Discussion Was there an obvious federal agency to be named as lead

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Was there an obvious federal agency to be named as lead? If so, which one and what is the rationale for naming that particular agency? Cite a source or sources in support of your position.

This assignment is graded

  • Post to Week 2 Discussion Board
  • Initial post is due Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • Reply post(s) due Sunday at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • Your posts should be of substance, at least two paragraphs that address the topic
  • Cite any outside sources used; it is not necessary to cite the course textbook
  • Discussion board grading rubric

Reply to peers:


In U.S. history, through the 1990’s, the primary concern over dealing with natural disasters and national emergency situations had been a difficult approach. When FEMA was established in 1979, they seemed like the obvious choice to handle any and all national emergency situations. However, multiple situations arose that proved that the U.S. government, FEMA especially, always seemed to be a step behind in handling certain situations, such as Hurricanes Andrew and Iniki, but the Murrah Federal Building bombing is what really pointed out the shortcomings of the government in handling terrorist attacks.

For that situation, I honestly do not see how any one agency would have been able to effectively lead the charge in dealing with the attack. FEMA, DOJ, DHHS, DOD and the National Guard, all had varying scopes of responsibility, agenda’s, and funding, therefore making it difficult to say that only one should have taken charge. That being said, if I were forced to choose one agency to take lead, it would have been FEMA, under the advisement of the DOD. As pointed out in our textbooks, “terrorism is certainly part of the all-hazards approach to emergency management…” (Bullock, Haddow, & Coppola, 2018, p. 24), which is FEMA’s specialty, but acting (officially) under advisement of the DOD would assist in assessment of WMD’s and other attack methods that FEMA does not deal with. It would be easy to say the DOD could handle it, but a benefit of having FEMA in charge is that they are already accustomed to having to work with state and local agencies regarding these matters, and they seem the less likely to be resistant and force their own agenda. This idea is based on FEMA’s Strategic plan; their strategic priorities are to “be survivor-centric in mission
and program delivery…enable disaster risk reduction nationally…” with a strategic imperative of taking “a whole community approach to emergency management…” (FEMA Strategic Plan, 2017). I believe that these qualities would have coped well with the other agencies, if their leadership weren’t so hesitant on taking charge.

(2017, April 19). FEMA strategic plan. Retrieved on 15 January, 2018 from https://www.fema.gov/fema-strategic-plan

Bullock, J., Haddow, G. & Coppola, D. (2018). Homeland Security: the essentials. Butterworth-Heinemann


Was there an obvious federal agency to be named as lead? If so, which one and what is the rationale for naming that particular agency? Cite a source or sources in support of your position.

Prior to the development of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after the attacks on the World Trade Centers in 2001, there were multiple agencies under different roofs that responded to devastating attacks on the US in a disconnected way. Due to this lack of cohesiveness between the different agencies such as; FEMA, DOD, DOJ, etc., there was not a named agency responsible to take the lead in major terrorist or natural disaster devastations; however, many looked to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to embody this role.

I agree that FEMA was looked at to take the role of leadership in multiple natural and manmade disasters that occurred during the 1960’s-2000’s [ie.; Prince William Sound 9.2 earthquake, Hurricane Camille, Hurricane Andrew, WTC bombing, Murrah Federal Building bombing, etc.]. This is because the role of FEMA is by design to respond to natural disasters and manmade disasters, “…the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for coordinating the federal government’s response to natural and manmade disasters. (allgov.com)”. Although, FEMA was the agency that should have been named as lead, they were faced with lack of resources that the DOD and DOJ would need to provide.

Creation of the Department of Homeland Security. (2015, September 24). Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.dhs.gov/creation-department-homeland-security

Departments. (n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2018, from http://www.allgov.com/departments/department-of-homeland-security/federal-emergency-management-


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