Got a few thoughts on how to create a better national strategy for
long-term disaster recovery? The Obama administration's new Long-Term Disaster Recovery Working Group wants to hear them, and on Wednesday, the working group's leaders, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, launched a new Web site to solicit suggestions from state and local partners and the public.
The site, DisasterRecoveryWorkingGroup.gov, adorned with photos of President Obama's Oct. 15 town hall at the University of New Orleans, provides a 16-part online questionnaire that begins: "How would you define a successful disaster recovery?"
It also includes such questions as: "What unmet needs are common to most disasters that do not seem to be adequately addressed under the current systems and programs?" and "What are best practices for integrating mitigation and resilience into recovery?"
The purpose of the questionnaire, according to a statement from Donovan's office, is to make it easy for people to "submit ideas for disaster recovery; articulate objectives for recovery assistance going forward; identify examples of best practices; raise challenges and obstacles to success; and share thoughts, experiences and lessons learned."
From AFP, on Secretary Napolitano's trip to Europe and the Middle East:
US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will travel next week to Europe and the Middle East for talks with her counterparts on fighting terrorism and other global security concerns.
Napolitano, the top US official tasked with keeping America safe from terrorism and other domestic threats, will travel to Belgium, Denmark, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom from November 2-8, on her third visit to Europe, according to a press release.
Napolitano will meet in Belgium with members of the European Parliament and with Belgian officials on combating crime and terrorism while protecting civil liberties. She also planned to meet with World Customs Organization Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya on international efforts to crack down on smuggling and strengthen cargo screening.
From the Detroit News, on the creation of a new task force to combat cross-border crime:
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement unveiled today a 50-member task force comprised of federal, state, local and Canadian agencies designed to combat cross-border crimes.
The Border Enforcement Security Task Force, or BEST, will focus on national security and terrorist threats, human smuggling and trafficking, contraband smuggling, money laundering, bulk cash smuggling, transnational gang activities and other criminal acts. The team, which is the third along the northern border, covers 721 miles. The initiative will be housed in the federal building downtown.
"For those who are involved in drug trafficking, human trafficking or selling firearms, the international border really doesn't exist," said Terrence Berg, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan."They operate across the border bringing in drugs to the U.S. and importing firearms, and this is a continuing problem. It's very rare to have this kind of cooperation, especially at the international level to have all of these agencies working together."
10 AM EDT
Secretary Janet Napolitano will deliver remarks and participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the grand opening of the NCCIC
1110 N Glebe Road
8:30 AM EDT
NPPD Deputy Under Secretary Philip Reitinger will deliver remarks about National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the importance of cybersecurity as a shared responsibility at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce meetingU.S. Chamber of CommerceHerman Lay Room
1615 H Street, NW
8:35 AM EDT
Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alexander Garza will deliver remarks about national health security at the Institute of Medicine workshop entitled, “Preparedness Response Capabilities in the National Health Security Strategy”
National Academy of Sciences Main Building, Lecture Room
2101 Constitution Avenue NW