National Strategy for Homeland Security

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The United States National Strategy for Homeland Security is a formal government response to the events of September 11, 2001 at the Pentagon and World Trade Center. The document issued by President George W. Bush outlines the overall strategic considerations for cooperation between the federal government, states, private enterprises, and ordinary citizens in anticipating future terrorism attacks as well as natural disasters and other incidents of national significance. [1] The National Response Framework is the part of the homeland security national strategy that is a Comprehensive Emergency Management guideline for implementing scalable responses to disasters and other incidents of national significance.



The four primary goals of the National Strategy for Homeland Security are:

The first three goals help to organize national efforts while the last goal entails creating and transforming homeland security principles, systems, structures, and institutions. [2]


One of the first steps in implementing the strategy was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

According to the "Homeland Security and National Security" section of the national strategy document: [3]

The Preamble to the Constitution defines our federal government's basic purposes as "... to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." The requirement to provide for the common defense remains as fundamental today as it was when these words were written, more than two hundred years ago. The National Security Strategy of the United States aims to guarantee the sovereignty and independence of the United States, with our fundamental values and institutions intact. It provides a framework for creating and seizing opportunities that strengthen our security and prosperity. The National Strategy for Homeland Security complements the National Security Strategy of the United States by addressing a very specific and uniquely challenging threat – terrorism in the United States – and by providing a comprehensive framework for organizing the efforts of federal, state, local and private organizations whose primary functions are often unrelated to national security.


Generally, the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides local guidance on implementing the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) for local handling of emergency responses. As responses use up local resources, state and federal resources are mobilized under the National Response Framework, so that operational priorities are met during emergency responses of increasing size and complexity. All of these response activities are within the overall scope of the National Strategy for Homeland Security, whether emergency incidents are the result of terrorism or failure to respond may cause increased vulnerability to terrorism that may occur later.

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National Special Security Event Event with significant risk of terrorism or criminal activity

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Homeland Security Act of 2002 Post-9/11 United States law establishing the Department of Homeland Security

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Citizen Corps is a program under the Department of Homeland Security that provides training for the population of the United States to assist in the recovery after a disaster or terrorist attack. Each local Citizen Corps Council partners with organizations, volunteers and businesses to organize responders, volunteers and professional first responders for an efficient response so efforts are not wasted by being duplicated. By training in Incident Command, volunteers know whom to report to and how the incident is organized. This prevents sites from being inundated by untrained and unprepared personnel preventing operation. Citizen Corps also works in conjunction with the Corporation for National and Community Service in promoting national service opportunities for promoting homeland security needs.

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  1. NSHS page vii "Executive Summary"
  2. NSHS page 1
  3. NSHS page 5