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Building the Homeland Security Enterprise: States Must Lead Emergency Management Efforts

Recorded on August 18, 2009

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium

Over the last seventeen years, there has been an increasing tendency by states to look to the federal government for help with natural disasters no matter how small.  As FEMA spends every 2.8 days on a new declaration, its resources are stretched thin, which undermines preparedness activities for nationally catastrophic events.  At the same time, with Washington, D.C. paying, states divert emergency management funding to other more chronic issues like education, transportation, and welfare.  This trend only ensures that the country will be unprepared and unable to respond effectively to the next major catastrophe.  U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently commented on the importance of federalism in protecting America.  Having trumpeted the importance of federalism, we couldn't agree more with Secretary Napolitano that states and localities play the crucial role in America's disaster response efforts.  Please join us as Nancy Dragani, President of the National Emergency Management Association and Director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, speaks on the role of state and local governments in disaster response, and what necessary steps must be taken to ensure that we adhere more fully to the maxim: "All disasters are local."