August 7, 2014, Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness, requires an annual National Preparedness Report (NPR) that summarizes national progress in building, sustaining and delivering the 31 core capabilities outlined in the National Preparedness Goal (the Goal). The intent of the NPR is to provide the Nation—not just the federal government—with practical insights on core capabilities that can inform decisions about program priorities, resource allocation, and community actions. This report marks the third annual NPR, updating and expanding upon findings from the previous two years. The 2014 NPR highlights accomplishments achieved or reported during 2013.
In 2014 the Nation faced a range of incidents that challenged our collective security and resilience and confirmed the need to enhance preparedness across the whole community. Incidents like the Boston Marathon bombings, wildfires, drought, mass shootings, and ongoing management of several long-term recovery efforts, required activating capabilities across the five mission areas outlined in the Goal—Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response and Recovery.
Overarching Findings on National Issues: In addition to key findings for each of the 31 core capabilities, the 2014 NPR outlines cross-cutting findings that involve multiple mission areas:
- Embracing a new approach to disaster recovery: Major events, such as Hurricane Sandy and the severe 2012-2013 drought, have served as catalysts for change in national preparedness programs, drawing clearer links between post-disaster recovery and pre-disaster mitigation activities.
- Launching major national initiatives: The Federal Government has initiated several national-level policy and planning initiatives that bring unity of effort to preparedness areas, including critical infrastructure security and resilience, cybersecurity, recovery capabilities, and climate change.
- Managing resource uncertainties: Budget uncertainties have created preparedness challenges at state and local levels of government, resulting in increased ingenuity, emphasis on preparedness innovations, and whole community engagement.
- Partnering with tribal nations: Tribal partners are now more systematically integrated into preparedness activities. However, opportunities remain for Federal agencies and tribal nations to increase engagement and expand training opportunities on relevant policies.
The 2014 NPR identifies five core capabilities that require ongoing sustainment to meet expected future needs: Interdiction and Disruption, On-scene Security and Protection, Operational Communications, Public and Private Services and Resources, and Public Health and Medical Services.
Opportunities for Improvement: The 2014 NPR identifies the following core capabilities as national areas for improvement: Cybersecurity, Health and Social Services, Housing, Infrastructure Systems, and Long-term Vulnerability Reduction. Cybersecurity, Health and Social Services, and Housing have been areas for improvement for three consecutive years. Several ongoing initiatives, including implementation of Executive Order 13636 on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, Presidential Policy Directive 21 on Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, and the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy will enable continued progress in these areas.
Key Factors for Future Progress: The 2014 NPR represents the third opportunity for the Nation to reflect on progress in strengthening national preparedness and to identify where preparedness gaps remain. Looking across all 31 core capabilities outlined in the Goal, the NPR provides a national perspective on critical preparedness trends for whole community partners to use to inform program priorities, to allocate resources, and to communicate with stakeholders about issues of shared concern.