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Homeland Security: The Role of Federal & State Governments

1. Are the State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) and the Local Emergency Response Commissions (LERCs) threatened for control of local disasters by the Department of Homeland Security?

2. Does the Federal government have to do more to simplify and limit liability for state and local governments and industry for certain disasters?

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Dear Student: I will give you some information and hopefully that may answer your questions. As to your first question, I don't think state and local governments are threatened by Homeland Security; I think its more a blending of state versus local versus federal rights, which are already in statute law. You may disagree. As to your second question, I'm not sure exactly how to answer that question. It may depend upon your political views concerning federal versus state and local rights.

According to CSIS (2010) although initial responsibility for managing domestic incidents generally falls on states and local authorities, the Federal government may render assistance when state and local resources are overwhelmed or when Federal interests are involved. According to CSIS here are some laws and other authorities that guide and control the federal government's response to both natural and manmade disasters that occur within the US:

1. Homeland Security Act: Coordinates the federal government's response to both natural and man-made disasters, including terrorist attacks, that occur within the US: develop and implement a comprehensive national incident management system that enables federal, state and local governments to efficiently coordinate the mobilization of resources during an emergency; and consolidate the existing emergency response plans of individual federal agencies into a single, comprehensive national response plan. However, the homeland security act also provides that FEMA shall remain the lead agency in federal ...

Solution Summary

The purpose of this paper was to examine those elements of Homeland Security which are controlled by the federal government, and, in turn, those elements which may be delegated to state and local governments. According to this website, although initial responsibility for managing domestic incidents generally falls on the states and local authorities, the federal government may render assistance when state and local governments are overwhelmed. Various laws and regulations of the Homeland Security Act are also discussed.

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