Never thought I’d be agreeing with The Huffington Post, but “Applying the Obama Model for Homeland Security” is spot on.  Here, in the nutshell, is the argument Arnold Bogis makes. “Beyond citizen engagement, this strategy should instill a new frame of reference for policymakers in Washington. The viewpoint through which they consider the majority of homeland security topics needs to shift to a bottom-up from a top-down approach. This change is urgently required in the grant process, response planning, and intelligence sharing. Establishing regional DHS offices would be an important initial step. Improved connections between federal and local officials should improve intelligence products, provide insight into the needs of high risk areas, and facilitate regional preparedness and response planning.”

Grassroots Disaster Response: Harnessing the Capacities of Communities argued survivors of a major disaster require immediate, personal relief, and the government is simply not equipped to provide for all of these needs, especially survivors’ spiritual needs. By partnering with faith-based and community groups before a disaster, America’s local, state, and federal governments can help survivors receive a higher quality of immediate attention and guarantee long-term support.

Learning from Disaster: The Role of Federalism and the Importance of Grassroots Response made the case that the federal government’s role in disaster preparedness is to meet its own responsibilities, create a national response system that promotes collaborative effort, and support “train the trainer” programs that help communities to build strong grassroots response.

State and Regional Responses to Disasters: Solving the 72-Hour Problem and Organizing for Victory: Proposals for Building a Regional Homeland Security Structure laid how to establish an effective rollout of a regional homeland security structure to facilitate grassroots response and building a culture of preparedness.

The last administration didn’t bother to move forward with these, maybe the one will if it reads them in the Huffington Post.

Cross posted at