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Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Editor-in-Chief: Renda-Tanali, Irmak, D.Sc.

Managing Editor: McGee, Sibel, Ph.D.

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The Cycle of Preparedness: Establishing a Framework to Prepare for Terrorist Threats

William V. Pelfrey1

1Virginia Commonwealth University

Citation Information: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Volume 2, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1547-7355, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1547-7355.1081, March 2005

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First responders, emergency managers, “first preventers” and everyone responsible for Homeland Security are all challenged to “prepare” for the terrorist threats that have become more prominent since September 11, 2001. Preparedness was begun before that date and has continued since, but a consensus strategic process of disaggregating preparedness into phases or elements to organize the preparedness process has not been articulated. Prevention, the “first priority” of Homeland Security, according the National Strategy for Homeland Security, has drifted into the background. The Cycle of Preparedness, as described here, provides a framework to better accomplish an “auto-adaptive” capacity in organizations tasked with preventing, responding to, and recovering from attacks. This framework begins with Prevention, accomplished through Collaboration and Information Sharing as primary elements and Threat Recognition, Risk Management, and Intervention as additional elements; followed by Awareness that an event is occurring; and Response next, best characterized as emergency response activities; and finally Consequence Management and Recovery to revitalize the jurisdictions. This framework will be operationalized in different ways in different jurisdictions but the framework is durable in pursuing the illusive goal of preparedness.

Keywords: Homeland Security; Terrorism Prevention; Crisis Management; Preparedness; Auto-adaptive; Consequence Management; Preparedness.

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