Collaboration is one of the strategies that have been commonly used by different agencies involved in risk management and disaster response tasks. Collaboration basically refers to the act of two or more different agencies, bodies, groups or individuals working together to attain a shared goal. Basically, collaboration in risk management goals is very important due to the agency involved in the matter. In this regard, the Department of Homeland Security has taken the responsibility of enhancing collaboration among local, state, and federal government, regional agencies, private and other governmental agencies developed to enhance disaster management. This collaboration enhances the response, prevention, protection and recovery from any kind of disaster in all American States (Homeland Security, 2005). This paper evaluates the concept of collaboration in the Department of Homeland Security with intention of developing new strategies to strengthen this collaboration.
Collaboration in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
The DHS is a United States federal government cabinet department that was developed in response to the 9/11 terrorist attack. The department’s main mission is to protect the country over all forms of threats that include threats related to terrorist related threats, natural and manmade disasters. To ensure success in their ultimate goal, the department has advocated for collaboration with an extensive range of agencies and bodies at different parts of the United States. This collaboration enhances the development of strategies that all the involved bodies should employ to reach common goals. Among the bodies and agencies that the department works with include the tribal, local, federal and state governments, as well as private sectors. The main aim of enhancing this collaboration is to ensure effective distribution and sharing of limited resources to enhance quick recovery from, response to, protection against and prevention of major disasters, terrorist attacks, and other crises.
To enhance collaboration DHS provides an outline for enterprise-wide, comprehensive planning for efforts of homeland security. It also offers a strategic plan for the utilization of associated private, local, state, and federal resources in the urban area and state after, during, and before actual or threatened domestic terrorist attacks, natural disaster or any other form of emergency. The main goal of enhancing this collaboration is to enact their preparedness goals. Normally, disasters result to more severe impacts if there are no good measures employed to ensure quick response. This swift response can only when the involved bodies or agencies are well prepared to handle disasters which are normally sudden, immediately. To enhance this high level of response, the DHS has enhanced effective communication and division of responsibilities among the involved parties. DHS have developed strategies to involve the tribal, local, state, and federal entities, their non-governmental and private partners, as well as the general public to sustain and attain risk-based capability levels, targeted to protect, recover, prevent and respond to main incidences so as to lower their effect on the economy, property, and lives (Homeland Security, 2005).
The success of the DHS in its preparedness goals lies on the adaptive and robust collaboration between private and public sector, among different government levels, among agencies and departments in a same jurisdiction and among agencies and department in multiple jurisdictions. As employed by the DHS, collaboration entails an extensive range of activities that include joint operations, training and planning, focused at coordinating the resources and aptitudes of different collaborating entities to attain similar goals. In this regard, collaboration can therefore be perceived as the basis in which success in response, prevention, protection and recovery depends on. Each of the DHS mission involves a collection of abilities which need the combination of multiple procedures, processes, disciplines, and agencies. For instance, the mission of prevention requires the intelligence analysis and fusion ability. This ability needs the collaboration of report of suspicious activity by the public, surveillance of public health, investigations by law enforcers, among other disciplines with unique activities. In addition, nitration is required across different areas of mission. For instance, information obtained in intelligence analysis and fusion needs to be shared with those enhancing efforts for critical protection of infrastructure in order for strategies of protection to fit the threats. This demonstrates that the process of information sharing and effective, accurate and immediate communication among agencies and entities will be of great importance in enhancing collaboration.
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