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PPD-8: National Preparedness System Description Announced

FEMA Administrator

We first talked about the Presidential Policy Directive on National Preparedness last March and since then we have released the National Preparedness Goal outlining the capabilities necessary to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to the nation.

Today, we took the next step in our ongoing efforts to work together to improve for a wide range of these threats and hazards, such as acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics and catastrophic natural disasters, by releasing a description of the National Preparedness System. What makes this preparedness system unique is that it involves the whole community – individuals, businesses, community- and faith-based organizations, schools and all levels of government. We recognize that the nation will be most prepared for threats and hazards when we work together and the National Preparedness System outlines the approach, resources and tools for achieving that goal.

The system has six main components for improving our preparedness:

  • Identifying and assessing risks;
  • Estimating capability requirements;
  • Building or sustaining capabilities;
  • Developing and implementing plans to deliver those capabilities;
  • Validating and monitoring progress made towards achieving the National Preparedness Goal; and
  • Reviewing and updating efforts to promote continuous improvement.

Each of these components calls for specific actions that we can take to improve our national preparedness. The first component, for example, will create a common way to assess risks, so we can more fully understand all of the risks that communities face. This clear view will help us figure out how best to work together to ensure we’re making wise decisions to keep people safe from harm.

With the National Preparedness System description released, we will now focus on the details of how we will achieve our National Preparedness Goal. Over the next few months, we will continue to work with the entire community to determine roles and responsibilities as well as develop frameworks to support the coordination needed to effectively deliver the core capabilities outlined in the goal. Those coordination points will be detailed in a series of national frameworks and interagency operational plans. In addition to the recently released National Disaster Recovery Framework, frameworks will be developed for prevention, protection and mitigation as well as updates made to the National Response Framework. Federal interagency operational plans will also be developed for all five frameworks. As with the previous steps in this process, we look forward to incorporating input from the whole community as we work to strengthen our nation’s resilience to all hazards.

To read the system description or learn more about Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness, visit

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