Managing the Next Domestic Catastrophe

Ready (or Not)?

America is not ready for the next catastrophe. Years have passed since the 9/11 attacks and the response to Hurricane Katrina, but there are still no government-wide plans to respond to a catastrophe.  There is still considerable confusion over who will be in charge during a disaster.  There are still almost no dedicated military forces on rapid alert to respond to a crisis here at home.  Readying America to face the threats of the post–September 11 era is an enormous task and one that poses a fundamental challenge for the next President.  The key for the next administration will be to take the building blocks of the national preparedness system that already exist and bring them together, fill in gaps, and provide the resources to make the system work. The recommendations contained within this report are concrete steps the next administration should take to ensure the country is prepared for the next domestic catastrophe.

Anne Witkowsky

Christine E. Wormuth