivery of preparedness training as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law.
(18) The Secretary, in coordination with other appropriate Federal departments and agencies, shall establish a national program and a multi-year planning system to conduct homeland security preparedness-related exercises that reinforces identified training standards, provides for evaluation of readiness, and supports the national preparedness goal. The establishment and maintenance of the program will be conducted in maximum collaboration with State and local governments and appropriate private sector entities. All Federal departments and agencies that conduct national homeland security preparedness-related exercises shall participate in a collaborative, interagency process to designate such exercises on a consensus basis and create a master exercise calendar. The Secretary will ensure that exercises included in the calendar support the national preparedness goal. At the time of designation, Federal departments and agencies will identify their level of participation in national homeland security preparedness-related exercises. The Secretary will develop a multi-year national homeland security preparedness-related exercise plan and submit the plan to me through the HSC for review and approval.
(19) The Secretary shall develop and maintain a system to collect, analyze, and disseminate lessons learned, best practices, and information from exercises, training events, research, and other sources, including actual incidents, and establish procedures to improve national preparedness to prevent, respond to, and recover from major events. The Secretary, in coordination with other Federal departments and agencies and State and local governments, will identify relevant classes of homeland-security related information and appropriate means of transmission for the information to be included in the system. Federal departments and agencies are directed, and State and local governments are requested, to provide this information to the Secretary to the extent permitted by law.
Federal Department and Agency Preparedness
(20) The head of each Federal department or agency shall undertake actions to support the national preparedness goal, including adoption of quantifiable performance measurements in the areas of training, planning, equipment, and exercises for Federal incident management and asset preparedness, to the extent permitted by law. Specialized Federal assets such as teams, stockpiles, and caches shall be maintained at levels consistent with the national preparedness goal and be available for response activities as set forth in the National Response Plan, other appropriate operational documents, and applicable authorities or guidance. Relevant Federal regulatory requirements should be consistent with the national preparedness goal. Nothing in this directive shall limit the authority of the Secretary of Defense with regard to the command and control, training, planning, equipment, exercises, or employment of Department of Defense forces, or the allocation of Department of Defense resources.
(21) The Secretary, in coordination with other appropriate Federal civilian departments and agencies, shall develop and maintain a Federal response capability inventory that includes the performance parameters of the capability, the timeframe within which the capability can be brought to bear on an incident, and the readiness of such capability to respond to domestic incidents. The Department of Defense will provide to the Secretary information describing the organizations and functions within the Department of Defense that may be utilized to provide support to civil authorities during a domestic crisis.
(22) The Secretary shall work with other appropriate Federal departments and agencies as well as State and local governments and the private sector to encourage active citizen participation and involvement in preparedness efforts. The Secretary shall periodically review and identify the best community practices for integrating private citizen capabilities into local preparedness efforts.
(23) The Secretary, in consultation with other Federal departments and agencies, State and local governments, and non-governmental organizations, shall develop a comprehensive plan to provide accurate and timely preparedness information to public citizens, first responders, units of government, the private sector, and other interested parties and mechanisms for coordination at all levels of government.
Assessment and Evaluation
(24) The Secretary shall provide to me through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security an annual status report of the Nation’s level of preparedness, including State capabilities, the readiness of Federal civil response assets, the utilization of mutual aid, and an assessment of how the Federal first responder preparedness assistance programs support the national preparedness goal. The first report will be provided within 1 year of establishment of the national preparedness goal.
(25) Nothing in this directive alters, or impedes the ability to carry out, the authorities of the Federal departments and agencies to perform their responsibilities under law and consistent with applicable legal authorities and presidential guidance.
(26) Actions pertaining to the funding and administration of financial assistance and all other activities, efforts, and policies in this directive shall be executed in accordance with law. To the extent permitted by law, these policies will be established and carried out in consultation with State and local governments.
(27) This directive is intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch of the Federal Government, and it is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the United States, its departments, agencies, or other entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.
GEORGE W. BUSH
1 For example, see: S. Galea, J. Ahern, et al., “Psychological Sequelae of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks in New York City,” New England Journal of Medicine, 346
, (2002), p. 982–987. Cited in Andrew Silke, “Terrorism, 9/11 and Psychology,” The Psychologist,
Vol. 17, No. 9 (September 2004), p. 518. Also, see: M.A. Schuster, B.D. Stein, et al
. “A national survey of stress reactions after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. New England Journal of Medicine, 345
, (2001), p. 1507–1512. Cited in Susan Brandon and Andrew Silke, “Near- and Long-term Psychological Effects of Exposure to Terrorist Attacks,” in Bongar, B., Beutler, L., Zimbardo, P., Brown, L. and Breckenridge, J. (eds.) Psychology of Terrorism
(Oxford University Press, forthcoming) and in Andrew Silke, “Terrorism, 9/11 and Psychology,” The Psychologist,
Vol. 17, No. 9 (September 2004), p. 518.
2 RAND testimony, 2002. See also, Adrienne Stith Butler, Allison M. Panzer, and Lewis R. Goldfrank (editors), Preparing for the Psychological Consequences of Terrorism: A Public Health Strategy
(Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Responding to the Psychological Consequences of Terrorism, 2003). Online at: http://books.nap.edu/catalog/10717.html
3 This sentences paraphrases a variety of Community Emergency Response Training materials, available online at: http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/ (accessed 14 March, 2006)
4 Susan Brandon and Andrew Silke, “Near- and Long-term Psychological Effects of Exposure to Terrorist Attacks,” in Bongar, B., Beutler, L., Zimbardo, P., Brown, L. and Breckenridge, J. (eds.) Psychology of Terrorism (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
5 Brandon and Silke, “Near- and Long-term Psychological Effects”
6 M.A. Schuster, B.D. Stein,