April 10, 2008 By Jim McKay, Editor
Federal emergency management grants will require state and local agencies to spend more money on planning, and less on acquiring resources and attending exercises, said FEMA's preparedness coordinator for the Pacific Northwest.
The agency believes states and localities have reached a point of exercise overload, according to Patrick Massey, division director and federal preparedness coordinator for FEMA's Region 10, which covers Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Therefore, more emphasis will be placed on emergency response planning and citizen preparation when FEMA dishes out funds.
Massey spoke in April at the Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference 2008 in Tacoma, Wash. He briefly outlined some other philosophical shifts under way at FEMA:
Massey also warned against focusing homeland security efforts only on external threats. Pointing to the fall of the Roman Empire, he said societies ignore internal risks at their own peril. Indeed, the message that homeland security encompasses internal threats too -- such as the national debt, the trade deficit, unfunded pensions and global warming -- was a popular one at the conference.
"Will we kill ourselves like Rome did?" Massey asked. "For great societies to prosper, they have to figure out both [how to deal with] internal and external threats."
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.